Why Psi is Pseudoscience

Discussions on UFOs, ghosts, myths etc.

Moderators: Calilasseia, DarthHelmet86, Onyx8

Re: Why Psi is Pseudoscience

#101  Postby Vinncent » Apr 23, 2013 8:35 am

But that is not what I am saying. The problem is that a century of failure to produce statistically significant results would still NOT falsify psi.


I can agree with that.

But decades of psi research, with increasingly better controls, have not produced a less statistically significant result.

Let's say we "believe in psi" and have our century of failed Ganzfeld tests.

Someone says: "Psi almost certainly doesn't happen- the results of Ganzfeld tests do not vary significantly from random guessing."

"Oh, come on," we'd say. "Who walks around with ping-pong balls strapped to their eyes? For all we know the Ganzfeld experiments are really only showing that "plastic is the natural enemy of magic", like they say on that children'ts show."


That's an interesting thought experiment, but does not reflect the reality of the situation. Decades of psi research have not produced a consistent failure in replicating the ganzfeld ESP experiment... rather, largely the opposite.

And, if different labs do the experiment long enough, sooner or later some lab is going to "hit the jackpot" statistically. Then psi believers would say "Aha! That lab must have had the right conditions!"


That's attempting to explain the effect away via the file drawer effect, which is largely discounted in the link I posted in my last response.

The Ganzfeld experiment is only capable of showing a positive! But even a positive is based on fallacious reasoning


I think I've addressed this point numerous times... if there's some bad control in the autoganzfeld experiments, everyone would be dying to hear what it is, that would explain the results via currently known mechanisms.

Vinncent wrote:
To your second point, though... it seems like something similar could be said of the ESP hypothesis in terms of the ganzfeld experiments.

If telepathy exists, it should produce this result
If it doesn't, telepathy doesn't exist.
Telepathy [does/does not] produce this result
Therefore telepathy [does/does not] exist
[depending on which "side" of the debate you're on]


That does not work, because you've got a formal fallacy called "affirming the consequent" in there.

P = telepathy
Q = result

P > Q
Q
therefore P <<<Fail! fallacy of affirming the consequent

Telepathy produces this result
we find this result
therefore telepathy

This is a fallacy because it is not necessarily true that it was telepathy producing this result. Let's look at modus tollens again:

P > Q
~Q
therefore ~P

If telepathy happens, then we'll have a deviation from random results in this test
We do not have a deviation from random results in this test
therefore telepathy does not happen

This is valid. At first glance, you might think that this gives us the falsification we need to say that Ganzfeld tests of psi are scientific.

But let's write out that argument in a way that is in accord with real life:

If telepathy happens in this test, then we'll have a deviation from random results in this test
We do not have a deviation from random results in this test
therefore telepathy does not happen in this test

So of course we try to get funding for yet another test...


Also addressed, although you phrase it more formally. Before I type out everything again which you didn't address... how is this different from your average psychological experiment? It's not addressing the wide range of successful replications beyond chance expectation, nor providing an alternative explanation for those results.
Vinncent
 
Posts: 38

Print view this post

Ads by Google


Re: Why Psi is Pseudoscience

#102  Postby Vinncent » Apr 23, 2013 8:46 am

@Vinncent:

Please, please try to understand the above statement: There has to be some reason that, in applying for funding, no one ever publishes (or refers to) a Ganzfeld experiment with negative results. Hint: It isn't because we are sure that no Ganzfeld experiment ever yields negative results. This is what is meant by saying that nothing can falsify theories of psi.


This is simply lying through your teeth. Even parapsychological journals themselves publish negative results. A simple search on google scholar will reveal such. Again, a "file drawer" argument, that is not consistent with published results, both positive and negative.

Oops. Negative result. Bin it. Seriously, though, I meant testing people with perfect pitch using visual images. Why not? Why isn't perfect pitch considered as recommending psi candidates? Afraid you might get a negative result?


