Muehlegger versus Hyman: Does Muehlegger have a double standard?
Mar 11, 2002 08:22 AM
by Daniel Caldwell
Brigitte, you wrote apparently in reference to
Blavatsky's materializations the following:
"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
ear." Caps added
Also posted at:
Brigitte, I am still extremely puzzled by your above
words because on many occasions of late you have
written that you believe/accept various other psychic
For example, you wrote:
". . . out-of-body experiences or OBE's are 'real' and
there not the slightest reason why a person who
the theory of the astral body should deny their
reality. And the same counts for 'remote' viewing."
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 . . . . "
Please tell us, Brigitte, what accepted "laws of
science" and "laws of physics" explain the "psychic
abilities" that YOU say exist? What "laws of physics"
and "laws of science" show that there is "some form of
survival after death"?
Dr. Ray Hyman uses YOUR SAME LINE OF ARGUMENT (that
you use against Blavatsky's materializations) in
criticizing and rejecting the results of the remote
viewing and other parapsychological experiments. He
"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." Caps
See Dr. Hyman's article "The Evidence for Psychic
Functioning: Claims vs. Reality" at
Dr. Hyman also contends that the EXTRAORDINARY
phenomena you believe in have SIMPLER ORDINARY
". . . 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."
Brigitte, in light of the above, please specify the
accepted "laws of science" and "laws of physics" that
explain the "psychic abilities" that YOU believe
exist? What "laws of physics" or "laws of science"
show that there is "some form of survival after
Are you trying to seriously tell us that the "psychic
abilities" and the "survival after death" you accept
do NOT defy or contradict the known "laws of science"
and the "laws of physics" that you readily refer to
when you want to discredit Blavatsky's
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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