May 27 2014

The Brain Is Not a Receiver

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1,707 Responses to “The Brain Is Not a Receiver”

  1. The Other John Mcon 27 May 2014 at 8:59 am

    Thanks for posting Dr. N. Someone in the AfterLife thread wisely pointed out:

    If the brain is a receiver, what is it receiving? Why can’t we detect the consciousness waves? We can and do detect radio waves, all forms of electromagnetic energy, etc.

    Dualists: if you say the brain is a receiver, show us what it is receiving, then we can have a discussion.

  2. The Other John Mcon 27 May 2014 at 9:02 am

    Another good point in regards to the radio analogy: if you tweak any of the wires in the radio circuit, the whole thing fails. But if you tweak a brain circuit, there is not catastrophic failure but subtle and “graceful degradation” (this is a key technical feature of neural networks). This is more evidence that the radio analogy is not a good one.

  3. pdeboeron 27 May 2014 at 9:56 am

    Is the fact that transcranial magnetic stimulation is a sort of transmitter receiver as described by dualism proof that there is no transmitter? If there is a transmitter and we can at very least override the signal, then it should be the same type of signal.

    But I don’t think there is any evidence of electromagnetic signals going to the brain.

  4. Ori Vandewalleon 27 May 2014 at 10:00 am

    There’s another way in which the brain could be a receiver. It’s possible that the data being transmitted to the brain is simply very noisy, such that tweaking various components of the brain can produce a very wide variety of behaviors and thoughts.

    The problem you run into here is why a “soul” would be a “noisy” thing. This is a question you can’t answer, though, because it’s attempting to interrogate the supernatural. It’s certainly possible that souls are noisy, but we have no reason to think so a priori. The simplest explanation, of course, is that there is no soul transmitting data to the brain.

  5. tmac57on 27 May 2014 at 10:55 am

    At it’s core the hypothesis would seem to be unfalsifiable. You could discover some ‘consciousness waves’,I suppose,and eventually prove the hypothesis,but if no proof ever emerges,then proponents will always be able to continue to move the goalposts in response to new discoveries that support the materialist model. In other words,as long as people want to believe this idea,the idea will never die,despite evidence to the contrary.

  6. Insomniacon 27 May 2014 at 11:08 am

    I noticed that nearly every person I engaged in a conversation about mind and brain is somewhat either ignorant, disagreeing or uncomfortable with the idea that the brain creates the mind. This is why to me the gap between what neuroscience says and what the general public believes is one of the biggest among all scientific subjects that really matter and affect people. Obviously particle physics and the kind – which are not known at all by the general public – do not enter in this category.

    People are not aware of all those neuroanatomical correlates, and the extent to which behavior and subjective experience can be impaired/modified through brain damage, drugs etc. Therefore they are shocked once told that their brain is merely a machine. They are OK with the idea that other animal’s brains may be machines, but not theirs.

  7. Bronze Dogon 27 May 2014 at 11:30 am

    I posited server and client as a more appropriate metaphor for dualists to consider, since that is a two-way relationship, while radio and TV are passive receivers. At least in the server/client model, you can alter the server/soul’s processes by altering the client/brain’s processes. But, as you’re saying in the post, neuroscience is leaving less and less for the soul to allegedly do. The client’s so thick, one wonders why it bothers to connect to a server.

    I brought up the idea of a spiritual Faraday cage a couple times. If there’s a signal going back and forth between the brain and soul, presumably that signal can be blocked to demonstrate a loss of function. If we discovered dualism is true that way, where do we go from there? How do we examine the inner workings of souls? How do souls explain consciousness, inner subjective experience, qualia, or whatever?

  8. tmac57on 27 May 2014 at 12:03 pm

    Bronze Dog-

    If there’s a signal going back and forth between the brain and soul, presumably that signal can be blocked to demonstrate a loss of function.

    Deprive the brain of oxygen. That should do the trick.

  9. steve12on 27 May 2014 at 12:49 pm

    That all sounds good, but I have 4 important counter-arguments:

    1. quantum mechanics
    2. consciousness
    3. parallel universes
    4. science doesn’t know everything.

    check and mate….

  10. Ekkoon 27 May 2014 at 12:55 pm

    I think the dualist position is essentially “a gross misunderstanding of the state of our knowledge about brain function, and the intimate connection that has been documented in countless ways between brain function and mental function” meeting the inertia of belief/motivated reasoning.

    @steve12 – you forgot ghosts and automatic writing.

  11. steve12on 27 May 2014 at 1:01 pm

    Ekko – I think I missed the automatic writing, and I’m afraid of what I might find.

  12. Attilaon 27 May 2014 at 1:13 pm

    Sean Carroll touched on how much we know about reality in the afterlife debate. It is better explained at his Skepticon speech here, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vrs-Azp0i3k , at about 37 minutes.

    His contention is for most physics that happen at our scale we have figured it out. So for a dualist using the receiver hypothesis you need someway that the soul is interacting with the body via the brain. I am also using soul interchangeably with mind. You can then go two ways:

    1. There is an energy or some type of field that is communicating the souls intentions to the brain, and it is some type of energy we have not discovered. This is pretty much in the not bloody likely category.

    2. The interactions follow our current understanding of physics, but we have not understood what is happening.

    So we have 4 forces to reach for I would think we are hard pressed to figure how the soul is communicating via a nuclear force, weak force, and gravity. And an interaction with these forces seems unlikely at best. So we are left with electromagnetism this would be possible. Electrochemical processes happen in the brain, and electromagnetic fields can effect the brain. I think someone mentioned trans-cranial stimulation.

    So now we have to posit an electromagnet force effecting the brain that we have not detected before. This is where the dualists are in trouble. If the force has the possibility to interact with the brain why have we not detected something. While we might not understand the interaction it seems it should at least be detectable.

    So unless someone is detecting a signal it seems at this point there is nothing there.

    However being a layman am I missing anything. Is it fair to say if that if there was a mind/brain dualism we would have detected by now?

    Attila

  13. the devils gummy bearon 27 May 2014 at 1:36 pm

    Our brains are RC receivers for ghosts; We are remote controlled by ghosts. Otherwise we’d be zombies. C’mon guys, this is like day-one dualist stuff. Duh.

  14. Bronze Dogon 27 May 2014 at 1:40 pm

    Deprive the brain of oxygen. That should do the trick.

    While that would be a very effective way to stop signs of consciousness, it wouldn’t enlighten us as to whether it’s because the brain died or because the soul got cut off.

  15. worlebirdon 27 May 2014 at 2:08 pm

    “Deprive the brain of oxygen. That should do the trick.”

    That would presume that oxygen is somehow carrying the signal to the brain. This is unlikely. This would rather be like unplugging the radio, as opposed to blocking the signal.
    Not very useful in telling us whether the radio is receiving a signal or generating those sounds on its own.

  16. The Other John Mcon 27 May 2014 at 2:30 pm

    So how would an alien show that a radio was receiving an external signal as opposed to the radio generating sounds on its own?

    An alien could detect the external signal (no luck with consciousness), manipulate/interfere with signal itself WITHOUT futzing with the receiver itself (again no luck), show that the same sounds can be played on materials/machines other than radios (still no luck). The alien could move the receiver away from the signal source to show effect of distance, could triangulate location of a source via several receivers, yada yada, you get the idea…

    The point is that, like tmac and others have pointed out, this position ultimately retreats to “consciousness is non-physical spiritual ghosty-stuff” via goalpost moving. But if this is non-physical it loses all explanatory power or ability to prove, anyway, and is just useless light fairies.

  17. AliSinaon 27 May 2014 at 5:52 pm

    There are hundreds of cases of patients in coma, under operation and with no vital signs reporting having seen not just the medical team operating on them but their relatives in the waiting room and reported accurately what they did and said. This is not possible if they were fully awake lying in the operation room. I have posted a dozen of videos to such claims here http://alisina.org/blog/2013/08/28/why-i-believe-in-god-and-afterlife-now/

    Until that is not explained all this talk is intellectual masturbation.

  18. tmac57on 27 May 2014 at 7:00 pm

    I’m really not sure why we should stop with this one ad hoc hypothesis in any case. There is no compelling evidence for it,so why limit speculation to just one idea (in reality,I suspect there are many).
    Let’s try this one on for size: Because we are outnumbered 10 to 1 by bacteria in our microbiome, I suggest that the collective activity of the bacteria are creating a consciousness a la the Borg hive mind. Much like a TV picture is made up of billions of pixels to form a coherent whole,our minds are mediated by trillions of bacterial transactions to form an emergent activity that we call consciousness.
    C’mon guys lets use our imaginations to really rock new ideas! Don’t be limited by reality,just spitball something interesting.Who knows,it might just catch on. It’s not like anyone is actually going to test it out or anything.

  19. Bill Openthalton 27 May 2014 at 7:11 pm

    Attila -

    However being a layman am I missing anything. Is it fair to say if that if there was a mind/brain dualism we would have detected by now?

    That’s my understanding.

    One either has to simply affirm dualism, making the whole radio analogy extremely hokey, or run foul of physics. The fact is that we can measure the electromagnetic waves produced by the brain, and that we can influence the mind through electromagnetic waves makes it impossible to claim that this would be the mechanism used by the brain to receive and send information from and to the soul. If this were it, we would detect it, and would be able to manipulate it.

    To make the whole thing even less believable, the receiver theory usually dispenses with the sending part, claiming that the soul acquires all the sensorial information autonomously (because it’s supernatural), not realizing this renders the idea that the brain has to receive the return signals like a radio devoid of sense.

    I guess the analogy appeals to technically and scientifically naive people, who do not understand that we know enough about reality to make talking about unknown forces and implicit information transfer rather ridiculous. The watchmaker argument for intelligent design is similar, using the most complex piece of technology known at the time and dangling its awesome complexity in front of a gullible audience. Today’s woo-meisters are doing the same with quantum physics.

  20. Vijay2000on 27 May 2014 at 7:12 pm

    Could the brain be a transmitter and not a receiver? Maybe everything that our bodies do can be explained by the known laws of physics. But maybe there is some entity in some other dimension or something that receives inputs from the brain. And maybe we are those entities without any ability to control anything that the body does, but under the illusion that we are in charge.

    (This sounds wishy-washy, but it is like someone from the middle ages trying to speculate about radiation. If they realized that a rock made of uranium was weird, how would they describe their thoughts?)

    This could be similar to virtual reality rides like the Spiderman ride in Universal Studios. We sit in the machine and have no control over what will unfold, but if we sit in it our entire lives, and are made aware of what will happen a fraction of a second before it actually happens, we might start believing that we are actually controlling the machine.

    Basically, I find it very hard to accept that I am just a highly advanced robot. There must be something that is experiencing what I am experiencing. However, I am prepared to accept that I have no control over what I will do, and the belief that I am in charge of my body is just an illusion.

  21. Bill Openthalton 27 May 2014 at 7:16 pm

    tmac57 –

    C’mon guys lets use our imaginations to really rock new ideas! Don’t be limited by reality,just spitball something interesting.

    I definitely like P J Farmer’s “wathan” technology and his take on consciousness. I wouldn’t mind being resuscitated on Riverworld.

  22. Vijayon 27 May 2014 at 7:25 pm

    (Continuing my earlier comment)
    Likewise, I suspect that even if we are able to build robots as complex as us in 100 years, the robots will not be conscious, unless we link the robot’s CPU to an “entity in the other dimension”, just like us.

  23. Paulzon 27 May 2014 at 8:13 pm

    “There is no more reason to hypothesize a mind separate from brain than there is to hypothesize that there is a computer fairy that performs all the necessary calculations and then feeds the results to specific circuits in your computer.”

    Gods, I was thinking that exact same thing as you closed in on the end there. Nicely done.

  24. leo100on 27 May 2014 at 8:44 pm

    Lol, where do I start?. I am afraid the light fairy analogy that Steven Novella uses is a terrible analogy to say the least. He is saying the receiver theory is too complicated that a simpler theory such as the mind does what the brain does should be accepted instead. At the end of the article he said if the mind is not produced by the brain we should run into anomalies that the theory cannot explain. Well, I am afraid we have such as terminal lucidity, stigmata etc.

    Here is an excellent article by Steven Harp on the brain being a receiver of consciousness.

    http://jcer.com/index.php/jcj/article/viewFile/269/301

  25. leo100on 27 May 2014 at 8:48 pm

    M. Hector Durville did experiments on finding out if there really is an astral body. The subject of the experiment is constantly rapport with the double. Usually this is cylindrical , but may sometimes appear to be a sort of ribbon. As to the clothes of the phatom, these seem to be composed of a sort of “fluidic gauze”. Various sense-impressions are conveyed to the body by the means of the astral cord. the question of temperature is imporatant; as too much light has a detrimental effect upon the astral body. Experiments with the dynamometer showed that the muscular strength (grip) of the subject was always greater after the projection than before. On the contrary, the temperature of the hand, particularly of the right hand, almost invariably fell as the result of the experiment. The action of the phantom upon the double of another subject both being “projected” at the same time; and upon the physical body of another person.

    Some positive results were apparently secured in both cases. Some successes were also reported in obtaining physical movements of objects and raps, and moving the straw of a sthenometer, at a distance from the entrenched subject by the projected astral body, and various vital radiations emitted by it or by the physical body.

    These experiments were cited in this book http://books.google.ca/books?id=PmmmhS-pT38C&pg=PA30&lpg=PA30&dq=m+hector+durville+experiments+astral+body&source=bl&ots=yVonYP6Iob&sig=89iaZGFtgG0dijBpKOIIiUpgwFo&hl=en&sa=X&ei=eC2FU4ymMaKV8QHkrYCgDg&ved=0CDQQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=m%20hector%20durville%20experiments%20astral%20body&f=false

    He concluded like many scientists have that the projection of the astral body is a certain fact, capable pf being demonstrated by means of direct experiment. Also, since the phantom can exist and function apart from the physical body. It may also exist after death. That is, Immortality is a fact thus proved scientifically.

  26. grabulaon 27 May 2014 at 9:38 pm

    @Leo

    Harps article is just a ridiculous amount of goal post moving. He accepts we can measure specific physical reactions in the brain that coincide with the processes of the mind. But because we can’t literally measure ‘consciousness’ he’s seeing up a strawman and ignoring anything materialist point to.

    As an aside I find it hilarious you guys have built this bogeyman called materialism. I find it ironic you basically have to say ‘stupid materialists always have to have a rational explanation. ..’

  27. grabulaon 27 May 2014 at 9:40 pm

    @leo

    “He concluded like many scientists have ”

    What constitutes many Leo, the current scientific consensus does not support a belief in magic.

  28. leo100on 27 May 2014 at 10:04 pm

    Grabula

    Well we can’t measure consciousness that should be obvious. One of the fatal problems with materialism a dead end you can call it is the fact that consciousness is subjective if you are going to say that brain activity is consciousness itself then you have turned it all around by saying consciousness is physical. But consciousness isn’t physical at all its subjective.

  29. grabulaon 27 May 2014 at 10:50 pm

    @leo

    We can certainly measure the effect altering the physical brain has on the mind. In fact Dr. Novella points out that is understood more than most people really know. Anti-materialists have not been able to touch the fact that changing the brain changes the mind in highly predictable ways.

  30. Ekkoon 28 May 2014 at 12:06 am

    “Lol, where do I start?. I am afraid the light fairy analogy that Steven Novella uses is a terrible analogy to say the least. He is saying the receiver theory is too complicated that a simpler theory such as the mind does what the brain does should be accepted instead. At the end of the article he said if the mind is not produced by the brain we should run into anomalies that the theory cannot explain. Well, I am afraid we have such as terminal lucidity, stigmata etc.”

    Hahaha – this is too funny.

  31. Bill Openthalton 28 May 2014 at 3:23 am

    leo100 –

    Well we can’t measure consciousness that should be obvious.

    You can’t even define consciousness. Don’t get me started on your “something out there somewhere somehow non-physical but sending information to the brain but somehow not needing to receive anything because magically it has access to all experiences and memories even if the brain is damaged so that I remain whole once and alive after I’m dead” drivel.

    It’s the same “OMG we cannot be just animals” reaction people had to Darwin.

  32. leo100on 28 May 2014 at 8:30 am

    Grabula, but is electrical activity the same as consciousness no it isn’t. Can the brain affect the mind in highly predictable ways like you said? yes, sure it can no dualist denies that. Steven Novella is putting up a strawman.

    Bill

    Well I can at least give it a substance something tangible where you materialists like us to believe consciousness can magically be produced by electrical brain activity.

  33. Mr Qwertyon 28 May 2014 at 8:45 am

    leo100,
    > Grabula, but is electrical activity the same as consciousness no it isn’t.

    How can you make a claim like that when you cannot even define consciousness?

    leo100,
    > Can the brain affect the mind in highly predictable ways like you said? yes, sure it can no dualist denies that. Steven Novella is putting up a strawman.

    No, you have just made a straw man.

    Steve does not mention consciousness anywhere in the article.

    Steve is not saying that dualists deny or not deny that, he is putting it forward as an example of a logical, science based theory on brain function that does not require magic.

    > Well I can at least give it a substance something tangible where you materialists like us to believe consciousness can magically be produced by electrical brain activity.

    Your sentence begins with nonsense and ends with a straw man. Bravo!