Of course it should be "binned". If you're attempted to replicate an experiment, but don't follow the original experimental procedure, you aren't performing a replication... you're doing something entirely different. Regardless of whether the result is positive or negative, it is not replicating the experiment that it claims to be replicating if, simply, its not replicating the experimental procedure.
Vinncent
 
Posts: 38

Print view this post

Re: Why Psi is Pseudoscience

#103  Postby lobawad » Apr 23, 2013 8:48 am

Vinncent wrote:
But that is not what I am saying. The problem is that a century of failure to produce statistically significant results would still NOT falsify psi.


I can agree with that.

But decades of psi research, with increasingly better controls, have not produced a less statistically significant result.

Let's say we "believe in psi" and have our century of failed Ganzfeld tests.

Someone says: "Psi almost certainly doesn't happen- the results of Ganzfeld tests do not vary significantly from random guessing."

"Oh, come on," we'd say. "Who walks around with ping-pong balls strapped to their eyes? For all we know the Ganzfeld experiments are really only showing that "plastic is the natural enemy of magic", like they say on that children'ts show."


That's an interesting thought experiment, but does not reflect the reality of the situation. Decades of psi research have not produced a consistent failure in replicating the ganzfeld ESP experiment... rather, largely the opposite.

And, if different labs do the experiment long enough, sooner or later some lab is going to "hit the jackpot" statistically. Then psi believers would say "Aha! That lab must have had the right conditions!"


That's attempting to explain the effect away via the file drawer effect, which is largely discounted in the link I posted in my last response.

The Ganzfeld experiment is only capable of showing a positive! But even a positive is based on fallacious reasoning


I think I've addressed this point numerous times... if there's some bad control in the autoganzfeld experiments, everyone would be dying to hear what it is, that would explain the results via currently known mechanisms.

Vinncent wrote:
To your second point, though... it seems like something similar could be said of the ESP hypothesis in terms of the ganzfeld experiments.

If telepathy exists, it should produce this result
If it doesn't, telepathy doesn't exist.
Telepathy [does/does not] produce this result
Therefore telepathy [does/does not] exist
[depending on which "side" of the debate you're on]


That does not work, because you've got a formal fallacy called "affirming the consequent" in there.

P = telepathy
Q = result

P > Q
Q
therefore P <<<Fail! fallacy of affirming the consequent

Telepathy produces this result
we find this result
therefore telepathy

This is a fallacy because it is not necessarily true that it was telepathy producing this result. Let's look at modus tollens again:

P > Q
~Q
therefore ~P

If telepathy happens, then we'll have a deviation from random results in this test
We do not have a deviation from random results in this test
therefore telepathy does not happen

This is valid. At first glance, you might think that this gives us the falsification we need to say that Ganzfeld tests of psi are scientific.

But let's write out that argument in a way that is in accord with real life:

If telepathy happens in this test, then we'll have a deviation from random results in this test
We do not have a deviation from random results in this test
therefore telepathy does not happen in this test

So of course we try to get funding for yet another test...


Also addressed, although you phrase it more formally. Before I type out everything again which you didn't address... how is this different from your average psychological experiment? It's not addressing the wide range of successful replications beyond chance expectation, nor providing an alternative explanation for those results.


Vinncent, you have not addressed the point- I don't think you've got it yet. Let me put it another way.

What experiments do parapsychologists use to demonstrate that psi does NOT happen?
What would happen if psi phenomena did NOT occur?
What phenomena which is NOT a psi phenomena would change depending on whether psi phenomena occur or not?
"Never give succor to the mentally ill; it is a bottomless pit."
- William Burroughs
lobawad
 
Name: Cameron Bobro
Posts: 2545

Country: Slovenia
Georgia (ge)
Print view this post

Re: Why Psi is Pseudoscience

#104  Postby Cito di Pense » Apr 23, 2013 8:55 am

Vinncent wrote:
@Vinncent:

Please, please try to understand the above statement: There has to be some reason that, in applying for funding, no one ever publishes (or refers to) a Ganzfeld experiment with negative results. Hint: It isn't because we are sure that no Ganzfeld experiment ever yields negative results. This is what is meant by saying that nothing can falsify theories of psi.


This is simply lying through your teeth. Even parapsychological journals themselves publish negative results. A simple search on google scholar will reveal such. Again, a "file drawer" argument, that is not consistent with published results, both positive and negative.


