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Brigitte on phenomena that defies "laws of science" & "laws of physics"

Mar 08, 2002 07:52 PM
by Daniel Caldwell

Brigitte, you wrote:

"When something occurs why to soon assume that it's
caused by an extraordinary phenomenon that defies the
laws of science if a simpler explanation also fits. If
someone pulls a hard-boiled egg from behind your ear,
there are at least two explanations, either this 
person is able to defy laws of physics and produce
something out of thin air, or that person concealed
the egg somewhere and through deft sleight of hand was
able to make it appear to materialize behind your

But Brigitte, have you applied the above "reasoning"
to your own "beliefs" in these matters?

Previously, you wrote:

". . . in my opinion there is enough scientific
evidence (see for example Dean I. Radin's work) to
prove the existence of psychic abilities. . . . [and]
probably some form of survival after death . . . . "

Pray tell, Brigitte, what accepted "laws of science"
and "laws of physics" explain the "psychic abilities"
that YOU believe exist? What "laws of physics" show
that there is "some form of survival after death"? I
would love to see your detailed answers to these

Are you actually telling us that the "psychic
abilities" you accept and the "survival after death"
that you believe in do NOT also defy the known "laws
of science" and the "laws of physics" that you refer

Regarding the Ganzfeld experiments that you also
mention, you might consult the following three

(1) "New Analyses Raise Doubts About Replicability of
ESP Findings" by Scott O. Lilienfeld.

(2) "What Can the Paranormal Teach Us About
Consciousness?" by Susan Blackmore

(3) Also "The Evidence for Psychic Functioning: Claims
vs. Reality" by Ray Hyman.

Dr. Hyman wrote in conclusion:

"When we examine the basis of Utts's strong claim for
the existence of psi, we find that it relies on a
handful of experiments that have been shown to have
serious weaknesses after undergoing careful scrutiny,
and another handful of experiments that have yet to
undergo scrutiny or be successfully replicated. What
seems clear is that the scientific community is not
going to abandon its fundamental ideas about
causality, time, and other principles on the basis of
a handful of experiments whose findings have yet to be
shown to be replicable and lawful."

"Utts does assert that the findings from
parapsychological experiments can be replicated with
well-controlled experiments given adequate resources.
But this is a hope or promise. Before we abandon
relativity and quantum mechanics in their current
formulations, we will require more than a promissory
note. We will want, as is the case in other areas of
science, solid evidence that these findings can,
indeed, be produced under specified conditions." 

"Again, I do not have time to develop another part of
this story. Because even if Utts and her colleagues
are correct and we were to find that we could
reproduce the findings under specified conditions,
this would still be a far cry from concluding that
psychic functioning has been demonstrated. This is
because the current claim is based entirely upon a
negative outcome -- the sole basis for arguing for ESP
is that extra-chance results can be obtained that
apparently cannot be explained by normal means. But an
infinite variety of normal possibilities exist and it
is not clear than one can control for all of them in a
single experiment. You need a positive theory to guide
you as to what needs to be controlled, and what can be
ignored. Parapsychologists have not come close to this
as yet."

Does that sound familiar to you???

Furthermore, Brigitte, on what you write about some
form of survival after death, please read for example:

(4) "The New Paranatural Paradigm: Claims of
Communicating with the Dead" by Paul Kurtz.

Dr. Kurtz concludes:

"What should be the posture of the scientific
investigator about paranatural survival claims?
Clearly, we need an open mind, and we should not
reject a priori any such claim; if claims are
responsibly framed they should be carefully evaluated.
After a century and a half of scientific research,
what are we to conclude? I submit that there is
insufficient reliable or objective evidence that some
individuals are able to reach another plane of
existence beyond this world and/or communicate with
the dead. As far as we know, the death of the body
entails the death of psychological functions,
consciousness, and/or the personality; and there is no
reason to believe that ghosts hover and haunt and/or
can communicate with us."

"I realize that this flies in the face of what the
preponderance of humans wish to believe, but science
should deal as best it can with what is the case, not
with what we would like it to be. Unfortunately,
scientific objectivity today has an uphill battle in
this area in the face of media hype and the enormous
public fascination with paranormal and paranatural

What's my point?

Brigitte, your own "beliefs" in "psychic abilities"
and "some form of survival" may NOT be based on any
thing more substantial than what the Theosophists
believe about psychic abilities and about Blavatsky's
psychic abilities.

Furthermore, the same arguments you use against
Blavatksy's psychic abilities can also be used against
those "psychic abilities" and that "form of survival"
that you say you believe in.

Daniel H. Caldwell
"...Contrast alone can enable us to appreciate things
at their right value; and unless a judge compares
notes and hears both sides he can hardly come to a
correct decision."
H.P. Blavatsky. The Theosophist, July, 1881, p. 218.

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