  34. Aardwarkon 28 May 2014 at 9:00 am

    When we materialists (I strongly prefer ‘physicalists’) say that dualism is exactly as necessary for the explanation of consciousness as the charmingly invoked light bulb fairy would be for the explanation of electrical heating – and consequent lighting up – of a tungsten filament, what we are adressing is dualism of substance. This is very important, because it would also mean building a straw man to claim that physicalists deny that there is a phenomenological distinction between a subjective experience and its neurological correlate. On the contrary, the relation of the two is one of the most important areas of scientific research, philosophical analysis and human thought in general – what David Chalmers named ‘The Hard Problem’.

    All the more reason, I think, to steer well clear of any explanation that requires / depends on (substantial) dualism, i.e. existance of an immaterial soul. To accept such a notion would deny any hope for improving our answers to existing questions or improving our questions to existing answers, so that our understanding of Nature (and that includes ourselves and the organ we use for the process of understanding) might progress.

  35. leo100on 28 May 2014 at 11:20 am

    Mr Qwerty

    Looks like you didn’t pay any attention to his post he said and I quote “The hypothesis, however, is dependent upon a gross misunderstanding of the state of our knowledge about brain function, and the intimate connection that has been documented in countless ways between brain function and mental function”. How, is that a strawman? I am simply stating that no dualist denies the very strong connection between the mind and brain. Its nonsense to believe that somehow consciousness can come out of electrical brain activity its like a a magic rabbit jumping out of a hat.

  36. Steven Novellaon 28 May 2014 at 11:46 am

    leo – The strawman is yours. I clearly stated that dualists acknowledge there is some correlation – they underestimate its magnitude, and the details that strongly suggest that it is brain function that is the underlying cause of conscious subjective experience.

    Your next statement is just a naked assertion – on what basis would you conclude that consciousness cannot be a manifestation of brain activity? There is no magic necessary.

    From your previous comments you are also attempting to establish as a factual premise that psi abilities exist – but these have not been proven scientifically. Far from it. These remain fringe claims because the scientific evidence is either crap or negative. There is no psi phenomenon that demonstrates a clear positive result, with good signal to noise, and independently reproducible. It simply doesn’t exist.

  37. Steven Novellaon 28 May 2014 at 11:54 am

    AliSina (your link is not working) – those cases are not well documented. They were not controlled, and we have no idea how much cold-reading type evolution of the narrative took place. They are useless as scientific evidence.

    The burden is actually on you to document consciousness absent brain function. Such evidence does not exist. There are preliminary controlled studies that are negative, and a larger study about to be published. We’ll see what that shows. In these studies they have information placed in the operating room or ED that can only be seen from the vantage of someone floating near the ceiling. So far no one has reported the content of such information, but again we are awaiting the latest study.

  38. leo100on 28 May 2014 at 12:25 pm

    @Steven Novella

    Where exactly would that be? nowhere, in your article can I find that and you call dualists mostly non neuroscientists who have no vast knowledge of the magnitude as you call it of the correlation. Like, dualists don’t know that a simple blow to the head radically effects consciousness or how drinking alcohol affects a person’s thoughts. You got to give me a break we do. Because brain activity is nothing like consciousness, electrical activity is a physical thing consciousness isn’t.

    Well I would advise to actually look at the evidence for psi phenomenon with a open mind. Not too open that your brain falls out but open enough to at least realize that the evidence meets at least the scientific standards.

  39. leo100on 28 May 2014 at 12:29 pm

    Well I would advise you to actually look at the evidence for psi phenomenon with a open mind. Not too open that your brain falls out but open enough to at least realize that the evidence meets at least the scientific standards. So it looks like the strawman is yours Steven but your trying to pass it on me. I will admit your a very smart man Steven and that is why you can get away with sweeping statements such as mind is what the brain does. No one here hardly would question you on it because of your qualifications in neuroscience.

  40. Steven Novellaon 28 May 2014 at 12:45 pm

    leo – you completely missed one of my major points. The correlation goes beyond head injury or alcohol diminishing consciousness. You can make specific changes to subjective experience by altering or damaging specific circuits in the brain. I have multiple examples. There are countless more.

    Saying that consciousness is not physical is meaningless. Consciousness refers to a process, not a thing. The brain is the thing, consciousness is a function of the brain. Saying that a process is not physical is just meaningless wordplay – and it seems to be your entire premise.

    I have looked very deeply into the evidence for psi. I have written about it many times. If you think it is real, then please provide me with references documenting a psi phenomenon that is objective (rigorous methodology), measurable, with reasonable signal to noise ratio, and independently reproducible. I am saying – after years of searching, of challenging proponents, and of publicly writing on this topic – that it doesn’t exist. Every single time someone claims to me that it does, and I push them for references, they reference crappy research, one-off studies, discredited research, or the like. Never what I ask for.

  41. ccbowerson 28 May 2014 at 12:47 pm

    “Because brain activity is nothing like consciousness, electrical activity is a physical thing consciousness isn’t. ”

    Leo- You are confusing yourself with language. Do you feel the same way about digestion? Digestion is what the GI tract does, yet digestion is not physical. Does this cause you to be a dualist about digestion, photosynthesis, respiration, etc? These are human concepts about certain processes that take place within the physiology. Making these concepts intectually does not create new entities.

    Your arguments and the way you talk about them assume dualism, so you are essentially begging the question and you don’t seem to realize it.

  42. Ekkoon 28 May 2014 at 12:57 pm

    leo has already referenced his “studies” in the After the Afterlife Debate comments. They are either links to books where cool stuff happened or they are “crappy research, one-off studies, discredited research, or the like”.
    “open enough to at least realize that the evidence meets at least the scientific standards”
    It’s been repeatedly pointed out to you, for a myriad of reasons, why the evidence does NOT meet scientific standards.
    leo I hope one day you look back on these comments and cringe because that will mean you have learned something but personally I’m going to stick to my theory that you are just trolling.

  43. midnightrunner2014on 28 May 2014 at 1:14 pm

    Leo100′s comment on 27 May 2014 at 8:48 pm which mentioned the test of an alleged astral body experiment from the occultist Hector Durville as “Immortality is a fact thus proved scientifically” was copied and pasted from:

    http://paranormalandlifeafterdeath.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/m-hector-durvilles-experiments-on.html

    On a second visit it looks like this may be his own blog, as he recently wrote:

    “A little update on this post I was recently discussing how the mind is probably not produced by the brain on Steven Novella’s blog called Neurologica. The whole thing was a waste of time I knew it would it be but I though maybe just maybe one of the skeptics on there was open minded to at least admit that there is strong evidence for an afterlife and psi phenomena and say I don’t know if there is or isn’t an afterlife.”

    http://paranormalandlifeafterdeath.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/the-afterlife-debate-is-death-is-final.html

    As for Hector Durville he was a French occultist who practiced “animal magnetism”. This has been discredited. For criticism of those experiments into “astral bodies” in the séance room see Milbourne Christopher’s book “Search for the Soul” (1979). It is the best book on the subject that looks at all the attempts of early parapsychologists to measure or weigh an “astral body” or “soul”.

    Christopher discusses the flaws in these experiments, most famously the ones by Dr. Duncan MacDougall who claimed to measure the soul The book also discusses the experiments of physicist R. A. Watters who chopped up loads of insects in a chamber and claimed to have observed their soul on camera. According to Christopher the pictures depict dust. The experiments contained sloppy controls and were never replicated by the scientific community.

    More about Watters here: http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/R._A._Watters

  44. The Other John Mcon 28 May 2014 at 1:17 pm

    ANOTHER troll flogging their blog! Arrgghh!! Leo almost had us believing he sincerely wanted honest feedback on his views. How silly of us.

  45. Mlemaon 28 May 2014 at 1:32 pm

    Aardwark – i think that was well said

  46. midnightrunner2014on 28 May 2014 at 1:41 pm

    I would like to know what a dualist’s response would be to this comment from Victor Stenger:

    “Considerable evidence exists for the hypothesis that what we call mind and consciousness result from mechanisms in a purely material brain. If we have disembodied souls that, as most religions teach, are responsible for our thoughts, dreams, personalities, and emotions, then these should not be affected by drugs. But they are. They should not be affected by disease. But they are. They should
    not be affected by brain injuries. But they are. Brain scans today can locate the portions of the brain where different types of thoughts arise, including emotions. When that part of the brain has been destroyed by surgery or injury, those types of thoughts disappear. As brain function decreases we lose consciousness, as when under full anesthesia. Why would that happen if consciousness arose from an immaterial soul? There is no objective evidence that brain function stops entirely during a reported NDE.”

    Victor J. Stenger “Life after Death: Examining the Evidence. In The End of Christianity edited by John W. Loftus, Prometheus Books, Amherst, NY, 2011.

  47. SunOfErison 28 May 2014 at 1:47 pm

    To me this underscore a real need to educate more people on the principles of Emergence. It’s like the gnomes from South Park:

    1. Physical Brain
    2. ?
    3. Consciousness

    Understanding that step 2 is an emerging system seems to get lost in the shuffle by simply equating it to “electrical brain activity.” There’s much more going on than that.

    A deep and thorough understanding of emergence helps immensely in making sense of step 2. (Aside:Although I still think it needs a lot more research to start to understand how the smaller behavioral rules manifest as organizational patterns to use practically).

    I’m unclear why the brain requires this phantom “receivership”, when no similar claim is made about an ant hive. Similar principle. No centralized control, no single ant has the whole view, just a collection of individuals making individual decisions (http://inspiringscience.net/2012/08/28/how-does-an-ant-colony-coordinate-its-behaviour/). Where are the arguments that the hive itself is a “receiver” from some “ant soul” to explain the organizational complexity of the hive itself and how tasks and work is accomplished?

  48. steve12on 28 May 2014 at 1:48 pm

    I think BJ7 was the first to point it out – but Leo is a dirty copy/paste troll and should never be responded to, as tempting as it is.

  49. leo100on 28 May 2014 at 1:51 pm

    Midnightrunner

    So his criticism is true because he said so?. Yes good old rational wiki a very trustworthy site for sure lol. It has made huge misrepresenting people such as Michael Prescott and Michael E Tymn so why should I take this site seriously?.

    I got your point loud and clear Steven Novella no dualist denies that you can make specific changes to subjective consciousness. The dependency is very strong between the mind and brain I don’t doubt that nor does other dualists either. What matters is what type of dependency is it productive or permissive or transmissive function as William James mentioned before in his article on two objection against the doctrine against immortality. Is there anything subjective that we know of besides consciousness that is a process of something else that is physical besides the brain?. As you assume along with other materialists. Plus assuming consciousness is a process is reductionism your ignoring the reality of consciousness by assuming its a process.

  50. steve12on 28 May 2014 at 1:55 pm

    “When we materialists (I strongly prefer ‘physicalists’) say that dualism is exactly as necessary for the explanation of consciousness as the charmingly invoked light bulb fairy would be for the explanation of electrical heating – and consequent lighting up – of a tungsten filament, what we are adressing is dualism of substance. This is very important, because it would also mean building a straw man to claim that physicalists deny that there is a phenomenological distinction between a subjective experience and its neurological correlate. ”

    But subjective experience is the result of brain processes in the same way that light is the result of heating tungsten. We treat consciousness is if it has special status, but we really have no scientific reason for doing so. It’s implicit dualism.

    “On the contrary, the relation of the two is one of the most important areas of scientific research, philosophical analysis and human thought in general – what David Chalmers named ‘The Hard Problem’.”

    I disagree. I don’t think science is going to find a satisfactory answer to the hard problem any more than it’s going to give you a satisfactory answer to why you love your kids. We can describe the processes, break them down, identify necessary and sufficient condition – hell, even make it some day. But none of these things will answer this. It’s because it’s an ill-posed scientific Q. It’s a metaphysical Q, not a scientific one.

    “All the more reason, I think, to steer well clear of any explanation that requires / depends on (substantial) dualism, i.e. existance of an immaterial soul. To accept such a notion would deny any hope for improving our answers to existing questions or improving our questions to existing answers, so that our understanding of Nature (and that includes ourselves and the organ we use for the process of understanding) might progress.”

    I agree with this.

  51. Niche Geekon 28 May 2014 at 2:14 pm

    Leo,

    You keep asserting that materialism is wrong because consciousness is not physical. That is only true if you define consciousness as not being the product of something physical. In other words, your argument is tautological. To resolve this, may I ask that you define consciousness, not the mechanism of consciousness but consciousness itself.

  52. Ekkoon 28 May 2014 at 2:23 pm

    @midnightrunner2014,

    “I would like to know what a dualist’s response would be to this comment from Victor Stenger:”

    I would imagine the response would be that the receiver (brain) is damaged/impaired and so the signal (soul/consciousness) is not coming through clearly. This is addressed by the light fairy analogy in the original post.

  53. Niche Geekon 28 May 2014 at 2:24 pm

    @ Bill Openthalton 28 May 2014 at 3:23 am

    “It’s the same “OMG we cannot be just animals” reaction people had to Darwin.”

    Spot on. Well said.

  54. Aardwarkon 28 May 2014 at 2:47 pm

    Steve12,

    We clearly agree on what is essential, or perhaps we agree completely, but for some clumsiness in my use of language.

    What I really wished to emphasize was that after we (hopefully some day) gain a full understanding of the physical processes that consciousness is the result of, there will still remain the question of qualia – the Hard Problem. Perhaps we can shrug and say that this requires no further explanation. On the other hand, perhaps it is precisely in some future insight(s) that would allow us to reframe this question (admittedly perhaps not as strictly scientific, but not necessarily as metaphysical either) that the way forward may actually lie.

  55. Hosson 28 May 2014 at 2:58 pm

    AliSina
    “There are hundreds of cases of patients in coma, under operation and with no vital signs reporting having seen not just the medical team operating on them but their relatives in the waiting room and reported accurately what they did and said. This is not possible if they were fully awake lying in the operation room. I have posted a dozen of videos to such claims here [Link]
    Until that is not explained all this talk is intellectual masturbation.”

    I don’t deny that people have near death experiences, but I believe the burden of proof has not been met with the claim that the experiences happen outside of the brain. The evidence you present for the claim that consciousness happens outside of the brain has no controls and is a mixture of hearsay and testimonials. This is weak evidence, and to suggest the evidence is anything but weak is dishonest.

    Dr Novella has written in the past about NDE and gives a few possibilities for their explanations.
    http://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/studying-near-death-experiences/
    http://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/more-on-near-death-experiences/

    On a side note, the AWARENESS study by Dr Sam Parina has completed its first phase and has been submitted for peer review. http://www.horizonresearch.org/main_page.php?cat_id=293

    “The skeptics explain that when the brain is deprived of oxygen it hallucinates. This is just their theory.” – Ali Sina ‘Why I Believe in god and the Afterlife Now’

    It is a natural explanation that does not fit your conclusion. You fail to rule these explanations out, but you’re more than happy to just ignore them.

    I have a feeling you haven’t investigated any of these claim yourself.

    “New findings have made some to believe that memory is also stored in the heart. One interesting case is about an 8-year-old girl who had received a heart transplant from a 10-year-old girl that had been murdered, began to have nightmares about the donor’s murderer. After several consultations with a psychiatrist, it was decided that the police should be notified. The 8-year-old recipient was able to identify key clues about the murder, including who the murderer was, when and how it happened, and even the words spoken by the murderer to the victim. Amazingly, the entire testimony turned out to be true and the murderer was convicted for his crime. You can read about more such cases here or by searching “heart memory”.” – Ali Sina ‘Why I Believe in god and the Afterlife Now’

    Wow, what a convincing story. This is truly amazing evidence of “heart memory” that was verified by police several times over. There is only one little problem- this story is completely unverifiable and cannot be considered more than hearsay evidence, which is one of the weakest forms of evidence. I found the source of the story, something I doubt you even attempted.

    Paul Pearsall, ‘The Heart’s Code: Tapping the Wisdom and Power of Your Heart Energy’
    “The Heart that Found its Body’s Killer
    I recently spoke to an international group of psychologist, psychiatrist, and social workers meeting in Houston, Texas. I spoke to them about my ideas about the central role of the heart in our psychological and spiritual life, and following my presentation, a psychiatrist came to the microphone during the question and answer session to ask me about one of her patients whose experience seemed to substantiate my ideas about cellular memories and a thinking heart. The case disturbed her so much that she struggled to speak through her tears.
    Sobbing to the point that the audience and I had difficulty understanding her, she said, “I have a patient, an eight-year-old little girl who received he heart of a murdered ten-year-old-girl. Her mother brought her to me when she started screaming at night about her dreams of the man who had murdered her donor. She said her daughter knew who it was. After several sessions, I just could not deny the reality of what this child was telling me. Her mother and I finally decided to call the police and, using the descriptions from the little girl, they found the murderer. He was easily convicted with evidence my patient provided. The time, the weapon, the place, the clothes he worse, what the little girl he killed had said to him…everything the little heart transplant recipient reported was completely accurate.”
    As the therapist returned to her seat, the audience of scientifically trained and clinically experienced professionals sat in silence. I could hear sobbing and saw tears in the eyes of the doctors in the front row. Instead of commenting on the story, I asked the audience if I could lead them in a prayer. I asked the technician to softly play the Hawaiians call a “pule ‘ohana,” a prayer in honor of our spiritual connection as family. Unlike many of the presentations, this one produced no expressions of doubt or skepticism. The very real possibility of a hear that remembers seemed to touch all of us in our own hearts.”