So what are the negative Ganzfeld results, Vinncent? And why do you never refer to them when you go on about your 30%? Do you mean that Ganzfeld trials not contributing 30% are being aggregated with those that do? What? Is every subject independent?

A Ganzfeld trial is one experimental setup involving a series of experimental subjects, right? That's what characterises the Ganzfeld 'apparatus'. Don't tell me you believe every Ganzfeld setup is identical. Ah, but you will, in order to aggregate the results. There's a billion factors that are not considered, Vinncent. There's nothing like lying to yourself, through your teeth.

lobawad wrote:
What experiments do parapsychologists use to demonstrate that psi does NOT happen?
What would happen if psi phenomena did NOT occur?
What phenomena which is NOT a psi phenomena would change depending on whether psi phenomena occur or not?
Хлопнут без некролога. -- Серге́й Па́влович Королёв

Translation by Elbert Hubbard: Do not take life too seriously. You're not going to get out of it alive.
User avatar
Cito di Pense
 
Name: Al Forno, LLD,LDL,PPM
Posts: 29557
Age: 23
Male

Country: The Heartland
Mongolia (mn)
Print view this post

Re: Why Psi is Pseudoscience

#105  Postby Shrunk » Apr 24, 2013 10:05 pm

Cito di Pense wrote:So what are the negative Ganzfeld results, Vinncent? And why do you never refer to them when you go on about your 30%? Do you mean that Ganzfeld trials not contributing 30% are being aggregated with those that do? What? Is every subject independent?

A Ganzfeld trial is one experimental setup involving a series of experimental subjects, right? That's what characterises the Ganzfeld 'apparatus'. Don't tell me you believe every Ganzfeld setup is identical. Ah, but you will, in order to aggregate the results. There's a billion factors that are not considered, Vinncent. There's nothing like lying to yourself, through your teeth.


The issue of how the results vary depending on which studies are aggregated is one of the issues regarding the Ganzfeld. But that's an issue with any meta-analysis. As far as I can tell, the 30% hit rate seems to be a reasonably robust finding. The sticky point is what that means. Some think this means that paranormal, immaterial forms of mental communication exist. That seems a premature conclusion IMHO. Others, in effect, say that the fact you tend to get a 30% hit rate on the Ganzfeld means that you tend to get a 30% hit rate on the Ganzfeld. So why bother, I wonder?
"A community is infinitely more brutalised by the habitual employment of punishment than it is by the occasional occurrence of crime." -Oscar Wilde
User avatar
Shrunk
 
Posts: 26170
Age: 56
Male

Country: Canada
Canada (ca)
Print view this post

Re: Why Psi is Pseudoscience

#106  Postby Cito di Pense » Apr 25, 2013 4:45 am

Shrunk wrote:
Cito di Pense wrote:So what are the negative Ganzfeld results, Vinncent? And why do you never refer to them when you go on about your 30%? Do you mean that Ganzfeld trials not contributing 30% are being aggregated with those that do? What? Is every subject independent?

A Ganzfeld trial is one experimental setup involving a series of experimental subjects, right? That's what characterises the Ganzfeld 'apparatus'. Don't tell me you believe every Ganzfeld setup is identical. Ah, but you will, in order to aggregate the results. There's a billion factors that are not considered, Vinncent. There's nothing like lying to yourself, through your teeth.


The issue of how the results vary depending on which studies are aggregated is one of the issues regarding the Ganzfeld. But that's an issue with any meta-analysis. As far as I can tell, the 30% hit rate seems to be a reasonably robust finding. The sticky point is what that means. Some think this means that paranormal, immaterial forms of mental communication exist. That seems a premature conclusion IMHO. Others, in effect, say that the fact you tend to get a 30% hit rate on the Ganzfeld means that you tend to get a 30% hit rate on the Ganzfeld. So why bother, I wonder?