    New findings my ass – more like double hearsay.

  56. Ian Wardellon 28 May 2014 at 4:03 pm

    Steven Novella
    “A more accurate analogy would be this – can you alter the wiring of a TV in order to change the plot of a TV program? Can you change a sitcom into a drama? Can you change the dialogue of the characters? Can you stimulate one of the wires in the TV in order to make one of the on-screen characters twitch?

    Well, that is what would be necessary in order for the analogy to hold”.

    No, quite the converse. If altering the wiring did these things the analogy *wouldn’t* hold.

    Briefly, the picture quality on the television set that can alter without affecting the dialogue or plot being shown, can be compared to our various psychological states. Contrariwise the dialogue or plot of the programme being shown can be compared to one’s self. So, in a comparable manner to the way that the quality of the picture displayed on a television set can change, but without changing the plot/dialogue of the programme being shown, our psychological states are free to change without in any way altering or changing the self.

  57. Ian Wardellon 28 May 2014 at 4:08 pm

    Steven Novella
    “There are two reasons to reject the brain-as-mediator model – it does not explain the intimate relationship between brain and mind, and (even if it could) it is entirely unnecessary”.

    It’s unnecessary? Reductive materialism leaves out the existence of consciousness. Non-reductive materialism entails epiphenomenalism. Those who suppose the brain produces consciousness are obliged to subscribe to *strong* emergentism. But that’s kinda magical. So rather than being entirely unnecessary the filter hypothesis is actually the one hypothesis which doesn’t appear to have any glaring problems

  58. Ian Wardellon 28 May 2014 at 4:12 pm

    Steven Novella
    “The physics of electrical circuits do a fine job of accounting for the behavior of the light switch and the light. There is no need to light bulb dualism.

    The same is true of the brain and the mind, the only difference being that both are a lot more complex”.

    I’m afraid this is simply flat out false. If this were true then there wouldn’t be a mind/body problem.

  59. Steven Novellaon 28 May 2014 at 4:19 pm

    ian – you are wrong about the analogy. Changing the brain can change the content of your thoughts, feelings, and personality. Stimulating a part of the brain can make you smell lilac, or hear a particular piece of music.

    You just demonstrated one of my main points – those who deny the current neuroscientific model are largely ignorant of the type and amount of evidence for an intimate connection between brain function and mental experience.

    And – you are assuming there is a mind/body problem, but no one has demonstrated that there is a problem. Daniel Dennett has it right – there really is no hard problem.

  60. Ekkoon 28 May 2014 at 4:22 pm

    “But that’s kinda magical.”

    Emergence is not magical. There are countless examples in both living and non-living systems. You might as well say evolution of life itself is magical. It is a wonderful thing, but it isn’t magical in the sense of inexplicable or of unknown origin.

    “the filter hypothesis is actually the one hypothesis which doesn’t appear to have any glaring problems”

    This is pretty funny. Where is consciousness coming from then? Is it being broadcast to our brains from space? It just exists in the ether? Or is it the Akashic Records? A Galactic Library of Consciousness? I guess if you consider just blind assertions and ignoring all the mind-brain connections already covered to be “no glaring problems” then yes bingo!

  61. Ian Wardellon 28 May 2014 at 4:43 pm

    Ekko give me an example of strong emergence. Not weak emergence which is compatible with reductionism.

  62. leo100on 28 May 2014 at 4:44 pm

    There’s no hard problem when why is there so many neuroscientist saying there is a hard problem such as John Searle, Chrisof Koch, Susan Blackmore etc. You are making an argument of authority right there Steven. For someone like you, you should know better than that.

  63. leo100on 28 May 2014 at 4:44 pm

    That’s “then”

  64. leo100on 28 May 2014 at 4:46 pm

    Niche

    Consciousness is the inner subjective feeling of being someone. Your consciousness is what makes you who you are.

  65. Ian Wardellon 28 May 2014 at 5:03 pm

    As I’ve said before, appropriate brain damage should actual change the self (in the existential sense rather than alterational sense). But it doesn’t happen. Similarly damaging a TV set doesn’t change the plot of the programme being screened.

    This suggests that just as the plot isn’t a product of the TV set, neither is the self a product of the brain.

  66. leo100on 28 May 2014 at 5:24 pm

    Exactly Ian there never is a existential change only a alterational change.

  67. steve12on 28 May 2014 at 5:45 pm

    Beyond the lack of science knowledge, dodgy reasoning, and vague philosophical buzzwords, Ian uses a semantic trick wherein he confuses the biological and psycholgical “self”. The actual physical “self” and the psychological sense of “self” are not the same thing.

    As I’ve pointed out before, this is just a rhetorical parlor trick, as is often the case with high-minded philosophy that’s really just BS.

  68. steve12on 28 May 2014 at 5:46 pm

    What do you mean by “reductionism” Ian. In your own words, please.

  69. Ekkoon 28 May 2014 at 5:49 pm

    “Ekko give me an example of strong emergence.”

    How about an obvious one: life is a strong emergent property of genes, genetic code and nucleic/amino acids.

    “As I’ve said before, appropriate brain damage should actual change the self”

    You are saying that if I get brain damage, my self will not change? My subjective experience of reality will not be any different? So if I suffer a severe traumatic brain injury, my “existential self” will be unaffected – just like a sitcom plot will continue even if the TV is smashed? Wow – this is fantastic news!! So when I lie comatose in the hospital how can I access this existential self? It would be good to know beforehand!

  70. Niche Geekon 28 May 2014 at 5:50 pm

    Leo,

    Thank you. I appreciate your response. It’s interesting to contrast your definition with those provided by a quick Google:

    Leo’s: “Consciousness is the inner subjective feeling of being someone. Your consciousness is what makes you who you are”

    Other/Formal: “the fact of awareness by the mind of itself and the world.”

    In neither case is materialism excluded unless, as you seem to, you simply can’t accept the proposition.

    ___
    Ian,

    I know you’ve been asked this multiple times, but why is existential change required? I’ve read your blog and you do not, in any of the articles you’ve referenced in recent weeks, define why. You’ve asserted it repeatedly based upon a teleportation thought experiment however you’ve failed to explain why you think that the equivalent of teleportation must be happening all the time. Why is that? Our physical bodies persist. The processes that are carried out by our bodies persist over long periods of time. There is no discontinuity in the conventional materialist view of the body. Why do you presume that there must be?

  71. Ian Wardellon 28 May 2014 at 6:04 pm

    steve12
    “Beyond the lack of science knowledge, dodgy reasoning, and vague philosophical buzzwords, Ian uses a semantic trick wherein he confuses the biological and psycholgical “self”. The actual physical “self” and the psychological sense of “self” are not the same thing”.

    Steve there is no biological self.

    There is a possible self, and there’s a sense of self.

    A materialist can only believe in a sense of self, what you refer to as a psychological “self”. A sense of self stands to a real self, as a sense of a table stands to a real table.

    Reductionism is the belief that all aspects of complex phenomena can be understood by reducing them to their constituent parts. It is the motions of these parts and how they interact together which explain the phenomenon concerned. For example, consider a clockwork clock. By looking at the components of that clock – namely the cogs, the springs, and the wheels – and how they all interrelate together, we can actually understand how the minute and hour clock hands move.

  72. Ian Wardellon 28 May 2014 at 6:06 pm

    Ekko can we have an example of strong emergence apart from life and consciousness (since I believe all life might well be conscious).

  73. midnightrunner2014on 28 May 2014 at 6:10 pm

    Jeez guys sorry to spill the beans but…

    Do you not know who Ian is? He is almost like an online celebrity for very silly comments on the paranormal. He was famous for this quote:

    http://www.fstdt.com/QuoteComment.aspx?QID=9429

    “Indeed it is clear to me that the existence of fraudulent psychics makes the existence of genuine psychics more likely”.

    This was not a parody post, he actually believes what he wrote. He was banned on the JREF forum for such silly comments and has a track record of banning’s elsewhere.

    Debate between Ian here and three skeptics on the skeptic forum, Ian has a history of claiming the Victorian medium Leonora Piper was in contact with spirits or utilized psi but when he was shown evidence debunking Piper’s mediumship, he left the forum calling users biased.

    http://www.skepticforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=21638&start=40

    Can’t win with this guy. He’s been doing this sort of thing for years online debating with skeptics, nothing wrong with that I guess but he’s been doing this for ten years now and in that time he has not acknowledged any of the evidence that goes against his belief system.

  74. steve12on 28 May 2014 at 6:30 pm

    “Steve there is no biological self.”

    You’re saying that my body doesn’t exist? Can you be more vague? (answer:no).

    “There is a possible self, and there’s a sense of self.”

    You need to define what you mean here, but probably can’t in any exacting way.

    “Reductionism is the belief that all aspects of complex phenomena can be understood by reducing them to their constituent parts. It is the motions of these parts and how they interact together which explain the phenomenon concerned. For example, consider a clockwork clock. By looking at the components of that clock – namely the cogs, the springs, and the wheels – and how they all interrelate together, we can actually understand how the minute and hour clock hands move.”

    Yeah, but the complexity and interaction are all studied as well in science. You keep using this critically, e.g.:

    “Ekko give me an example of strong emergence. Not weak emergence which is compatible with reductionism.”

    What does this mean in terms of your definition?

    I think reductionism=meaningless 99% of the time it’s used. It’s a word that people who, (a) don’t understand science and (b) don’t understand what the reductionism means, use to criticize science.

  75. karenkilbaneon 28 May 2014 at 6:38 pm

    I have raised 4 children, one with Trisomy 21, and have been a teacher, mother, and childcare-giver for 35 years. I have a Master of Arts in Teaching. I have taught or cared for children over periods of many years in many different environments, thus able to observe them develop and grow. The last 7 years I have been an adaptive P.E. teacher for students with special needs, ages 5-21. I have taught roughly 50 students per year, some of them for all 7 years, seeing them once a week during the school year. Because these 50 students all think so uniquely, and because the activities I ask them to do require them to actively manifest how they think because they have to translate my directives into an action, I hit the observational jackpot. At year five I had an explosive insight that I am writing a book about. I believe we have been using the wrong definition of the human personality. I have since learned the field of psychology does not mutually agree on any one definition of personality and they have 8 theories of personality, none of them verified, verifiable, or applicable. Psychology is the science of the human personality without a definition for what it is. I am writing a book about the subject and would love to correspond with you. Your ideas are all in alignment with how I see the human personality in most ways. I would describe our relationship to our emotions slightly differently than you do. I believe the only active role we play in our human existence if that of critical thinking, evaluating, organizing, and managing information in order to make decisions about “what to do next.” We are critically thinking every moment of every day and most of our biological structures and functions are devoted to critical thinking, not reproductive success. Our reproductive capacities take care of themselves just like digestion does. To eat and to reproduce, we have to make good decisions, sometimes only indirectly related to the actual act of eating and reproducing. Our entire biology is geared towards making effective and successful decisions, not towards reproducing. All my observations back this idea up, but thus far it is only a hypothesis. I believe our personalities are the reflection of how we understand and manage information in order to make decisions for what to do next. As such, I have figured out that all of our emotions are connected to our understanding. And, when anything challenges our understanding, in any way, we humans are wired with a life or death kind of ferocity to defend our own mode of understanding. Once I understood our biological imperative as making the best possible decision in any given moment in order to sensorially, physically, and cognitively manage the outcomes of our decisions, I had insight after insight about why we behave as we do. I applied my insights in the classroom and the results were better than I dreamed possible. I was teaching the hardest to teach kids in all the schools in our district. Engaging them effectively became effortlessly easy once I figured out the reasons behind our behaviors. I believe my ideas have merit and would love to discuss them with you. karenkilbane1234@gmail.com

  76. Ian Wardellon 28 May 2014 at 6:39 pm

    midnightrunner, the quote — “Indeed it is clear to me that the existence of fraudulent psychics makes the existence of genuine psychics more likely” — was at the long end of a discussion where I was patiently explaining to “skeptics” that fraudulent psychics do not constitute any evidence against the existence of genuine psychics. They failed or pretended to fail to understand.

    I’ve written a brief piece on my blog explaining this:

    http://ian-wardell.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/does-discovery-of-fake-psychics-provide.html

  77. leo100on 28 May 2014 at 6:44 pm

    Both skeptical attacks on Homes and Piper have been debunked.

    http://www.survivalafterdeath.info/reviews/hall.htm
    http://michaelprescott.typepad.com/michael_prescotts_blog/2007/08/how-martin-gard.html

  78. The Other John Mcon 28 May 2014 at 6:51 pm

    “Consider a clockwork clock.” God I love that Ian quote, gets me every time.

  79. Ekkoon 28 May 2014 at 6:57 pm

    This actually reminds me a lot of discussions with climate change denialists and creationists. The practice of trying to focus on or pick holes in scientific theories (note: not the everyday layman’s use of the word “theory”) and the use of outliers, anomalies and/or poor quality evidence as though these somehow prove anything. Unfortunately, this afterlife and spirit self stuff is even more lacking. The climate change denialists could teach leo and Ian a thing or two. I’m still really curious how Ian comes up with these distinctions like “an actual self” and a mere “psychological sense of self” (note: please don’t refer me to any blog posts). Especially considering my “actual self” is impervious to brain damage!

  80. Niche Geekon 28 May 2014 at 7:06 pm

    Ian,

    Doesn’t your argument apply to, well, everything that the human imagination has ever dreamt up? Fake bigfoot means bigfoot is real. Fake lake monsters mean lake monsters are real. Fake alien crop circles mean alien crop circles are real. If that construction is valid, then you are effectively saying that we cannot exclude ANYTHING, not matter how ridiculous, so long as SOMEONE, at any point in time tried to fake it.

  81. Ekkoon 28 May 2014 at 7:08 pm

    I mean I guess the conversation would be fairly circular and go something like this:

    “What is the difference between your actual self and your psychological sense of self?”

    “Your actual self is real – like a table is real – while your sense of self is just fleeting and changes over time.”

    “So you believe your actual self is eternal then in some sense – that it is the same now as when you were three?”

    “Yes”

    “How do you know you aren’t just confusing your psychological sense of self with what you call your “actual self”?”

    “Because of how I remember myself when I was three and because of NDEs, ghosts, and other evidence for an afterlife.”

    To me this is purely motivated reasoning (that helps ignore all evidence to the contrary and all shoddy qualities to the evidence for) stemming from a fear of death of the ego (and the physical body). It is identical to a religious belief in Heaven.

  82. Ian Wardellon 28 May 2014 at 7:31 pm

    Niche Geek, the words “more likely” simply means the likelihood has increased. That increase might be very small indeed. It might, for example, have increased from say 0.01 to 0.011 probability. Nevertheless that would still be extremely unlikely.

    You might be interested in reading about “Hempel’s Ravens Paradox” (ignore the last paragraph at the end of the Addendum, it’s an irrelevance).

    http://platonicrealms.com/encyclopedia/Hempels-Ravens-Paradox

  83. Ian Wardellon 28 May 2014 at 7:37 pm

    Ekko, we all do that — the motivated reasoning I mean. We all decide we believe something, then dream up arguments to support our beliefs, and rationalise away counter-evidence and reasons.

    All we can do is be aware of it and try to minimize this tendency in one’s own case.

  84. Niche Geekon 28 May 2014 at 8:03 pm

    Ian,

    That actually doesn’t address, at all, my point. Does it not apply to all things that humans have ever imagined?

  85. Ian Wardellon 28 May 2014 at 8:06 pm

    Niche Geek
    “Does it not apply to all things that humans have ever imagined?”

    Yes it does. My shorts are blue. This gives evidence for the hypothesis that all ravens are black. So what? The evidence is so incredibly slight that for practical purposes it might as well be no evidence at all.

  86. midnightrunner2014on 28 May 2014 at 8:15 pm

    “Both skeptical attacks on Homes and Piper have been debunked.”

    This is not true Leo100, it seems to me you just cite anything quickly you can find on the internet that will reinforce your belief without really investigating the subject. The first link that you gave was a book review by Stephen E. Braude for Trevor H. Hall’s book “The Enigma of Daniel Home: Medium or Fraud?”.

    Stephen E. Braude is a parapsychologist and spiritualist who has claimed controversially that practically all Victorian mediums were genuine (including Eusapia Palladino). He does not acknowledge hardly any of the skeptical material on the subject in his writings, even Braude has admitted this to me in emails, apparently he has a new book coming out at the end of this year which for the first time acknowledge some of the skeptical material. Trevor Hall’s book does not even discuss the Crookes experiments with Daniel Dunglas Home, it is a book which mainly presents the case that D. D. Home was from a fraudulent background i.e. he made up his ancestry to get in with the rich. Your claim that skeptical attacks have been debunked is not true because there are many skeptical works on Home with valid criticisms which have not been addressed i.e. Gordon Stein’s book The Sorcerer of Kings (1993), Guy William Lambert (1976) essay and Frank Podmore’s criticisms (1910). Note that Lambert and Podmore were both believers in telepathy but accepted the evidence Home was a fraud. I cite these because you have a history of dismissing books as “biased” if they are skeptical.

    We also see the truth of the matter here which is well referenced:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Dunglas_Home#Critical_reception

    Home was caught in fraud by a number of different observers (even fellow spiritualists, see the account from Frederick Merrifield). Most of these exposures are not mentioned in Braude’s book review nor in any of Braude’s writings.

    As for Leonora Piper your link is to the blog of Michael Prescott, which in turn is mostly a copy and paste job from another spiritualist Greg Taylor. Taylor’s essay misrepresents the primary sources on the subject. For example he quotes two early psychical researchers Henry Sidgwick and Frank Podmore as believers in Piper’s mediumship but this is not entirely true, as both rejected the spiritualist hypothesis and wrote Piper’s trance controls were clearly fictitious creations.

    Prescott is a fiction writer and spiritualist, not a reliable source for information on these subjects. It’s well known similar to Braude he is notorious for ignoring the skeptical material on the subject.

    http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Michael_Prescott

    As for his alleged criticisms of Martin Gardner, they have been addressed and they do not stand because William James’ maid was friendly with Piper’s maid, there was a strong link between the two households and Richard Hodgson was not a reliable source for information about the Piper case, he was caught fabricating evidence i.e. lying about séance sittings in relation to information about George Pellew.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonora_Piper

    This information is just a click away on the internet that debunks these mediums with countless references. It amazes me how you can still go on believing in these Victorian spiritualist mediums.

  87. The Other John Mcon 28 May 2014 at 8:21 pm

    Niche Geek, have you considered the consideration of a clockwork clock? That will help resolve your confusion.

  88. tmac57on 28 May 2014 at 9:08 pm

    For the Dualists:
    What is the reason for a hypothetical, specific ‘self’ or consciousness’ to target and sustain it’s presence in an individual for their entire life? How are we ‘chosen’?
    Why doesn’t the proposed ‘signal’ jump from person to person and minute to minute?
    Explain why people have a sense of continuity of self.

    For me,all of the above questions make more sense only in the context of my consciousness being part of my biological being that developed and changed alongside my growth and life experience as a complex animal. And I see it’s gradual decline as my body and brain age. This is what one would expect if the mind were part and parcel of the brain.

  89. grabulaon 28 May 2014 at 9:27 pm

    @Ian Wardell

    I got you here bud, don’t sweat it : Ians absolute proof for life after death- a table is a table, a table painted is still a table but now is painted. A table replaced by a table is still a table but also again is the table replacing the table though not the same table as the first table even if both tables are painted, therefore life after death.

    Nailed it.

  90. grabulaon 28 May 2014 at 9:30 pm

    I think my favorite part is watching arm chair (or table? ) philosophers explain to a neuroscientist how the brain works. .. The hubris kills me.

  91. Ian Wardellon 28 May 2014 at 9:58 pm

    I note that Bernardo contributed to the comments in “After the Afterlife Debate” about a week after my last comment. You all seem to have no understanding of his arguments either! Well . .well . .that’s a surprise :-)

    grabula
    “I got you here bud, don’t sweat it : Ians absolute proof for life after death- a table is a table, a table painted is still a table but now is painted. A table replaced by a table is still a table but also again is the table replacing the table though not the same table as the first table even if both tables are painted, therefore life after death”.

    Very amusing! :-) Be better if you could grasp my arguments though. Disagree with them by all means, but at least try to understand them. How can you you have any faith in the correctness of materialism if you’re unable to understand the arguments against it?

  92. grabulaon 28 May 2014 at 10:35 pm

    @ian

    “The evidence is so incredibly slight that for practical purposes it might as well be no evidence at al”

    Right, observable evidence from multiple sources is slight. Not to mention even when one doesn’t see a thing the same way others do, color blindness, you still get predictable.

    You guys have some of the worst arguments in this ever.

  93. grabulaon 28 May 2014 at 10:38 pm

    @Ian,

    Several of us spent an entire thread trying to interpret your egotistical drivel with no success. The problem is YOU make the mistake of not realizing what the common denominator is when several intelligent people can’t follow you. Hint, it’s not their lack of ability or intelligence no matter how badly you want that to be true. Most of the commentators here aren’t teenagers in a coffee shop you can confuse with nonsensicsl statements and hyperbole.

  94. leo100on 28 May 2014 at 10:42 pm

    midnightrunner

    Well this is good news for me when you said Stephen Braude says that every victorian medium is genuine because guess what? he doesn’t in fact he admits there is a lot of fraud in physical mediumship such as the old ectoplasm stuff. Which was just cheese cloth. Haha oh my god not the rational wiki again lol Michael Prescott made a nice blog post on this laughable garbage that rational wiki spews out on him. Not rational wiki but irrational wiki.

    http://michaelprescott.typepad.com/michael_prescotts_blog/2012/12/irrationalwiki.html

    I guess you haven’t read the actual article I sent you of Stephen Braude’s response I quote

    The accusations of fraud cited by Hall (‘considered’ would be too strong a term) are those of Messrs. Morio (the so-called Barthez exposure) and Merrifield. Quite apart from the fact that Hall was apparently unable to dredge up more than two mere allegations concerning nearly a quarter-century’s worth of mediumship, he makes no mention of Zorab’s examinations of both sets of allegations(5). Zorab’s more detailed and penetrating discussion demonstrates that the cases are far more complex than Hall suggests, and that there are good reasons for thinking that Home was guilty of no fraud at all. Furthermore, although Hall cites Perovsky-Petrovo-Solovovo’s paper as his source for the Morio, accusation (p. 48), he conveniently fails to mention the author’s reluctant conclusion that the evidence seems only to have been second- or third-hand. Nevertheless, Hall will undoubtedly mislead many readers simply in virtue of including that citation in the text. It creates the false impression that his examination of the evidence is scholarly and thorough. And although in fact there is no good evidence that Home was ever guilty of fraud, Hall will probably deceive many readers into thinking that damaging testimony was suppressed.

    You probably just read the part that are keep your belief that this stuff is all nonsense. Believe what the debunkers would like you to believe but it simply isn’t true. Richard Hodgson was a arch skeptic as Michael Prescott correctly put its and he e permitted no such information leakage of the type that Gardner imagines. He once berated a sitter for bringing an umbrella into the house on a rainy day, because, he said, the umbrella could have concealed a secret message! I quote.

    http://michaelprescott.typepad.com/michael_prescotts_blog/2007/08/how-martin-gard.html

    I strongly advise you to actually read both sides of the issue first because jumping to conclusions.

    Tmac those are interesting questions that still need to be answered. Skeptics think that if there was an afterlife we would know all these answers but the truth we wouldn’t because if an afterlife does in fact exist a lot of the evidence would be indirect.

  95. grabulaon 28 May 2014 at 10:46 pm

    @Ian
    Hempels raven paradox is philosophical. It also shows where guys like you go wrong in understanding the scientific method. For example one can safely theorize that most Ravens are black after observing that most Ravens are indeed black. Science doesn’t assume all Ravens are always black, only that most appear to be black most of the time.

    You’re issues with trying to prove science wrong through philosophical absolutes was addressed add nauseum in the other thread.

  96. grabulaon 28 May 2014 at 10:54 pm

    Just to remind everyone about how this is going to go with Ian Wardell

    First phase is spout a bunch of stuff and pretend we’re too stupid to understand him.

    Second phase is to begin receiving his blog because he’s explained the universe there brilliantly using tables and he doesn’t have time to educate you on the subject

    Third phase is to bail once he realizes no one’s buying his crap, or cares about his blog

    This conversation won’t be any more comprehensible than his last so you are definitely wasting your breath.

  97. Ian Wardellon 28 May 2014 at 11:03 pm

    grabula
    “The problem is YOU make the mistake of not realizing what the common denominator is when several intelligent people can’t follow you. Hint, it’s not their lack of ability or intelligence no matter how badly you want that to be true”.

    To quote Bernardo

    “People who are active on ‘militant skeptic’ websites are not trying to understand anything, but rather interested in making a point”.

    Might sound a bit harsh, but you guys are just insulting and ridiculing anyone who doesn’t share your beliefs. There doesn’t seem to be any genuine desire to actually consider and engage with peoples’ arguments. It’s all just playing to the skeptic crowd.

  98. The Other John Mcon 28 May 2014 at 11:08 pm

    grabula: “Hempels raven paradox is philosophical….one can safely theorize that most Ravens are black after observing that most Ravens are indeed black. Science doesn’t assume all Ravens are always black, only that most appear to be black most of the time”

    Spot on, grabula. But even the logic of this “paradox” doesn’t sound right to me, this is from the Hempel link provided by Ian: “According to the laws of logic, a conditional is equivalent to its contrapositive….This rule of logic is incontrovertible.” With the rule being that the statement If A then B is an equivalent statement to If Not B then Not A.

    Wouldn’t a counter-example be: “If I have 1.463 billion dollars then I am rich as $hit.” Contrapositive of this would be “If I am not rich as $hit then I do not have 1.463 billion dollars.” But it seems to me still possible to be rich as $hit without having exactly that amount of money. Sound right?

  99. The Other John Mcon 28 May 2014 at 11:11 pm

    Ian we are too deeply embedded in our own highly cherished and deeply felt scientific belief systems here, maybe if you had gotten to us sooner, when we were young, you may have had a change at converting and saving us…but I’m afraid it is too late for most all of us here in the Skeptic Brotherhood…peace be with you

  100. leo100on 28 May 2014 at 11:36 pm

    Midnightrunner

    Another interesting honest skeptic at least looking at the case for and against DD Home

    http://www.skepticalinvestigations.org/Examskeptics/Playfair_goodskeptics2.html

  101. leo100on 28 May 2014 at 11:37 pm

    I agree Ian and I should just leave myself which is a good idea.

  102. leo100on 28 May 2014 at 11:37 pm

    That way the skeptics can talk to themselves and see how good of a conversation they get going.

  103. grabulaon 28 May 2014 at 11:46 pm

    @ian

    ““People who are active on ‘militant skeptic’ websites are not trying to understand anything, but rather interested in making a point”.”

    I’ll call your bull right here, and again Ian. In the last conversation you were consistently condescending to anyone who didn’t agree with you. You literally only came to spout your rhetoric and generate interest in your blog, then predictably quit when you weren’t being fawned over for your ridiculously incomprehensible way of trying to explain yourself. I say predictably because I spotted and called your pattern and you successfully fulfilled my prediction.

    It doesn’t take a sharp eye to spot your patterns Ian, you’re far from the first and you’ll not be the last.

    Ironically while guys like you and Leo and Bernardino use writers and phrases like materialists and militant skeptics, you fail to budge on your own shoddy logic no matter how much your evidence is refuted. You out together arguments that aren’t understandable by a rational mind while Leo spins his wheels over and over the same territory. On to of all of this the both of you have the sheer hubris to argue with Dr. Novella on even the simplest of subjects regarding brain functionality when that’s his field of expertise. That simple fact right there, you’re inability to atleast consider that someone might know a little more than you is what damn you to the fringe until you realize you don’t have all the answers.

  104. steve12on 28 May 2014 at 11:55 pm

    Ian – I asked you about your definition of reductionist earlier because you use it quite a bit, and I’m not sure what you mean.

    ““Ekko give me an example of strong emergence. Not weak emergence which is compatible with reductionism.”

    Can you give an example of each?

    “Reductive materialism leaves out the existence of consciousness. Non-reductive materialism entails epiphenomenalism. ”

    Can you explain the difference?

  105. steve12on 28 May 2014 at 11:57 pm

    Ian:

    “I note that Bernardo contributed to the comments in “After the Afterlife Debate” about a week after my last comment. You all seem to have no understanding of his arguments either! Well . .well . .that’s a surprise”

    Can you briefly explain what he was saying that we missed? Like an elevator pitch of the what his idea is?

    Do you agree with it?

  106. Ekkoon 28 May 2014 at 11:59 pm

    “Might sound a bit harsh, but you guys are just insulting and ridiculing anyone who doesn’t share your beliefs. There doesn’t seem to be any genuine desire to actually consider and engage with peoples’ arguments.”

    I disagree. Firstly, most people here do not have “beliefs”. They look for good evidence, based on sound science, logic, etc. and come to probability driven conclusions accordingly. Most people here would love for there to be afterlife and have said as much. It’s just that the evidence for an afterlife, psi powers, a soul, etc. is at a trash level in terms of quality. A lot of good questions get asked of this dualist/after life outlook, and very rarely are there anything but vague answers. As has already been said, there is a lot of armchair philosophizing and Dunning-Krugerizing of neuroscience but good arguments and good evidence are sorely lacking…instead there is a blind commitment, a faith, in cherished “beliefs”. Which is fine as your personal choice, but really you shouldn’t be surprised when others don’t buy it.

  107. grabulaon 29 May 2014 at 12:00 am

    @leo

    First your latest link again isn’t good skepticism, it’s true believers sullying the concept by disguising themselves l themselves as skeptics. You’re sources are tripe.

    How about you lurk a while, and see how skeptics engage in conversation. The solar powered road is a good place to start. There are some differences of opinion but we talk through it and then we move on.

  108. steve12on 29 May 2014 at 12:26 am

    “Might sound a bit harsh, but you guys are just insulting and ridiculing anyone who doesn’t share your beliefs. There doesn’t seem to be any genuine desire to actually consider and engage with peoples’ arguments.”

    Nah. If anything, you might say that we’re parroting the scientific consensus. But the scientific consensus re: psi and the like are what they are for a reason – the evidence is weak. YOu think the scientific consensus is BS, and we should accept your claims on the evidence you’re presenting – but that’s not how science works.

    When people are generally critical of science I simply point to the scoreboard. All the shit you’re embracing has been around for thousands of years, and our understanding of the universe (and therefor ability to manipulate it) crawled at best. In the few hundred years we’ve had science, however, we have lunar landings, smart phones, and blogs where people can criticize science.

    IOW, I think we’ll keep the standards right where they are.

  109. grabulaon 29 May 2014 at 12:32 am

    “Nah. If anything, you might say that we’re parroting the scientific consensus. ”

    Awesome

  110. steve12on 29 May 2014 at 12:49 am

    Just trying to be helpful, Grabula. Thought I’d throw him a bone and give him a criticism that makes sense.

  111. grabulaon 29 May 2014 at 1:23 am

    Ian got his chance on the last thread he showed up in to pimp his blog. Then he got condescending and and showed he wasn’t here for intellectually honest reasons. He’s that guy in high school who wow’s a bunch of his stoner buddies with double talk and big words strung in unintelligible sentences. Throw in some sweet sounding book references and between bong hits they all nod as his ‘sagacity’. He’s probably deluded himself into believing the stuff he says makes sense and still seeks to be the smartest guy around the hookah but these days is getting harder and harder for him to get the ego stroking he requires outside of his woo circle.

    Leo atleast generally sticks to attacking arguments besides the occasional attack on materialists in herbal. Ians’ pompous behavior however I find uninteresting and intolerable. He got shredded on the last discussion and quit and I expect to see the same pattern here.

  112. Davdoodleson 29 May 2014 at 1:28 am

    Similarly, it’s plausible for science to consider that fire could be the product of witchcraft because a “Kalahari Bushman” (or some other convenienly scientifically illiterate racist stereotype) might wrongly conclude that a toaster is.
    .

  113. grabulaon 29 May 2014 at 1:39 am

    @leo

    You were asked to define consciousness, do so please.

    Following that, provide your evidence for the brain as a reciever. Note: referencing woo hasn’t got you anywhere. Scientific evidence only please.

    Finally provide us your specific explanation for why the mind is so directly affected, predictably, by making changes to the brain

    You should be able to provide a solid basis in one reasonable length post, and still remain coherent.

  114. Niche Geekon 29 May 2014 at 1:51 am

    Ian and Leo,

    I’m still trying to grasp why you both feel that materialism requires existential change of self. My previous question was ignored so I’ll try a different approach. Ian has used a table analogy several times. I’d like to try another. Imagine a typical hurricane. It forms off the coast of Africa, travels across the Atlantic, up the eastern seaboard of the US before making landfall in Nova Scotia and dissipating. Is it the same storm at the start and end? Is it a discreet entity? Is it a process? Is it an emergent phenomena?

  115. Davdoodleson 29 May 2014 at 2:09 am

    @Niche Geek: “Ian has used a table analogy several times. I’d like to try another.”

    I think the problem here is that the table “analogy” (and indeed the radio” “TV” and “Bushman” analogies) were introduced for a purpose entirely the opposite of the service an analogy is actually supposed to perform. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_analogy
    .

  116. the devils gummy bearon 29 May 2014 at 2:19 am

    Steve’s blog post is a receiver for leo100′s “stuff”. A lightning rod. Oy.

  117. AliSinaon 29 May 2014 at 5:26 am

    @ Steven Novella

    Yes the cases of patients seeing and hearing things that from their bed, even if they were fully awake, could not see or hear are well documented and confirmed by the doctors, the nurses and the relatives of the patients. There are thousands of such cases.

    Until last year I was an atheist. I explained that in my article http://alisina.org/blog/2013/08/28/why-i-believe-in-god-and-afterlife-now/
    The page opens but the site is experiencing some problem and it is slow.

    Facts are stubborn and at the end they rule. Science is not the ultimate authority: facts are! Any time facts and science collided, facts won and science had to change in order to accommodate them.