Do you think all results from Ganzfeld trials come from the same statistical population? And what would that one be? The one that gives us 30%? You've seen the circular argument before, Shrunk. If the results don't all come from the same population, then the Ganzfeld experiment predetermines its aggregate hit rate. Nobody's ever tested me for my psi powers. As far as I can tell, it only tests the population of people willing to sit with ping pong balls on their eyes, trying to guess which image someone else is 'projecting'. It would be truly amazing if this population slightly preferentially selects for people with a tiny bit of psi power, um, on average. The point here is that if psi is a property of individual humans, aggregate results are a funny way to express it, given that the experimental design may be doing all their work for them. The question then becomes, given the existence of a tiny psi power (nobody gets anywhere near a 50% hit rate, do they?), how does this experiment detect it? And so on, and so forth.
Хлопнут без некролога. -- Серге́й Па́влович Королёв

Translation by Elbert Hubbard: Do not take life too seriously. You're not going to get out of it alive.
User avatar
Cito di Pense
 
Name: Al Forno, LLD,LDL,PPM
Posts: 29557
Age: 23
Male

Country: The Heartland
Mongolia (mn)
Print view this post

Re: Why Psi is Pseudoscience

#107  Postby lobawad » Apr 25, 2013 9:32 am

Shrunk wrote:
Cito di Pense wrote:So what are the negative Ganzfeld results, Vinncent? And why do you never refer to them when you go on about your 30%? Do you mean that Ganzfeld trials not contributing 30% are being aggregated with those that do? What? Is every subject independent?

A Ganzfeld trial is one experimental setup involving a series of experimental subjects, right? That's what characterises the Ganzfeld 'apparatus'. Don't tell me you believe every Ganzfeld setup is identical. Ah, but you will, in order to aggregate the results. There's a billion factors that are not considered, Vinncent. There's nothing like lying to yourself, through your teeth.


The issue of how the results vary depending on which studies are aggregated is one of the issues regarding the Ganzfeld. But that's an issue with any meta-analysis. As far as I can tell, the 30% hit rate seems to be a reasonably robust finding. The sticky point is what that means. Some think this means that paranormal, immaterial forms of mental communication exist. That seems a premature conclusion IMHO. Others, in effect, say that the fact you tend to get a 30% hit rate on the Ganzfeld means that you tend to get a 30% hit rate on the Ganzfeld. So why bother, I wonder?


Shrunk, consider another far-out idea that is seriously addressed by science- "dark matter". It's easily as bizarre as "psi".

Why is dark matter seriously studied and psi not? After all, dark matter is "just a theory". If you look at it closely, you'll see why. We have models of the universe with dark matter, and models of the universe without dark matter. The models with dark matter match our observations far better than models without.

Does this "prove" dark matter? No- but it makes the search for dark matter science, not pseudoscience.

This is the kind of "negative" or "not-psi" that psi needs in order to be studied scientfically. As Cito has already pointed out as an example, if you could create some kind of helmet or something that "blocks" "psi", you really could make scientific "psi" tests. You wouldn't have just purely inductive statistical variation as evidence- you'd be able to draw deductive lines in the sand. As much as philosophers may hysterically wank about induction, the sine qua non of science is deduction, specifically in the form of modus tollens.
"Never give succor to the mentally ill; it is a bottomless pit."
- William Burroughs
lobawad
 
Name: Cameron Bobro
Posts: 2545

Country: Slovenia
Georgia (ge)
Print view this post

Ads by Google


Re: Why Psi is Pseudoscience

#108  Postby Shrunk » Apr 25, 2013 10:09 am

lobawad wrote:Shrunk, consider another far-out idea that is seriously addressed by science- "dark matter". It's easily as bizarre as "psi".

Why is dark matter seriously studied and psi not? After all, dark matter is "just a theory". If you look at it closely, you'll see why. We have models of the universe with dark matter, and models of the universe without dark matter. The models with dark matter match our observations far better than models without.

Does this "prove" dark matter? No- but it makes the search for dark matter science, not pseudoscience.

This is the kind of "negative" or "not-psi" that psi needs in order to be studied scientfically. As Cito has already pointed out as an example, if you could create some kind of helmet or something that "blocks" "psi", you really could make scientific "psi" tests. You wouldn't have just purely inductive statistical variation as evidence- you'd be able to draw deductive lines in the sand. As much as philosophers may hysterically wank about induction, the sine qua non of science is deduction, specifically in the form of modus tollens.


Exactly.
"A community is infinitely more brutalised by the habitual employment of punishment than it is by the occasional occurrence of crime." -Oscar Wilde
User avatar
Shrunk
 
Posts: 26170
Age: 56
Male

Country: Canada
Canada (ca)
Print view this post

Re: Why Psi is Pseudoscience

#109  Postby Shrunk » Apr 25, 2013 1:08 pm

Cito di Pense wrote: Do you think all results from Ganzfeld trials come from the same statistical population? And what would that one be? The one that gives us 30%? You've seen the circular argument before, Shrunk. If the results don't all come from the same population, then the Ganzfeld experiment predetermines its aggregate hit rate. Nobody's ever tested me for my psi powers. As far as I can tell, it only tests the population of people willing to sit with ping pong balls on their eyes, trying to guess which image someone else is 'projecting'. It would be truly amazing if this population slightly preferentially selects for people with a tiny bit of psi power, um, on average. The point here is that if psi is a property of individual humans, aggregate results are a funny way to express it, given that the experimental design may be doing all their work for them. The question then becomes, given the existence of a tiny psi power (nobody gets anywhere near a 50% hit rate, do they?), how does this experiment detect it? And so on, and so forth.


I think there have been claims of some individuals achieving higher hit rates. But, again, what does that mean? Sometimes a coin will come up heads 9 times in a row. That doesn't mean the person tossing it has a special ability to affect the result.

Otherwise, you are again raising issues that pertain to any meta-analysis. As far as I can tell, these particular meta-analyses seem not markedly worse than average, in methodological terms. The bigger issue, which you also raise, is whether a meta-analysis of this sort is even the proper method to demonstrate psi (once we determine what psi even is in the first place, which remains unclear to me.)
"A community is infinitely more brutalised by the habitual employment of punishment than it is by the occasional occurrence of crime." -Oscar Wilde
User avatar
Shrunk
 
Posts: 26170
Age: 56
Male

Country: Canada
Canada (ca)
Print view this post

Re: Why Psi is Pseudoscience

#110  Postby Vinncent » Apr 29, 2013 3:26 am

Vinncent, you have not addressed the point- I don't think you've got it yet. Let me put it another way.

What experiments do parapsychologists use to demonstrate that psi does NOT happen?
What would happen if psi phenomena did NOT occur?
What phenomena which is NOT a psi phenomena would change depending on whether psi phenomena occur or not?


I did address the point, however, the answer is not as straightforward as anyone on any side would like.

What experiments do parapsychologists use to demonstrate that psi does NOT happen?


Any experiment whose results show that that outcome was explainable due to chance. There are many of them, even published in "parapsychological" journals themselves.

What would happen if psi phenomena did NOT occur?


Then the results would not support their hypothesis.

What phenomena which is NOT a psi phenomena would change depending on whether psi phenomena occur or not?


Currently, we are discussing the Gantzfeld experiments, in which case, if psi phenomena does not exist, we would only expect chance results from the receivers. In the double-slit experiment under conscious meditation I posted earlier, though dealing slightly more with the measurement problem in QM, it would mean that the results obtained by conscious meditators meditating on the slit would look similar to the control group in those experiments.

As stated, psi phenomena, fundamentally, simply refers to the ability of consciousness to remotely interact with reality. If it didn't exist, the control groups and experimental groups should produce the same results, when everything is properly controlled for.
Vinncent
 
Posts: 38

Print view this post

Re: Why Psi is Pseudoscience

#111  Postby Vinncent » Apr 29, 2013 3:44 am

So what are the negative Ganzfeld results, Vinncent? And why do you never refer to them when you go on about your 30%? Do you mean that Ganzfeld trials not contributing 30% are being aggregated with those that do? What? Is every subject independent?


The negative results are fairly easy to find with a Google Scholar search, along with the positive ones. I tend to post overviews from either side because it's far more condusive to the conversation than posting individual studies.

http://skepdic.com/ganzfeld.html

A Ganzfeld trial is one experimental setup involving a series of experimental subjects, right? That's what characterises the Ganzfeld 'apparatus'. Don't tell me you believe every Ganzfeld setup is identical. Ah, but you will, in order to aggregate the results. There's a billion factors that are not considered, Vinncent. There's nothing like lying to yourself, through your teeth.