    Denial is futile. The evidence that consciousness survive the death is overwhelming. OVERWHELMING! All you have to do is watch the hundreds of videos about Near Death Experience and pay attention only to those that have been confirmed by someone other than the patient themselves.

    The tales of the ND experiencers are weird and fantastic, but so is the world of quantum physics. Nothing in quantum physics make sense and yet no one denies it because it is observable. The same applies to the evidence of the survival of consciousness after the death of the body.

    It is time for yet another shift in paradigm and this one is the biggest. The most earth shattering.

  118. mumadaddon 29 May 2014 at 6:06 am

    AliSina,

    “Facts are stubborn and at the end they rule. Science is not the ultimate authority: facts are! Any time facts and science collided, facts won and science had to change in order to accommodate them.”

    How do you determine what is fact? How have you used these facts to develop hypotheses and how have you tested your hypotheses? How have you controlled for human bias? What is the explanatory power of the theories you’ve developed? Where is the body of knowledge you’re theories have built?

    It seems you’re willing to accept the worst forms of evidence to back up the conclusion you’ve formed through wishful thinking and confirmation bias; anecdotes and subjective experience. As has been repeatedly stated here, the scientific method is the best (based on RESULTS; technology, space exploration, medicine, pharaceuticals etc.) method we have for understanding and describing the nature of reality; the nonsense you’re peddling has been spinning it’s wheels for centuries.

    “I explained that in my article http://alisina.org/blog/2013/08/28/why-i-believe-in-god-and-afterlife-now/
    The page opens but the site is experiencing some problem and it is slow. ”

    Keep your argument to the forum on which you’re making it, even if it means copy pasting from your own blog – you’re transparently attempting to get hits on your own blog.

    “Nothing in quantum physics make sense and yet no one denies it because it is observable. The same applies to the evidence of the survival of consciousness after the death of the body.”

    In one breath you’re implicitly acknowledging a lack of observable evidence for an afterlife; in the next you say it’s overwhelming. If the evidence isn’t observable, then how is it evidence?

    “Denial is futile. The evidence that consciousness survive the death is overwhelming. OVERWHELMING! ”

    “It is time for yet another shift in paradigm and this one is the biggest. The most earth shattering.”

    I don’t frequent true believer forums or blogs, so my only exposure to them is when they drift over to skeptical sites such as this. It’s nice to see this level of confirmation of my own stereotype – you really are hitting all the tropes aren’t you, AliSina?

  119. grabulaon 29 May 2014 at 7:35 am

    ” you really are hitting all the tropes aren’t you, AliSina?”

    The trifecta in fact! My truths will charge the world! Is just like quantum physics! And finally, check out my blog!

  120. The Other John Mcon 29 May 2014 at 7:53 am

    I love this one: Quantum Physics doesn’t make sense. My ideas don’t make sense. Quantum physics is true, therefore my ideas are true. Yay!

  121. grabulaon 29 May 2014 at 8:04 am

    I typically don’t bother checking out the blogs of these fisherman but I got bored and checked out alsinas. As you would expect, skeptics are evil, even though he claims to be one. Lots of credulous rationalization based on anecdotes about NEW including done 2 year old kid who ‘remembers’ being a ww2 veteran. Alot, I mean ALOT of bs to get through to the bottom line. .. which is also bs. Serves me right for even looking.

  122. grabulaon 29 May 2014 at 8:04 am

    NEW=NDE

  123. Ian Wardellon 29 May 2014 at 8:22 am

    A lot of comments overnight!

    @The Other John Mc You don’t understand the Hempel raven paradox

    grabula
    “I’ll call your bull right here, and again Ian. In the last conversation you were consistently condescending to anyone who didn’t agree with you. You literally only came to spout your rhetoric and generate interest in your blog, then predictably quit when you weren’t being fawned over for your ridiculously incomprehensible way of trying to explain yourself”.

    I was asked questions and only linked to entries on my blog where I had already answered the point in question. I do not make any money whatsoever from people clicking on my blog. I do not get paid for it nor are there any advertisments on it. What would you prefer me to do? Simply copy and paste what I’ve already written?

    grabula
    “Ironically while guys like you and Leo and Bernardino use writers and phrases like materialists and militant skeptics, you fail to budge on your own shoddy logic”.

    Why would I budge on my position when no-one has provided any reasons to do so? I have yet to see anyone even understand my arguments, certainly they have not rebutted them.

    grabula
    “you have the sheer hubris to argue with Dr. Novella on even the simplest of subjects regarding brain functionality when that’s his field of expertise”.

    The mind/body problem is a philosophical issue. Dr Novella gives every impression of having absolutely no understanding of this problem whatsoever. The same goes to those “arguing” against me in the comments.

    @steve12 Regarding strong and weak emergence. Read this paper:

    http://consc.net/papers/emergence.pdf

    steve12
    “Can you briefly explain what he was saying that we missed?”

    It seems to me no-one understood anything he said.

    I’m not sure if I agree with everything Bernardo says. I gravite towards idealism, but maybe a different kind to him. I’ll be reading his materialism is balony book sometime in the near future.

    Steve12
    “In the few hundred years we’ve had science, however, we have lunar landings, smart phones, and blogs where people can criticize science”.

    Obviously you mean *scientists*. One can criticise scientists when they assume or make unsubstantiated metaphysical claims which many prominent scientists are prone to eg Hawkings, Krauss, Dawkins et al

    grabula
    “He’s that guy in high school who wow’s a bunch of his stoner buddies with double talk and big words strung in unintelligible sentences. Throw in some sweet sounding book references and between bong hits they all nod as his ‘sagacity’. He’s probably deluded himself into believing the stuff he says makes sense”.

    Do you have the same opinion for everything I say on *any* subject? Or does this criticism only apply where my thoughts are in conflict with materialism?

    Niche Geek
    “I’m still trying to grasp why you both feel that materialism requires existential change of self”.

    I explain this on my blog. I’m not sure I should simply paste it in since this post already is rather long. So the link is:

    http://ian-wardell.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/does-self-as-opposed-to-mere-sense-of.html

    Niche Geek
    “Imagine a typical hurricane. It forms off the coast of Africa, travels across the Atlantic, up the eastern seaboard of the US before making landfall in Nova Scotia and dissipating. Is it the same storm at the start and end? Is it a discreet entity? Is it a process? Is it an emergent phenomena?”

    Weak emergence. I don’t actually believe in material substance, I only believe in mental substance. Whether you want to call it the same entity or not is a matter of convention.

  124. mumadaddon 29 May 2014 at 8:31 am

    Ian,

    “How can you you have any faith in the correctness of materialism if you’re unable to understand the arguments against it?”

    How can you have any faith in the correctness of dualism if you’re unable to present any cogent arguments for it?

  125. mumadaddon 29 May 2014 at 8:37 am

    Ian,

    I asked you on another thread where your terms ‘existential change’ and… I can’t remember the other one, come from. I also asked you to demonstrate how this is a necessary condition for materialism. I have checked out your blog but you don’t answer the question there sufficiently either. You’re assuming premises that nobody here agrees with, and reasoning from there. You need to start from the ground up and actually demonstrate that your premises are correct.

  126. mumadaddon 29 May 2014 at 8:56 am

    Ian,

    This was your argument as far as I remember it from the other thread: For materialism to be true, humans would have to undergo ‘existential change’. Humans don’t undergo ‘existential change’, therefore materialism is false.

    P1: Materialism requires existential change
    P2: There is no existential change
    Conclusion: Materialism is false

    1.) You have not demonstrated that materialism requires existential change
    2.) You have not demonstrated that humans *cannot* in theory, undergo existential change. While it may be highly unlikely we’ll ever see a brain injury cause the kind of change that would fit your criteria, it is possible in theory, given a fine enough mapping of the brain and its functional parts and ability to manipulate those parts, to create it artificially.
    Conclusion: Valid based on the premises but not sound.

  127. grabulaon 29 May 2014 at 9:35 am

    @ian

    “The same goes to those “arguing” against me in the comments.”

    Yes Ian we get it. Anyone who disagrees with you obviously doesn’t understand you. It couldn’t possibly be that when they do make sense they’re so childish in thier makeup that they get torn to pieces over and over and over again.

    Common denominator. ..

    “Or does this criticism only apply where my thoughts are in conflict with materialism?”

    Most of them really. You have a hard time putting a cogent argument together. This was expressed by all in the last discussion you participated in, you’re just not getting where the issue lies.

  128. Ian Wardellon 29 May 2014 at 10:22 am

    People complain about when I go, but there’s absolutely nothing substantive being said. And people keep asking me questions that I’ve already addressed either in my blog or in that other thread.

    What is being achieved here? No ones going to concede anything to me. I’m unlikely to be persuaded by anything you guys say, not least of all because of the fact that no-ones given any indication that they understand what I’m saying.

    @mumadadd

    I probably gravitate towards idealism rather than any form of dualism.

    I don’t think I can add anything regarding existential via alterational change to what I’ve already said both on my blog and in the other thread. If you don’t get it, so be it. So getting drunk demonstrates that nothing could survive our deaths? OK fair enough. If there is a “life after death” you won’t be like you are now, so perhaps you don’t consider my concept of survival to be worthwhile anyway.

    I don’t think I have used the persisting self argument to argue against materialism. It’s a more convoluted and obscure argument than the main arguments.

    Incidentally brain damage and subsequent personality change could only create a difficulty for a “life after death”. It wouldn’t create a difficulty for interactive dualism since interactive dualism doesn’t entail there’s a life after death. Likewise brain damage and subsequent personality change doesn’t support materialism. There are *conceptual* i.e philosophical problems with all flavours of materialist positions. You cannot have scientific evidence for something incoherent. Same goes for the denial of “free will”. In as much as this denial is adopting an epiphenomenalist stance, I’m afraid this is incoherent.

  129. mumadaddon 29 May 2014 at 10:32 am

    Ian,

    “So getting drunk demonstrates that nothing could survive our deaths?”

    It looks like you addressed this to me, but I never said anything of the sort. Neither did anyone here, to my recollection. The effect of alcohol on brain state, and the reliable correlation of that change in brain state with a predictable and temporally later change in mental state is used as one of many ways examples of correlation. Nobody said it was their reason for dismissing the possibility of an afterlife.

    Did I misrepresent your argument in my previous post? If so, how?

    “There are *conceptual* i.e philosophical problems with all flavours of materialist positions.”

    Elaborate, please.

    “You cannot have scientific evidence for something incoherent.”

    What is incoherent? How?

  130. tmac57on 29 May 2014 at 10:49 am

    AliSina- If hundreds of videos attested to by others were valid proof of extraordinary claims,then all manner of the paranormal,conspiracy theories,alien abduction,free energy,contrarian cosmology,and outlier miracle cures should also be considered as plausible based on such a weak standard.
    Sorry,but that is an obvious fail.

  131. Ian Wardellon 29 May 2014 at 10:59 am

    mumadadd
    “It looks like you addressed this to me, but I never said anything of the sort. Neither did anyone here, to my recollection. The effect of alcohol on brain state, and the reliable correlation of that change in brain state with a predictable and temporally later change in mental state is used as one of many ways examples of correlation. Nobody said it was their reason for dismissing the possibility of an afterlife”.

    But this is the whole argument that people opposed to a “life after death” make. Brain damage changes our personalities, drugs, including alcohol, change our personalities, growing up from childhood to adulthood changes our personalities.

    Therefore if we *are* our personalities, and personality is changed when the brain functions differently, there cannot be anything which survives our deaths.

    That is the argument! And it includes alcohol. So even having one pint of beer shows there’s no life after death since there’s a very slight effect.

  132. Niche Geekon 29 May 2014 at 11:05 am

    Ian,

    “But — so the materialist will argue — the exact same position pertains in our everyday second by second existence. We have an almost identical physical appearance, almost identical memories and more generally an almost identical psychological state from one second to the next. However there’s absolutely nothing persisting anymore than a table does if we were to continually destroy the table and replace it with almost identical versions every second.”

    No materialist here argues this. I have yet to encounter a materialist that argues this. You misunderstand the materialist position. For myself, it is best to think of consciousness as a process and not an object like a table. The materials and energy undergo existential change while the process only undergoes alterational change. Further, I don’t believe consciousness is a monolithic process, it is a process with multiple sub processes which are able to monitor each other.

    Given that your linked paper consistently uses the phrase “if it exists” when describing strong emergence, can you provide an example of strong emergence, particularly one that can be differentiated from a “god of the gaps”?

  133. The Other John Mcon 29 May 2014 at 11:08 am

    Ian: “You cannot have scientific evidence for something incoherent.”

    Quantum mechanics, ever heard of it? It is logically incoherent, yet absolutely and definitely proven true with 100 years worth of impeccable and irrefutable data. The science doesn’t cede to philosophy; it should be the other way around my special friend.

  134. The Other John Mcon 29 May 2014 at 11:12 am

    Niche Geek: Ian clearly defines “strong emergence” circularly, as anything that cannot be relegated to reductionism. Then he assumes consciousness is strong emergence, and given the fact that consciousness exists: whammo! He can conclude consciousness cannot be accounted for by reductionism. Circles circles circles.

  135. Niche Geekon 29 May 2014 at 11:22 am

    Ian,

    “I don’t actually believe in material substance, I only believe in mental substance.”

    So you’ve solved the mind-body problem by disbelieving the body.

  136. Ian Wardellon 29 May 2014 at 11:24 am

    The Other John Mc
    “Quantum mechanics, ever heard of it? It is logically incoherent, yet absolutely and definitely proven true with 100 years worth of impeccable and irrefutable data”

    Well it’s certainly not logically incoherent. It’s not even weird. It’s only weird for those who subscribe to a mechanistic conception of reality.

    Niche Geek
    “You misunderstand the materialist position. For myself, it is best to think of consciousness as a process and not an object like a table. The materials and energy undergo existential change while the process only undergoes alterational change”.

    I was talking about the self, not consciousness. Of course the materialist considers the self to be a process. That’s the whole point, there is nothing that remains the same from one second to the next. Like one cannot step into the same river twice. We call it the same river by convention. It looks the same, occupies the same area. The materialist says we are the same self by convention. But *in reality* the self is changing (existentially) all the time. This can best be understood with teleportation/replication thought experiments.

  137. Niche Geekon 29 May 2014 at 11:25 am

    The Other John Mc,

    Point well taken. I believe I understand, that many of us understand, his arguments. I reject his premises, many of which are either unsupported or assume his conclusion.

  138. mumadaddon 29 May 2014 at 11:31 am

    Ian,

    “Therefore if we *are* our personalities, and personality is changed when the brain functions differently, there cannot be anything which survives our deaths.

    That is the argument! And it includes alcohol. So even having one pint of beer shows there’s no life after death since there’s a very slight effect.”

    No, that’s not the argument against dualism, it’s evidence in favour of the hypothesis that brain causes mind. It’s one of the predictions that comes from this hypothesis, that appears to hold up in every way we can test it. Dualism is simply an unnecessary layer on top that adds no explanatory power and makes no new predictions that can be tested.

    Or correct me if I’m wrong – what predictions can your hypothesis make and how would we test it? If the answer is, “yeah, but NDE and ESP anecdotes…” then your hypothesis is scientifically useless, so the default position should be to reject it. There are no anomalous phenomena that would even require a non materialistic explanation, never mind any examples of phenomena that can be demonstrated to have such an explanation.

    You still haven’t answered my point about your dodgy premises, or even explained why you haven’t answered, save to say I don’t get it. If you have logic and evidence on your side this should be easy. If I got it wrong, then explain why.

  139. Ian Wardellon 29 May 2014 at 11:48 am

    mumadadd
    “No, that’s not the argument against dualism, it’s evidence in favour of the hypothesis that brain causes mind”.

    I’m not talking about dualism, I’m talking about the materialists contention of overwhelming evidence that there is no “life after death”. Anyway it seems you now agree.

    mumadadd
    “it’s evidence in favour of the hypothesis that brain causes mind”

    Brain changes precipitating personality changes is also evidence in favour of the filter hypothesis.

  140. mumadaddon 29 May 2014 at 12:00 pm

    Ian,

    Sorry, when I said dualism I should have said the filter hypothesis.

    “Brain changes precipitating personality changes is also evidence in favour of the filter hypothesis.”

    No. It’s not incompatible with it, but it is not evidence in favour of it. The filter theory is simply unnecessary – see previous post.

    You have it backwards anyway – it’s not that there is a huge amount of evidence against life after death, it’s that the evidence for this proposition, or any of its component parts, like disembodied consciousness, is utter garbage.

  141. Ian Wardellon 29 May 2014 at 12:04 pm

    mumadadd
    “it’s not that there is a huge amount of evidence against life after death, it’s that the evidence for this proposition, or any of its component parts, like disembodied consciousness, is utter garbage”.

    Oh I see. Thanks for letting me know.

  142. mumadaddon 29 May 2014 at 12:05 pm

    Slight addendum – if all evidence predicted by a hypothesis is absent, this can be taken as evidence that the hypothesis is wrong. Can’t remember what that’s call, but there you go.

  143. Insomniacon 29 May 2014 at 12:06 pm

    As Ian stated, he is in fact not a dualist but a kind of monist, because to him the Universe is made of one substance which is consciousness/the soul/whatever. But I have yet to hear how he accounts for every change the mind undergoes through physical/chemical action to the brain, though to him the brain doesn’t really exist…

    I guess his disagreement with us is deeper than what we’re discussing here, since he doesn’t even acknowledge the physical world as sometimes existing in itself, but rather a construction of the mind, or something like that. That’s why he says we don’t understand him, and maybe the debate should be about idealism vs materialism and not dualism vs materialism.

    Do I present your views correctly Ian ?

  144. steve12on 29 May 2014 at 12:18 pm

    # Ian

    >steve12
    >“Can you briefly explain what he was saying that we missed?”
    >It seems to me no-one understood anything he said.
    >I’m not sure if I agree with everything Bernardo says. I gravite towards idealism, but maybe a different >kind to him. I’ll be reading his materialism is balony book sometime in the near future.

    Ian – read carefully. I’m asking YOU for your synopsis of what Bernardo is saying (very briefly), what you agree with or not, and why. YOu just repeat that we don’t get it. I’m asking you: what don’t we get?

    Part of the problem with you guys is that you throw a lot of vague phrases around, and I don’t think you know what they mean. There’s a real lack of explanatory depth and shallow semantic level reasoning. Show me that I’m wrong.

    >”@steve12 Regarding strong and weak emergence. Read this paper:
    >http://consc.net/papers/emergence.pdf

    I was asking you to specifically explain the distinctions in the examples again, not simply offer a link. I can offer you all sorts of links on all sorts of things. That’s not how conversations work.

    >”“In the few hundred years we’ve had science, however, we have lunar landings, smart phones, and blogs >where people can criticize science”.
    >Obviously you mean *scientists*. One can criticise scientists when they assume or make unsubstantiated >metaphysical claims which many prominent scientists are prone to eg Hawkings, Krauss, Dawkins et al
    >grabula”

    Again, you’re not reading what I’m writing carefully. You’re advocating that science accept evidence that we consider weak and that we throw out materialist assumptions, which are central to the technical definition of science (i.e., you’re for re-defining science). That was how things were pre-science, so I’m speaking to the power of the current model. I never said scientists should be beyond criticism.

  145. Bronze Dogon 29 May 2014 at 12:19 pm

    Isn’t emergence a necessary consequence of reductionism? Two sides of the same coin, right? If you can break a whole into parts that each lack the complex features of the whole, I would think that necessarily implies that those parts can come together to form a whole with features they lack as parts.

  146. Bronze Dogon 29 May 2014 at 12:21 pm

    @mummadadd: I know it as the Modus Tollens Exception.

  147. Pete Aon 29 May 2014 at 12:24 pm

    Human consciousness is an illusion created by the brain, which has usefully served our species by producing in each of us the unique, and obviously apparent, actor whom we refer to as, and totally believe to be: Me; Myself; I.

    To the vast majority, this illusion is so overwhelmingly powerful that it seems well beyond the bounds of reason to even consider the possibility that the self is, perhaps, only an illusion (albeit a damned good one!) rather than being our personal autonomous agent (our manifest self).

    To a small minority with certain types of sudden-onset brain damage the self gradually reveals some of its many illusory tricks as time goes by. Some of the revelations are unsettling, but many are educational, and some are awesomely hilarious in retrospect. The concept of dualism is therefore completely nonsensical to this group of people for reasons that I’m sure will be obvious to anyone who thinks about it.

  148. steve12on 29 May 2014 at 12:28 pm

    “Ian: “You cannot have scientific evidence for something incoherent.”

    The problem is that you’ve not shown it incoherent. You just keep saying it and offering weak philosophical musings as evidence.

    This gets back to what I was saying above. These same type of musings have been around for thousands of years, and during that time our ability to manipulate the physical world went almost nowhere.

    Add science, with the assumption of naturalism and mix of empricism+rationalism, and BOOM – modern world in a few hundred years.

    Why would we turn the clock back re: our assumptions and evidentiary burden as you advocate? IF these methods and assumptions are incoherent, why are they so successful?

    What’s more powerful, rhetoric or results?

  149. Ian Wardellon 29 May 2014 at 12:48 pm

    @Insomniac

    I don’t know what my own view is, but probably some form of idealism yes.

    I’d rather argue about materialism. It is so absurd on so many levels. The idea that everything we see is an illusion — no colours, no sounds, no smells actually exist out there. That the solidity of objects is an illusion. That nothing we ever experience is real. The notion that we have no free will, that the self doesn’t even exist from one second to the next, that there is no objective morality, that we are merely biological robots living out our purposeless lives in a purposeless Universe. All this is unwarranted in my opinion.

    And of course materialism — which ever variety — cannot accommodate the existence of consciousness.

  150. leo100on 29 May 2014 at 12:52 pm

    Midnightrunner

    When you said all of the psi evidence has been debunked. Aren’t you the one that was on Michael Prescott’s blog before as well as Greg Taylor’s Dailygrail. I remember that you admitted that you were defeated. Its hard to have a conversation with someone who thinks there skeptical sources are in fact intacted when in reality they are not. Oh yes I just found you under another name called honestskeptic where you got totally destroyed.

    I quote- I apologise for my previous comments, I have been a dishonest troll. Greg Taylor has got it correct and he has debunked the pseudoskeptics. Leonora Piper was in communication with spirits. Greg Taylor is my hero.

    Lots of love.

    http://www.dailygrail.com/Essays/2013/12/Top-Five-Phenomena-Offer-Evidence-Afterlife?page=1

  151. mumadaddon 29 May 2014 at 1:16 pm

    Leo,

    “I quote- I apologise for my previous comments, I have been a dishonest troll. Greg Taylor has got it correct and he has debunked the pseudoskeptics. Leonora Piper was in communication with spirits. Greg Taylor is my hero.”

    You now owe me two new desks and two new foreheads.

  152. The Other John Mcon 29 May 2014 at 1:21 pm

    Lord Ian, where to even begin?

    “The idea that everything we see is an illusion — no colours, no sounds, no smells actually exist out there.”

    Wavelengths of light objectively exist, color is a constructed perception based roughly on this information from the environment. Loudness, pitch, timbre, etc. of sound again are mentally-constructed perceptions based on wavelength and intensity of physical acoustic vibrations which demonstrably exist in the external environment. Smells and touch, too, are perceptions based on physical analogues in the external environment. What are you not understanding about this?

    “The notion that we have no free will.”

    But we have the illusion of free will, that’s seemingly as good as the real thing for most practical purposes. So what? You just don’t want to entertain the possibility because it doesn’t *feel* right to you.

    “that the self doesn’t even exist from one second to the next.”

    Meaningless statement as far as I can tell. My self, The Other John Mc, am roughly the same individual pattern inhabiting roughly the same body as I was 10 years ago, and you can’t prove me wrong on this, ergo my self exists through time, your point refuted (if you had a point).

    “that we are merely biological robots living out our purposeless lives in a purposeless Universe.”

    We are biological robots instilled (instilled via evolution) with purpose; to do the things that provide us happiness and pleasure, and to avoid the things that do not. Seemingly coincidentally, the things we typically like to do (have sex, eat calories, spend time with family and friends, achieve success, play sports, etc., etc.) contributed to our ancestors ability to survive and reproduce, thus we inherited these tendencies.

    “And of course materialism — which ever variety — cannot accommodate the existence of consciousness.”

    Dr. N already nailed it: Consciousness is a physical process, a particular and seemingly unique type of information processing, carried out demonstrably by a physical object, the brain. What are you not getting? Materialism accommodates it just fine as long as you aren’t in stubborn denial.

  153. Ian Wardellon 29 May 2014 at 1:31 pm

    The Other John Mc
    “Wavelengths of light objectively exist, color is a constructed perception based roughly on this information from the environment. Loudness, pitch, timbre, etc. of sound again are mentally-constructed perceptions based on wavelength and intensity of physical acoustic vibrations which demonstrably exist in the external environment. Smells and touch, too, are perceptions based on physical analogues in the external environment. What are you not understanding about this?”

    None of this contradicts what I said. The world is divest of any colours, smells, sounds, everything that makes reality real. I’m talking about *colours* not the redefinition of colour made by scientists.

  154. Ekkoon 29 May 2014 at 1:33 pm

    Ian,
    “I’d rather argue about materialism. It is so absurd on so many levels. The idea that everything we see is an illusion — no colours, no sounds, no smells actually exist out there.”

    You honestly believe things like colour, sounds, smells, etc. exist in some absolute objective sense? That there is no subjective perception component? That every organism, no matter their sensory apparatus and brain, perceives the same thing? With smell for example, that the odorous molecules have some kind of absolute, universal smell property to them that exists independent of our olfactory receptors? This is what is absurd my friend…
    Those molecules, those wavelengths of light, those vibrations in air – those are real, those exist, those are not illusions – but our perception of them as colours, sounds, smells is dependent on the structures our of particular sensory apparatus and our brains. They will smell, taste, sound, look different to a dog. It’s an interpretation of something real on our part. Why is this absurd to you?

  155. Ekkoon 29 May 2014 at 1:35 pm

    Ninja’ed by the TOJMc.
    But: “I’m talking about *colours* not the redefinition of colour made by scientists.”

    What does this even mean?
    What are “*colours*” Ian?

  156. Ian Wardellon 29 May 2014 at 1:41 pm

    Ekko
    “You honestly believe things like colour, sounds, smells, etc. exist in some absolute objective sense? That there is no subjective perception component? That every organism, no matter their sensory apparatus and brain, perceives the same thing? With smell for example, that the odorous molecules have some kind of absolute, universal smell property to them that exists independent of our olfactory receptors? This is what is absurd my friend…”

    Yes I think colours, sounds, smells as perceived exist out there. They are not objective but subjective though. And percipients will have different experiences — the shade of green I might perceive when looking at some plant might not be exactly the same shade as you perceive.

    The world as we perceive it really exists out there, but it is nevertheless conscious-dependent. It’s out there in the sense it is not the creation of my own consciousness but is something imposed on my consciousness.

    Read my blog entry:

    http://ian-wardell.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/a-very-brief-introduction-to-subjective.html

  157. Ian Wardellon 29 May 2014 at 1:42 pm

    A colour is a particular characteristic experience — a particular quale.

  158. mumadaddon 29 May 2014 at 1:43 pm

    Qualia, most likely.

  159. steve12on 29 May 2014 at 1:44 pm

    Ian: we can’t base science on your existential crisis.

  160. mumadaddon 29 May 2014 at 1:44 pm

    He beat me to it!

  161. hardnoseon 29 May 2014 at 1:56 pm

    The brain does not generate the mind — one of its functions is to mediate between the mind and the body. Data enters the system through the sense organs, and is transferred into the brain for processing. The mind interprets the processed sensory data, and responds by sending data to the brain, which may involve activation of voluntary muscles.

    (Most of the brain’s functions, by the way, are unrelated to mind or consciousness, and involve all the myriad tasks that must be overseen and regulated to keep the body alive.)

    The fact that mental states correlate with brain states does not explain the relationship between mind and brain.

    When brain functions are disrupted, the mind’s relationship with the “physical” world is disrupted. All sensations, and perceptions, including emotions, are mediated by the brain.

    Stroke patients who don’t recognize family members are missing the systems that interpret sensory data and generate appropriate emotional states.

    The brain is FAR more complex that Steve N. implies. He keeps saying it’s complex, but then states that he doesn’t understand it down to the very last detail. Well that implies that he understands most of it. NO, that is a very inaccurate estimation of current knowledge.

    Many correlations are being observed, thanks to imaging technology. Materialists are thereby deceived into thinking these correlations provide understanding. They do not.

    Steve N. uses an analogy of a light switch. The “materialist” explanation, he says, is the one that follows the obvious causal chain. That is NOT an example of materialism. It is an example of a clearly defined and well understood system.

    He says the non-materialist theory of the light switch involves a magic light fairy. That is NOT an example of non-materialism.

    Steve N.’s materialist / non-materialist dichotomy is nonsensical.

    The light switch analogy can be used to illustrate a different point. Steve N. would say that the light goes on and off by controlling its own switch. I would say that an outside agent is needed to control the switch. The outside agent may be a person, or a machine that was created by a person.

    Every intelligent system must have an outer context. This was demonstrated by Godel, for example.

    An intelligent system is one that is able to respond to its environment and deal with changing events. Every new thing that happens is at least slightly different from anything that happened before. A mindless mechanism can deal with things that have happened before, but they cannot respond to even the slightest change.

    A lot of what goes on in our minds and brains is mindless mechanism (habits). But the systems that form the habits can NOT be mindless mechanisms.

  162. Ian Wardellon 29 May 2014 at 1:59 pm

    steve12

    “we can’t base science on your existential crisis”

    Science is neutral between materialism and idealism . . no . . actually science is more compatible with idealism. Under idealism there is no “hard problem” of consciousness.

  163. Ekkoon 29 May 2014 at 2:03 pm

    “Yes I think colours, sounds, smells as perceived exist out there. They are not objective but subjective though. And percipients will have different experiences — the shade of green I might perceive when looking at some plant might not be exactly the same shade as you perceive.
    The world as we perceive it really exists out there, but it is nevertheless conscious-dependent. It’s out there in the sense it is not the creation of my own consciousness but is something imposed on my consciousness.”

    You realize this leads to the conclusion that every organism that perceives an external world is living in a different world from every other organism right? Is that what you believe?
    That shade of green that we see differently makes it so when you interpret it as something that “really exists out there” and is “imposed on” us rather than interpreted by our own brain and senses.

  164. midnightrunner2014on 29 May 2014 at 2:22 pm

    Leo100 you are correct about one thing, all of the information on Greg Taylor’s blog post in the comment section debunking Piper was by me on my account “honestskeptic”.

    http://www.dailygrail.com/Essays/2013/12/Top-Five-Phenomena-Offer-Evidence-Afterlife?page=1

    Taylor’s friend invited me to his website to have a debate but he and his spiritualist buddies never responded to any of my criticisms and I spent over 5 hours typing it all out – it’s just more evidence to me believers are not interested in these cases. For example there’s evidence Piper started her career as a physical medium doing slate writing (this evidence comes from William James, so not a skeptic), there’s evidence she charged a fortune for her séance sittings even turning those who could not pay away, there’s evidence Richard Hodgson deliberately fabricated evidence. I could be talking about the Piper case all day but very few people want to know the truth of it. As for the debate on Taylor’s blog the next thing I knew was that Taylor banned me from his blog and someone impersonated me with a silly comment. The comment you quote claiming “Greg Taylor is my hero” and admitting to being a “dishonest troll” amongst other silliness was posted by a user called “egomanicaltroll”. You should be able to tell this is a parody post by a troll account, it has nothing to with me and I certainly wouldn’t post such nonsense. Unfortunately this is what the internet has come to, paranormal believers or spiritualists can’t acknowledge serious research against their beliefs so have to resort to ad-homimem or impersonations – I have dealt with this for a long time, it is very sad, this is why I rarely engage in this anymore online.

    Anyway as for some of your early comments I won’t mention D. D. Home anymore because I have covered it all here in over 40 posts on the JREF forum http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?t=258077 I originally was going to self-publish a book on Home but I decided to just put some of my research online. There’s various pieces of evidence to suggest that Home used a secret accomplice.

    Back to the Piper thing – The reason of focusing on the Piper case is because it is one of the main cases that paranormalists, spiritualists or proponents of an afterlife use for their beliefs, but as I have shown on countless websites Piper was a fraud. Even most psychical researchers accept Piper’s trance controls were alternative personalities and that she “fished” for information (see William James, Frank Podmore or Henry Sidgwick etc).

    As for your comment “Richard Hodgson was a arch skeptic as Michael Prescott correctly put its and he e permitted no such information leakage of the type that Gardner imagines. He once berated a sitter for bringing an umbrella into the house on a rainy day, because, he said, the umbrella could have concealed a secret message!”

    The problem is that Hodgson was not “an arch skeptic”. He was a believer in mental mediumship and spirits before he began investigating Piper. There is solid evidence for this. I am not denying that Hodgson was skeptical of physical mediumship i.e. table tilting, “levitations”, ectoplasm or materializations (most psychical researchers have been skeptical of this stuff).

    I appreciate Richard Hodgson’s research, I have been reading about his psychical research for over twenty years. He exposed Madame Blavatsky as a fraud, he exposed the tricks of Eusapia Palladino, he exposed the tricks of the slate writer charlatan William Eglinton etc. He even wrote an important paper on the fallacy of memory and malobservation in the séance room which has been well received by skeptics. Richard Wiseman for example in his book “Paranormality” has a chapter discussing Hodgson’s research. The problem is that Hodgsons’ lover (his cousin) Jessie D. died and he sunk into depression. He literally lost his mind. On the day of his Jessie’s death he claimed to have communicated with her spirit. This was in 1879 before he investigated Piper.

    You can read about Hodgson’s mediumship in a very rare book “The Life of Richard Hodgson”. The book costs around $125-300 I am not expecting many people to have read it. It is the only biography of Hodgson. We learn in the book that Hodgson was actually a medium i.e. he claimed to communicate with spirits. After Piper died he also claimed to communicate with Piper’s spirit. He spent the rest of his life mostly in isolation in his locked room as he believed that a “magnetic atmosphere” would disturb the spirits away. Hodgson was not an “arch skeptic” leo100. You was also caught in two cases of deception (lying about various details in the Piper case deliberately). He was very eager to believe that Piper was in communication with spirits because he wanted to communicate with Jessie. Belief is a powerful thing and it destroyed him and his critical skills and his sense of reason.