Please name these billion differences.

Really, I'm waiting.
Vinncent
 
Posts: 38

Print view this post

Re: Why Psi is Pseudoscience

#112  Postby Vinncent » Apr 29, 2013 4:02 am

Shrunk, consider another far-out idea that is seriously addressed by science- "dark matter". It's easily as bizarre as "psi".

Why is dark matter seriously studied and psi not? After all, dark matter is "just a theory". If you look at it closely, you'll see why. We have models of the universe with dark matter, and models of the universe without dark matter. The models with dark matter match our observations far better than models without.

Does this "prove" dark matter? No- but it makes the search for dark matter science, not pseudoscience.

This is the kind of "negative" or "not-psi" that psi needs in order to be studied scientfically. As Cito has already pointed out as an example, if you could create some kind of helmet or something that "blocks" "psi", you really could make scientific "psi" tests. You wouldn't have just purely inductive statistical variation as evidence- you'd be able to draw deductive lines in the sand. As much as philosophers may hysterically wank about induction, the sine qua non of science is deduction, specifically in the form of modus tollens.


This is actually a good point, particularly in regards to "What can block 'psi'?"

Previous hypothesis as to how psi operates have included radio waves, electromagnetism, and whatever else... but have still gotten approximately the same results while utilizing procedures which block all these things. Currently, there isn't anything physical which seems to "block" psi.

Since we can't pin down a mechanism, currently, it's hard to hypothesize on what would block it, if anything. If, for example, it arises by some sort of quantum entanglement via a "conscious field"... it would require not only discovering how a conscious field operates, as well as finding out how such a thing could be completely blocked, or reduced to virtually nothing via noise.

However, this all seems to be avoiding the actual results... the effect only seems to occur, among other things, due to consciously focusing on the given result. There isn't anything about the results which is inherently contradictory with the rest of what we know about reality, in operation or significance.

Saying, "You can't show where it DOESN'T occur" is completely avoiding the question of how it appears to occur in the first place. Where it doesn't occur should be seen by chance expectation, and where it does, by results that can't reasonably be attributed to chance, particularly repeated results from various experimental groups, even if the effect is rather small.

I have addressed your train of thought... it would be useful if you would address mine, in regards to explaining the experimental results.
Vinncent
 
Posts: 38

Print view this post

Re: Why Psi is Pseudoscience

#113  Postby VK-machine » Apr 29, 2013 11:47 am

Shrunk wrote:The issue of how the results vary depending on which studies are aggregated is one of the issues regarding the Ganzfeld. But that's an issue with any meta-analysis. As far as I can tell, the 30% hit rate seems to be a reasonably robust finding. The sticky point is what that means. Some think this means that paranormal, immaterial forms of mental communication exist. That seems a premature conclusion IMHO. Others, in effect, say that the fact you tend to get a 30% hit rate on the Ganzfeld means that you tend to get a 30% hit rate on the Ganzfeld. So why bother, I wonder?

It's not a robust finding. See the meta-analysis by Milton and Wiseman which found an average hit-rate consistent with the 25% chance expectation.
However, as Cito and you point out, it's unclear what an average hit-rate over heterogeneous experiments, with heterogeneous populations and heterogeneous results is supposed to indicate anyway.
VK-machine
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 241

Print view this post

Re: Why Psi is Pseudoscience

#114  Postby Shrunk » Apr 29, 2013 1:06 pm

Vinncent wrote:I have addressed your train of thought... it would be useful if you would address mine, in regards to explaining the experimental results.


VK-machine has already addressed this issue, when he offered "mistakes and errors" as an explanation. That seems to me a perfectly reasonable explanation. There may be those who are not satisfied with that explanation, and think that "quantum entanglement" or some such thing is remotely as plausible, but as you suggest those people have a lot of work cut out for them if they are going elevate that position to something that deserves to be taken seriously. Maybe it would be more impressive if we said the explanation was "quantum mistakes and errors."
"A community is infinitely more brutalised by the habitual employment of punishment than it is by the occasional occurrence of crime." -Oscar Wilde
User avatar
Shrunk
 
Posts: 26170
Age: 56
Male

Country: Canada
Canada (ca)
Print view this post

Re: Why Psi is Pseudoscience

#115  Postby Shrunk » Apr 29, 2013 1:12 pm

BTW, I'm curious about this statement:

Vinncent wrote: However, this all seems to be avoiding the actual results... the effect only seems to occur, among other things, due to consciously focusing on the given result.


How do we know that? How do investigators run the test while making sure subjects are not focusing on the given result?
"A community is infinitely more brutalised by the habitual employment of punishment than it is by the occasional occurrence of crime." -Oscar Wilde
User avatar
Shrunk
 
Posts: 26170
Age: 56
Male

Country: Canada
Canada (ca)
Print view this post

Ads by Google


Re: Why Psi is Pseudoscience

#116  Postby Cito di Pense » Apr 29, 2013 1:23 pm

Shrunk wrote:BTW, I'm curious about this statement:

Vinncent wrote: However, this all seems to be avoiding the actual results... the effect only seems to occur, among other things, due to consciously focusing on the given result.


How do we know that? How do investigators run the test while making sure subjects are not focusing on the given result?


A great test of this would be to do a double-blind study of 'paranormal reception' when nothing is being sent. The only way to assure this is by leaving out the bloke with the ping-pong balls on the eyes, but doing everything else exactly as before. The hit rate should be close to 25%. See also, the placebo effect. :evilgrin:


:rofl: :clap: :dance: :rofl: :clap: :dance: :rofl: :clap: :dance: :rofl: :clap: :dance: :rofl: :clap: :dance:
Хлопнут без некролога. -- Серге́й Па́влович Королёв

Translation by Elbert Hubbard: Do not take life too seriously. You're not going to get out of it alive.
User avatar
Cito di Pense
 
Name: Al Forno, LLD,LDL,PPM
Posts: 29557
Age: 23
Male

Country: The Heartland
Mongolia (mn)
Print view this post

Re: Why Psi is Pseudoscience

#117  Postby lobawad » Apr 29, 2013 1:52 pm

Vinncent wrote:
Vinncent, you have not addressed the point- I don't think you've got it yet. Let me put it another way.

What experiments do parapsychologists use to demonstrate that psi does NOT happen?
What would happen if psi phenomena did NOT occur?
What phenomena which is NOT a psi phenomena would change depending on whether psi phenomena occur or not?


I did address the point, however, the answer is not as straightforward as anyone on any side would like.

What experiments do parapsychologists use to demonstrate that psi does NOT happen?


Any experiment whose results show that that outcome was explainable due to chance. There are many of them, even published in "parapsychological" journals themselves.

What would happen if psi phenomena did NOT occur?


Then the results would not support their hypothesis.

What phenomena which is NOT a psi phenomena would change depending on whether psi phenomena occur or not?


Currently, we are discussing the Gantzfeld experiments, in which case, if psi phenomena does not exist, we would only expect chance results from the receivers. In the double-slit experiment under conscious meditation I posted earlier, though dealing slightly more with the measurement problem in QM, it would mean that the results obtained by conscious meditators meditating on the slit would look similar to the control group in those experiments.

As stated, psi phenomena, fundamentally, simply refers to the ability of consciousness to remotely interact with reality. If it didn't exist, the control groups and experimental groups should produce the same results, when everything is properly controlled for.


You did not address the point- you clearly have not got the point, otherwise you would realize that discussing Ganzfeld experiments doesn't come close to what's required to demonstrate that parapsychology is not pseudoscience.
"Never give succor to the mentally ill; it is a bottomless pit."
- William Burroughs
lobawad
 
Name: Cameron Bobro
Posts: 2545

Country: Slovenia
Georgia (ge)
Print view this post

Re: Why Psi is Pseudoscience

#118  Postby lobawad » Apr 29, 2013 1:58 pm

Vinncent wrote:
Shrunk, consider another far-out idea that is seriously addressed by science- "dark matter". It's easily as bizarre as "psi".