    Michael Prescott, Greg Taylor, Michael E. Tymn etc and other spiritualists who I have debated do not acknowledge this evidence. I was the first person to publicly put this information on the internet two years ago. It is up to you if you want to accept it or not. I have studied such cases for over twenty years and debated many spiritualists it makes no difference to me if you come to see the truth that Piper was a fraud or not. I also have rare sources such as private letters and notes from Hodgson and Piper which reveal some interesting things, I may make some of this information public online one day. I will not further discuss the Piper case on this blog as I don’t want this to drift off topic. Regards.

  165. The Other John Mcon 29 May 2014 at 2:27 pm

    hardnose: “Every intelligent system must have an outer context. This was demonstrated by Godel”

    Nope. Try actually reading Godel, his conclusions have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with intelligent information processing systems. Keep trying.

    I think I need steve12 to again point out the absurdity of amateur philosophers and wanna-be brain scientists trying to explain to us idiots how the mind REALLY works, because they thought about it real, real deeply so they obviously know.

  166. The Other John Mcon 29 May 2014 at 2:31 pm

    Ian: “world is divest of any colours, smells, sounds, everything that makes reality real.”

    You mean really real reality? Or just real reality? Does this have to do with the clockwork clock thing?

  167. The Other John Mcon 29 May 2014 at 2:33 pm

    Midnightrunner – hats off to you and your awesomeness.

  168. Ekkoon 29 May 2014 at 2:33 pm

    hardnose had too many howlers to deal with. I especially liked this one though:

    “Steve N. would say that the light goes on and off by controlling its own switch. I would say that an outside agent is needed to control the switch.” L-O-L

    I also generally liked the way he tried to school the neuroscientist on how the brain and mind work…

  169. leo100on 29 May 2014 at 2:40 pm

    Midnightrunner

    You seem to be the worst troll ever and your also lying as well. As another commentator pointed out on daily grail and I quote

    “Are you not aware that wikipedia is edited by any sundry, uneducated joe-blow who can operate a keyboard? And that several universities have banned the use of wikipedia, because so many of its entries are rife with factual errors? How about the fact that Larry Sanger, co-creator of wikipedia, severed his affiliations with site because he got fed up having to deal with biased editor trolls and trying to make amends to all the misinformation abounding on the wiki?”

    Greg Taylor had to put you straight because you were lying and I quote

    “The reference is one you posted yourself to RationalWiki a month ago. Please do not lie to readers of this website. I am allowing you to continue posting, as I encourage debate, but your continued deceptions and sock puppetry will not be tolerated any further than this point – clean up your act please, or you will be blocked”.

    Kind regards,
    Greg

    ” The comment you quote claiming “Greg Taylor is my hero” and admitting to being a “dishonest troll” amongst other silliness was posted by a user called “egomanicaltroll”. You should be able to tell this is a parody post by a troll account, it has nothing to with me and I certainly wouldn’t post such nonsense”

    Its called using another user name.

  170. leo100on 29 May 2014 at 2:41 pm

    This means nothing you say Midnightrunner should be taken seriously at all. I am 100 percent sure your wrong about dd homes too just as you were about Piper.

  171. Ian Wardellon 29 May 2014 at 2:45 pm

    midnightrunner2014
    “For example there’s evidence Piper started her career as a physical medium doing slate writing (this evidence comes from William James, so not a skeptic), there’s evidence she charged a fortune for her séance sittings even turning those who could not pay away, there’s evidence Richard Hodgson deliberately fabricated evidence”.

    There’s evidence for this . .there’s evidence for that . .there’s evidence for the other.

    “Skeptics” make all these claims all the time, yet time after time after time, when you start digging it transpires they’re talking bollox.

    It really doesn’t matter if any specific psychic turns out to be a fraud anyway. It’s highly unlikely they *all* are.

  172. leo100on 29 May 2014 at 2:45 pm

    This one made my giggle and laugh at the same time when you were told off by Greg Taylor by using multiple usernames on numerous other sites and I quote.

    What’s more interesting to me is that you post under the username ‘HonestSkeptic’, despite already having a username here that works perfectly fine. Though perhaps we should inform readers this is a habit of yours, you post under multiple different usernames on almost every forum I’ve spotted you on. At least this time (so far) you haven’t created another username in which you pretend to be your opposition, trying to ingratiate yourself with them, which you’ve also done multiple times? Will you be linking (spamming) to RationalWiki soon? You know those hit pieces on the likes of Michael Prescott that you wrote, then denied you wrote to readers here (under your old username here)? I did like the touch though of linking to Wikipedia articles to support your cause, when you’re the one who has been writing/spamming those entries over the course of this year, flooding them with…cherry-picked information that supports just your own conclusion.

    Honest skeptic? More like a dishonest troll methinks. And I don’t feed trolls.

    My suggestion to you? Create a website and post your rants there, rather than flooding Wikipedia, TDG and various other websites with your proselytising.

    Kind regards,
    Greg

    http://www.dailygrail.com/Essays/2013/12/Top-Five-Phenomena-Offer-Evidence-Afterlife

  173. steve12on 29 May 2014 at 3:03 pm

    “Science is neutral between materialism and idealism . . no . . actually science is more compatible with idealism. Under idealism there is no “hard problem” of consciousness.”

    No. This is just technically incorrect.

    Science assumes naturalism. You can’t interpret experiments w/o naturalism.

    You want to supplant science with something else. Science is not simply a colloquial “search for truth”. It is a specific set of assumptions and methods.

  174. The Other John Mcon 29 May 2014 at 3:07 pm

    “My suggestion to you? Create a website and post your rants there, rather than flooding Wikipedia, TDG and various other websites with your proselytising”.

    Leo please consider taking your own advice.

    Ian: “It really doesn’t matter if any specific psychic turns out to be a fraud anyway. It’s highly unlikely they *all* are.”

    Care to speculate why none of these people have taken or claimed the $1 million James Randi prize for demonstrating such powers? Or why they would have all, every single one of them, resisted the temptation of incredible fame/fortune that would befall anyone who could *actually* demonstrate such powers?

  175. Insomniacon 29 May 2014 at 3:10 pm

    Ok Ian I read your blog post. I’m responding to claims you’re making in your entry. You guys should read the bits of his article I’m quoting because that tells you a lot about Ian’s actual position.

    “The world is as it seems.”

    Demonstrably untrue.
    What about optical illusions ?
    What about a mirror ? It seems I am standing in front of me, but is that so or is there another explanation (namely the mirror reflecting my image) ?
    What about people who need glasses to see ? If they don’t use their glasses and experience a blurry Universe, is the Universe blurry ?

    “The answer is that Berkeley held that when I see something I am participating in God’s conception of the world. Our various perceptual experiences — vision, sounds, smell, tastes, sense of touch –is a result of God directly conveying to us his conception. Our perceptual experiences of the external world are a direct communication with God.”

    Ok you’re saying a bit later that you don’t necessarily follow him to this point with God communicating with sentient beings. But still, you’re using his theories as a basis and then modify them so that’s it suits your views. This is not an actual argument against you, I’m just quoting to present what kind of ideas you are thinking of.

    “The existence of unobservable entities such as atoms, although more hypothetical or theoretical, also play a fruitful role in our hypotheses and theories about the world and therefore can be said to exist in a comparable manner to the common objects of our experience.”

    Atoms are observed.
    http://ncem.lbl.gov/images/OAM/dumbell.jpg
    Feel free to ask how we got these pictures, I’ll be happy to explain.

    “The tree is still there because the computer game environment is governed by rules implemented by a computer programmer. Likewise our external world exhibits uniformity due to physical laws, with physical laws simply being directly caused by God.”

    Do you need God for your worldview to hold ? Because if so, you would have to prove God exists first.

    You criticize materialism but don’t you also want to present your worldview and let it be subject of scrutiny and criticism ? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to elude your criticism. I think your arguments against materialism are based on fragile and dubious premises, and materialism is not undermined in any degree whatsoever. But I’d like you to show how you reconcile idealism with the actual phenomena observed, even with our naked senses.

    You can try, but my conclusion is that your view is absolutely barren and fruitless. You claimed in the other thread one could do science in an idealistic framework, but I’m wondering how. How could you account for Cherenkov radiation if not by assuming particles unseen with the naked eye ? You can bring no mechanism whatsoever if you’re only based on your unaided subjective perception. And by the way, some of the things you’re saying are not true or don’t exist are the consequences of what we see, if not with our naked eyes, with a microscope. Is using a microscope legitimate or are we somehow distorting our qualia so that every conclusion we have using a microscope must be wrong ?

    Some things exist while we can’t see them : an electron can be detected. Like it or not, it’s part of your world, and it’s physical.

    Science as a whole is based on a different framework than yours. I think that they are mutually incompatible. If you want to say you can do subjective idealism science, you have to build your own model, you can’t borrow it from the actual science. I’m curious how you would proceed.

  176. Insomniacon 29 May 2014 at 3:22 pm

    By the way, if you accept atoms, which it seems is the case, you can’t deny that matter is mostly vacuum and therefore you contradict your statement that “the world is as it seems”.

    The only escape you have is to say that it’s both : mostly vacuum if you look carefuly with a scanning electron microscope and not vacuum if you just have an apple in your hand and look at it. Then reality is plural : if you put blue spectacles then here is another world !

    And I apologize if the quotes from your blog don’t include enough to make sense (while I’m wondering if they would make sense anyhow). I just took the bits I was interesting in, but I read the whole entry.

  177. steve12on 29 May 2014 at 3:24 pm

    “Science as a whole is based on a different framework than yours. I think that they are mutually incompatible.”

    Exactly. People usually will stop short of saying science it BS because it’s so damn succesful. But when they don’t like something resulting from the scientific method, they try to change the meaning of science itself.

    Doesn’t work that way. It’s been successful method WHEN FOLLOWED. When not followed, it’s literally something else.

  178. leo100on 29 May 2014 at 3:32 pm

    The Other John Mc

    That wasn’t my own advice that was Greg Taylor directing his message to midnightrunner, honestskeptic, egomaniactroll and so on the funny thing is all one person.

  179. leo100on 29 May 2014 at 3:35 pm

    The fact that atoms can be in a sense, be in more than one place at a time is mind boggling.

  180. RickKon 29 May 2014 at 3:35 pm

    Ian Wardell says: “It really doesn’t matter if any specific psychic turns out to be a fraud anyway. It’s highly unlikely they *all* are.”

    OK, well then by that logic we can conclude:

    It really doesn’t matter if any specific claim of 16th century witchcraft turned out to be false. It’s highly unlikely they *all* were.

    It really doesn’t matter if any specific claim of alien visitation turns out to be false. It’s highly unlikely they *all* are.

    It really doesn’t matter if any specific claim of Hindu statues drinking milk from a spoon turns out to be false. It’s highly unlikely the *all* are.

    It really doesn’t matter if any specific claim of body thetans turns out to be false. It’s highly unlikely they *all* are.

    It really doesn’t matter if any specific claim of human levitation turns out to be false. It’s highly unlikely the *all* are.

    See how that works?

    Ian – If I use my vast fortune to pay people to spread the word that you murdered your neighbor, if I convince my friend Rupert Murdoch to bring his resources to bear to convince the world that you are a murderer, if millions of people around the world are convinced that you are a murderer, how is it possible that *ALL* of them could be wrong?

    In the immortal words of Tim Minchin:

    ““Look , [Ian], I don’t mean to bore ya
    But there’s no such thing as an aura!
    Reading Auras is like reading minds
    Or star-signs or tea-leaves or meridian lines
    These people aren’t plying a skill,
    They are either lying or mentally ill.
    Same goes for those who claim to hear God’s demands
    And Spiritual healers who think they have magic hands.”

    Tim leaves out one category of paranormalist… the person who truly believes they have a supernatural gift because they’ve never been encouraged to think critically, and have been surrounded by people who support their confirmation bias.

    Many psychics (or dowsers or others) who get on stage with skeptics for a public test are genuinely surprised when they fail. And they are often all to quick to later rationalize reasons why they failed the test. These people are neither lying nor mentally ill – they are simply unfamiliar with skeptical thought.

    The spectacular failure rate of psychic claims creates a very unfavorable set of prior probabilities for the next psychic claim. This is EXACTLY comparable to patent claims for perpetual motion machines. If you make such a claim, the evidence must be big, dramatic and highly testable. Anything less fails to overcome the sheer weight of prior probabilities created by centuries of failures, frauds, dupes and true believers.

    So, Ian, we all know YOU’RE convinced. But you want to believe, so there’s no work involved in convincing you that people possess psychic powers. Alas, your belief isn’t convincing. If you want ton convince people then you’re going to have to provide some dramatic evidence, far from the noise level, replicated by skeptics. Anything less is just a continuation of parapsychology’s sordid history of failure and unfulfilled desires.

  181. Ian Wardellon 29 May 2014 at 3:40 pm

    @Insomniac Nothing you say constitutes any problem whatsoever. All existents are a hypothesis about how the world is. Tables are, quarks are. Some are more hypothetical than others but there is no strict demarcation. It is a confusion to ask do they really exist. It is merely helpful or unhelpful to think of reality that way. Even the notion of a 3D reality is something we impose upon the world.

    Think of it this way. Let’s suppose the world is governed by physical laws. *We do not need a consciousness-independent reality in addition to these physical laws*. The physical laws all by themselves suffice.

    Insomniac
    “Do you need God for your worldview to hold ? Because if so, you would have to prove God exists first”.

    No I don’t. But even if I did I wouldn’t need to prove it. What if I were to say you need to prove that consciousness-independent objects exist? Or that other people are conscious? Or that physical laws will continue to exist from this moment onwards?

    We build up a metaphysical picture of reality. The best we can hope for is to make it intelligible. We live in a world of uncertainty and can prove nothing outside formal logic and mathematics.

    It might be helpful to read another blog entry by me:
    http://ian-wardell.blogspot.co.uk/2011/03/are-perceptual-illusions-always.html

  182. Ian Wardellon 29 May 2014 at 3:48 pm

    @RickK Various characteristic anomalous phenomena has been observed throughout history and across all cultures. I’ve only skimmed the surface of all the paranormal literature. But you guys seem to have read none at all. Your comments reveal a complete lack of familiarity with all the evidence.

  183. RickKon 29 May 2014 at 4:33 pm

    “Various characteristic anomalous phenomena has been observed throughout history and across all cultures.”

    Yes, like:
    - Witches and witchcraft
    - Demons
    - Many different gods
    - Ghosts
    - Extraterrestrial alien visitors
    - Astral projections
    - Statues that drink, weep and bleed
    - Body thetans
    - Out of body experiences
    - Psychic communion with the dead
    - Prophetic predictions
    - Mind reading

    There is nothing in that list that is inconsistent with human desire, human imagination and human ignorance.

    “I’ve only skimmed the surface of all the paranormal literature. ”

    … while apparently avoiding historical and skeptical literature.

    “Your comments reveal a complete lack of familiarity with all the evidence.”

    Ahh, the Courtier’s Reply.

    Do you consider a large number of anecdotes to be reliable evidence for the existence of a paranormal power or being? Do you find anecdotes for some of the items in my list above more convincing than anecdotes about others? If so, why?

    Here’s a hint, Ian: volume doesn’t equal quality. Ten data points gathered under controlled conditions can teach us something profound while millions of uncontrolled data points can tell us nothing.

    But let’s sincerely try to find some common ground. Give me a recent, well-documented example of a person with a paranormal ability that they were able to replicate under controlled conditions in the presence of skeptics, and we can discuss it.

  184. Niche Geekon 29 May 2014 at 4:33 pm

    Ian,

    Your use of language is imprecise both here and in your blog. In your perceptual illusions blog entry you say

    “Let’s consider the “illusion” above again. If this were a real 3D object and we were to approach it and view it from various angles, then we would see that squares A and B are very different colours. Indeed their intrinsic colours would be precisely as we perceive them in the illusion above.”

    If all of physical reality is hypothetical (“All existents are a hypothesis”) and our subjective perception is the only truth, then how can the squares have an intrinsic colour?

  185. steve12on 29 May 2014 at 4:35 pm

    “It might be helpful to read another blog entry by me:”

    You have figured it al out, haven’t you?

  186. Ian Wardellon 29 May 2014 at 4:52 pm

    steve12
    “You have figured it al out, haven’t you?”

    I think about things a lot. I mean about what the world is, why we’re here, what it all means etc. More so than the average person.

    But no, I know next to nothing. But I do know I know next to nothing. Unlike others.

  187. steve12on 29 May 2014 at 5:19 pm

    “But no, I know next to nothing. But I do know I know next to nothing. Unlike others.”

    You can’t be serious. You’re here saying that you’ve bested the last 150 years of science, but you’re a humble guy unlike us?

    Please. As I pointed out before: you’re more confident that you’re right than I am. This despite me having mountains of scientific evidence on my side.

    I mean, you go prattling on about the brain all the while evincing that you are unaware of the most basic neuroscience findings. That kind of chutzpah precludes humility, Ian.