Why is dark matter seriously studied and psi not? After all, dark matter is "just a theory". If you look at it closely, you'll see why. We have models of the universe with dark matter, and models of the universe without dark matter. The models with dark matter match our observations far better than models without.

Does this "prove" dark matter? No- but it makes the search for dark matter science, not pseudoscience.

This is the kind of "negative" or "not-psi" that psi needs in order to be studied scientfically. As Cito has already pointed out as an example, if you could create some kind of helmet or something that "blocks" "psi", you really could make scientific "psi" tests. You wouldn't have just purely inductive statistical variation as evidence- you'd be able to draw deductive lines in the sand. As much as philosophers may hysterically wank about induction, the sine qua non of science is deduction, specifically in the form of modus tollens.


This is actually a good point, particularly in regards to "What can block 'psi'?"


It's not just a good point, it's a first small step towards establishing parapsychology as science.

Vinncent wrote:
Currently, there isn't anything physical which seems to "block" psi.


Then you must model how things behave without psi.

Vinncent wrote:

I have addressed your train of thought... it would be useful if you would address mine, in regards to explaining the experimental results.


No, you have yet to address the issue of falsification. You plainly do not understand it.

Deviations in statistics show deviations in statistics, and remain deviations in statistics until there is a proposed falsifiable model to explain them.
"Never give succor to the mentally ill; it is a bottomless pit."
- William Burroughs
lobawad
 
Name: Cameron Bobro
Posts: 2545

Country: Slovenia
Georgia (ge)
Print view this post

Re: Why Psi is Pseudoscience

#119  Postby lobawad » Apr 29, 2013 2:11 pm

Vinncent- let's say we accept that the Ganzfeld experiments have indicated that something non-random is happening.

Now what? You can't just keep citing Ganzfeld experiments. Even if others accept the statistical deviation, you still haven't presented a scientific test of "psi"!

The EM-theory experiments in the 1970's represented a scientific approach- they had a falsifiable theory which they falsified.
"Never give succor to the mentally ill; it is a bottomless pit."
- William Burroughs
lobawad
 
Name: Cameron Bobro
Posts: 2545

Country: Slovenia
Georgia (ge)
Print view this post

Re: Why Psi is Pseudoscience

#120  Postby Vinncent » May 03, 2013 3:52 am

Shrunk wrote:
Vinncent wrote:I have addressed your train of thought... it would be useful if you would address mine, in regards to explaining the experimental results.


VK-machine has already addressed this issue, when he offered "mistakes and errors" as an explanation. That seems to me a perfectly reasonable explanation. There may be those who are not satisfied with that explanation, and think that "quantum entanglement" or some such thing is remotely as plausible, but as you suggest those people have a lot of work cut out for them if they are going elevate that position to something that deserves to be taken seriously. Maybe it would be more impressive if we said the explanation was "quantum mistakes and errors."


It's finals week and all that, so unfortunately I'm going to try to keep my responses short.

"mistakes and errors" is not a reasonable explanation, as already explained, -unless you can point out sources of mistakes and errors-. Simply stating "I bet there are mistakes and errors" is an illogical assumption that can be levied against literally every piece of scientific experiment ever. Certain experiments are prone to this, and seem typically thrown out in meta-analysis due to their poor procedure/controls.

In a similar fashion, "quantum mistakes" (whatever that is supposed to mean) may perhaps explain the statistical deviance far beyond chance, but simply vaguely stating "quantum mistakes" is not an explanation either. Does the "quantum mind" actually exist, and is somehow able to interact with some "quantum structure" of computers, in order to get information from them? I'm not sure, but such a phenomena would be as equally impressive to me as ESP, and certainly deserving of further explanation.

The idea of entanglement occurring between different forms of consciousness is entirely hypothetical, and requires a great deal of additional research to be conducted first, to verify whether any of the current assumptions required to use that as any sort of explanation. My last paper was exploring all the current holes in that explanation.
Vinncent
 
Posts: 38

Print view this post

PreviousNext

Return to Paranormal & Supernatural

Who is online

Users viewing this topic: No registered users and 1 guest