  188. steve12on 29 May 2014 at 5:22 pm

    I just want to point out that Ian will only answer my posts when I don’t ask something specific of him.

    Look up at all of the unanswered posts – whenever I wanted him to get his hands a little dirty, I got no response.

  189. Insomniacon 29 May 2014 at 5:27 pm

    Ian : We actually know and acknowledge our lack of expertise, that’s what studying science does. In a sense, science goes and in hand with modesty. The more you study science, the more you’re aware of the huge amount of things you don’t know.

    “What if I were to say you need to prove that consciousness-independent objects exist? Or that other people are conscious? Or that physical laws will continue to exist from this moment onwards?”

    I would have to reply that assuming those things exist is a fantastically successful working hypotheses. But I agree that no one can prove they exist. I read a bit of philosophy so I’m quite aware of those questions.

    “We build up a metaphysical picture of reality. The best we can hope for is to make it intelligible. We live in a world of uncertainty and can prove nothing outside formal logic and mathematics.”

    Can’t you prove that heredity is based on DNA ? That water is made of two hydrogen and one oxygen ?

    RickK : Actually, out of body experiences exist and can be achieved with specific drugs for example. So I’m afraid you should have it removed from your list. By the way, I like the quote from Tim Minchin, actually his beat poem Storm is one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen.

  190. BillyJoe7on 29 May 2014 at 5:35 pm

    Ian: “Under idealism there is no “hard problem” of consciousness”

    No problem at all.

    The Universal Consciousness is, was, and always will be.
    Sound familiar?
    He is in you.
    He is in me.
    He is in every thing.
    He is every where
    Oh sing the good Lord’s praises!

  191. BillyJoe7on 29 May 2014 at 5:40 pm

    HardNose: “Most of the brain’s functions, by the way, are unrelated to mind or consciousness, and involve all the myriad tasks that must be overseen and regulated to keep the body alive”

    Oh, earth shattering, life transforming revelation, you! Where have you been hiding all my life?

  192. RickKon 29 May 2014 at 6:29 pm

    Insomniac said: “Actually, out of body experiences exist and can be achieved with specific drugs for example. ”

    Thank you. I was imprecise. I meant OBE remote viewings like Susan Blackmore’s – those that claim to be more than the combination of perception and invention of a physical brain.

    You are right.

  193. Hosson 29 May 2014 at 6:43 pm

    BillyJoe: “The Universal Consciousness is, was, and always will be.”

    It does sound very familiar.

    “The Cosmos is all that is or was or ever will be.” – Carl Sagan

  194. Niche Geekon 29 May 2014 at 7:00 pm

    @ BillyJoe7
    “He is in you.
    He is in me.
    He is in every thing.
    He is every where”

    real thin…

  195. Niche Geekon 29 May 2014 at 7:00 pm

    Or… put another way:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_hkIN38qnY&feature=kp

  196. Bruceon 29 May 2014 at 7:06 pm

    “The best there is, the best there was, the best there ever will be.”

  197. Ekkoon 29 May 2014 at 7:27 pm

    @steve12,

    “I just want to point out that Ian will only answer my posts when I don’t ask something specific of him. Look up at all of the unanswered posts – whenever I wanted him to get his hands a little dirty, I got no response.”

    I’ve had pretty much the same experience. But this is what I would expect when specific questions are put to someone who subscribes to some form of philosophical idealism. Ian’s fondness for tables likely stems from George Berkeley, an 18th C philosopher. Ian already dodged my critique of idealism but Bertrand Russell demolished it long ago anyway. 10 different people’s sense data of a table = 10 different tables because there is no such thing as an external material object. I find it funny that Ian considers materialism “absurd” but the idea that there is no external world of things, only sense data in my mind that must be perceived to exist doesn’t strike him as as logically absurd.

  198. hardnoseon 29 May 2014 at 7:41 pm

    No one knows how the brain works. So neuroscientists and non-neuroscientists have that ignorance in common.

    I am a computer scientist (with a Ph.D.). I think someone in my field might have a better grasp of what intelligence is than a typical M.D.

    And by the way, in case I was misunderstood, I do NOT think the mind is something supernatural. I think it is perfectly natural, but is made of substances and energies not yet recognized by mainstream science.

    I don’t believe in dualism. I think the brain is an important part of the mind, and that it allows us to interact with the “physical” world.

    Does that mean I believe there are non-physical worlds? Not really, but I do think there are levels of reality that mainstream biology has not tried to explore.

    It seems odd to me that mainstream physics assumes there are alternate universes, higher order dimensions, etc., yet mainstream biologists and M.D. seem to have never heard about any of it.

  199. leo100on 29 May 2014 at 7:51 pm

    Hi hardnose I agree with you it seems mainstream physics is in conflict with biology/neuroscience as no where in biology or neuroscience alternative universes the connection is never even considered.

  200. Davdoodleson 29 May 2014 at 8:06 pm

    Ian: “The world as we perceive it really exists out there, but it is nevertheless conscious-dependent.”

    Absolute rubbish. If every human and every “conscious” (whatever that means) entity were to simultaneously disappear the world, and every planet, star, and grain of dust would continue to whirl as it has.

    Or, to put it another way, the universe doesn’t need you or anyone, and doesn’t give a flying fig about your juvenile, self-centered dorm-room-stoner hubristic philo-sophistry.

    You should read Aesop’s fable The Gnat and the Bull some time.
    .

  201. leo100on 29 May 2014 at 8:16 pm

    The universe may have never existed without observers Davdoodles that is what experiments shown in quantum physics. That you need an observe to make collapse the wave function. That doesn’t mean of course that we create reality but it means the observer and reality exist as a pair.

  202. Davdoodleson 29 May 2014 at 8:18 pm

    Hardnose: “I am a computer scientist (with a Ph.D.). I think someone in my field might have a better grasp of what intelligence is than a typical M.D.”

    Good grief.

    “And by the way, in case I was misunderstood, I do NOT think the mind is something supernatural. I think it is perfectly natural, but is made of substances and energies not yet recognized by mainstream science.”

    Is that how you think computers work too? Mysterious ethers?

    In any case, why introduce these “substances and energies” that you “think” the mind is “made of”?

    As so many above have asked, and you have steadfastly ignored, what explanatory power does it add, and what testable hypothesis doe it generate?

    Until you can answer those simple questions, you might as wll be saying the mind is “supernatural” or “Bigfoot did it”.

  203. Ian Wardellon 29 May 2014 at 8:20 pm

    Ian: “The world as we perceive it really exists out there, but it is nevertheless conscious-dependent.”

    Davdoodleson
    “Absolute rubbish. If every human and every “conscious” (whatever that means) entity were to simultaneously disappear the world, and every planet, star, and grain of dust would continue to whirl as it has.

    Or, to put it another way, the universe doesn’t need you or anyone, and doesn’t give a flying fig about your juvenile, self-centered dorm-room-stoner hubristic philo-sophistry.

    You should read Aesop’s fable The Gnat and the Bull some time”.

    Thank you so much for your input. It was complete with a deep thinking philosophy predicated on an in-depth analysis. I bow to your superior knowledge and absolutely deft ability to make an informed statement. I await your sure-to-follow missive which I know will completely obviate the necessity for any further debate on this topic. I intuit that your philosophy has transformed into a complete and absolutely accurate knowledge of our universe. I now still my small voice and await the moment when I can sit at your feet and absorb the magnificence of your wisdom. Please do not make me wait too long, sir.

  204. Mlemaon 29 May 2014 at 8:23 pm

    The Other John Mc,

    “…If A then B is an equivalent statement to If Not B then Not A….
    Wouldn’t a counter-example be: “If I have 1.463 billion dollars then I am rich as $hit.” Contrapositive of this would be “If I am not rich as $hit then I do not have 1.463 billion dollars.” But it seems to me still possible to be rich as $hit without having exactly that amount of money. Sound right?”

    No. Your counter argument is fallacious – an example of equivocation. “If A then B, therefore if not B then not A” is sound logic.

    http://www.webpages.uidaho.edu/~morourke/524-phil/Handouts/Philosophical/LogicAndArgument.htm

    However, I’m not commenting on the original argument. I wasn’t paying attention :)

  205. Davdoodleson 29 May 2014 at 8:25 pm

    Leo100: “That doesn’t mean of course that we create reality but it means the observer and reality exist as a pair.”

    I have no idea what you mean by “reality” in this context, but that isn’t what “Ian” wrote. He claimed that “the world… is conscious-dependant”.

    The World. Dependant. Not merely that the world is, by some happy accident, currently populated by some observers. Rather, that the world depends on consciousness for its existence.
    .

  206. Mlemaon 29 May 2014 at 8:29 pm

    Ian, I can sympathize with certain attempts you’ve made to communicate the nature of the hard problem. But what I wonder about, and am hoping you might address is (you said):

    “Let’s suppose the world is governed by physical laws. *We do not need a consciousness-independent reality in addition to these physical laws*. The physical laws all by themselves suffice.”

    This is very confusing to me. What are the physical laws doing if there’s nothing physical for them to govern? In other words, what do the physical laws suffice FOR? Without sensory data, what is the content of consciousness? If there’s no objective world, from whence the sensory date?

    Also, and I’m not sure if or how this would tie in, but: if only consciousness exists, why do we have eyes? Whose consciousness or what consciousness do my eyes exist in? Just my own? How come other people seem to look at them when they’re talking to me?

    Thank you

  207. leo100on 29 May 2014 at 8:29 pm

    Well Davdoodles we can never know really we could be living in a computer simulation.

  208. Davdoodleson 29 May 2014 at 8:38 pm

    “Thank you so much for your input. It was complete with a deep thinking philosophy predicated on an in-depth analysis. I bow to your superior knowledge and absolutely deft ability to make an informed statement.”

    You’re most welcome.

    “I intuit that your philosophy has transformed into a complete and absolutely accurate knowledge of our universe.”

    Not really. I leave the physics and astronomy to the physicists and astronomers. I’m only pointing out:

    (i) that you are (and forgive me if I’m giving you too much credit here) a little too old to still be spouting that sophomoric hubristic nonsense about how the laws of physics only operate on trees falling in forests, when some great-and-powerful “observer” witnesses it, and

    (ii) That the science is clear that that the world was here long before even your and my single-celled ancestors were around for it to “depend” on. And it did just fine without us.
    .

  209. Ian Wardellon 29 May 2014 at 8:46 pm

    @Mlema

    A reality existing independently of consciousness is a superfluous hypothesis. Nor could we ever know it exists anyway.

    There are selves and their conscious experiences. The physical laws can be used to predict the patterns in our perceptual experiences.

    Mlema
    “If there’s no objective world, from whence the sensory date”

    From God? A collective creation of all minds? Or why couldn’t they just be a brute fact.

    Even if we have a mind independent reality we can ask the same question. What are physical laws? Do they actually coerce reality to behave in a certain way? Where do they come from if so?

    Mlema
    “if only consciousness exists, why do we have eyes?”

    I didn’t say only consciousness exists. I denied the existence of a mind-independent reality. The mind perceives things which exist, it’s just they don’t exist when not perceived.

  210. tmac57on 29 May 2014 at 8:55 pm

    BillyJoe7 – For some reason,I now have ‘I Am The Walrus’ earworming itself through my brain.

    I have to agree with RickK about the long list of ‘anomalous phenomena’ observed throughout history.
    There seems to be no end of things that people seemed to be very sure of that,under objective observation,turn out to be either explained by natural causes,or unique to certain individuals or cultural myths,and rarely seem to happen to anyone outside those belief systems,and especially never happen under controlled and highly scrutinized conditions.
    What would be the plausible explanation for such ‘shy’ phenomena? Is it the case that the non-materialistic world is trying to hide from skeptics and scientists who seek to understand it?
    Maybe I just need a Jill Bolte Taylor event in my life to send me into the camp of the people like Ian or Leo,but I think a ‘stroke of insight’ is much less likely than a more prosaic stroke ,in my future.

  211. grabulaon 29 May 2014 at 8:55 pm

    @Ian

    “People complain about when I go, but there’s absolutely nothing substantive being said.”

    That’s why people complain Ian, you almost never have anything substantive to say. for example:
    “So getting drunk demonstrates that nothing could survive our deaths? OK fair enough. If there is a “life after death” you won’t be like you are now, so perhaps you don’t consider my concept of survival to be worthwhile anyway.”

    You miss how getting drunk affects the brain and as follows, the state of the mind. It’s pretty simple Ian. You keep talking about how dumb people are, that they don’t get what you’re talking about but you miss the most basic of points. You won’t be like you are now…a nonsensical statement backed up by absolutely no evidence whatsoever.

    “There are *conceptual* i.e philosophical problems with all flavours of materialist positions.”

    Again, this is your problem, trying to apply philosophy to real life. I don’t how many times your philisophical argumetns are taken to pieces in no time flat but you keep insisting this is somehow evidence for life after death.

    “But this is the whole argument that people opposed to a “life after death” make. Brain damage changes our personalities, drugs, including alcohol, change our personalities, growing up from childhood to adulthood changes our personalities.
    Therefore if we *are* our personalities, and personality is changed when the brain functions differently, there cannot be anything which survives our deaths.”

    See Ian, I knew you’d start to figure it out.

    “Well it’s certainly not logically incoherent. It’s not even weird. It’s only weird for those who subscribe to a mechanistic conception of reality.”

    See there you go again, we’re too stupid to understand it, but you’ve got it all figured out.

    “I don’t know what my own view is, but probably some form of idealism yes. ”

    You’re out of your mind, you have the audacity to tell us we can’t comprehend your argument and YOU can’t even tell us what it is.

    “I’d rather argue about materialism. It is so absurd on so many levels. The idea that everything we see is an illusion — no colours, no sounds, no smells actually exist out there. ”

    This is an idiotic misrepresentation of what most of us understand to be reality. You build your strawmen by over simplifying then attack!

    “That nothing we ever experience is real. The notion that we have no free will, that the self doesn’t even exist from one second to the next, that there is no objective morality, that we are merely biological robots living out our purposeless lives in a purposeless Universe. All this is unwarranted in my opinion.”

    Again, nothing solid to work here but the same old ridiculous arguments againsty materialism. TIRED is the word I’d use. Nothing of substance here bu philisophical musings, which you’ve mistaken to be evidence for your points.

    It’s objective Ian, we see the same colors, we feel hot and cold the same. Some alterations of the mind can alter the way these are percieved but this is no way makes it ‘holographic’. Objectivity, something both you and Leo miss consistantly, can be tested easily.

    You’re morality argument against materialism is a red herring. It’s a weak argument that’s already been slamdunked a number of times as ridiculous.

    “None of this contradicts what I said. The world is divest of any colours, smells, sounds, everything that makes reality real. I’m talking about *colours* not the redefinition of colour made by scientists.”

    Redefining terms to suit your particular world view isn’t helpful. It’s this kind of crap that people have a hard time understanding what you’re trying to say Ian.

    “Yes I think colours, sounds, smells as perceived exist out there. They are not objective but subjective though. And percipients will have different experiences — the shade of green I might perceive when looking at some plant might not be exactly the same shade as you perceive”

    I remember haing this discussion in a Perkins my junior year of high school. Turns out we got farther than Ian did in finding answers.

    ““Skeptics” make all these claims all the time, yet time after time after time, when you start digging it transpires they’re talking bollox.”

    Actually Ian, we so consistantly uncover this stuff AS bollox. The problem is no matter how many times we SHOW you true believers the evidence you deny deny deny. In fact Ian YOU don’t even deny, you just make it all up on the fly and pat yourself on the back for confusing people.

    “RickK Various characteristic anomalous phenomena has been observed throughout history and across all cultures. I’ve only skimmed the surface of all the paranormal literature. But you guys seem to have read none at all. Your comments reveal a complete lack of familiarity with all the evidence.”

    Based on what Ian, the mountains of evidence we can supply daily that shows there’s nothing behind this garbage. You ridiculously believe in anything magical and call us irrational…

    You’re child like Ian in your understanding of what evidence is, and how philosophy and science actually relate. That’s not an ad hominem, you literally argue like some of my friends did in high school. The difference is they figured out where they went wrong long before they hit their 20′s.

    You can’t even explain your stance succinctly. When asked point blank you admit you have no idea what your stance is.

    Here’s a very serious question for you Ian:

    How would YOU have a discussion with someone who can’t solidify their own stance, can’t explain themselves using language appropriately, can’t understand the boundary between science and philosophy and spends most of his time dismissing anyone who fails to agree with them on their spurious points?

  212. leo100on 29 May 2014 at 8:55 pm

    Davdoodles

    I must intervene here when you stated this

    That the science is clear that that the world was here long before even your and my single-celled ancestors were around for it to “depend” on. And it did just fine without us.

    I think you should watch this video about physicist Andrei Linde explaining that maybe not so. Its pretty short just a little over 4 minutes.

    http://www.closertotruth.com/series/why-explore-cosmos-and-consciousness

  213. grabulaon 29 May 2014 at 8:57 pm

    @Ian

    “Or, to put it another way, the universe doesn’t need you or anyone, and doesn’t give a flying fig about your juvenile, self-centered dorm-room-stoner hubristic philo-sophistry”

    Other than you usual insulting tripe, this is exactly right Ian.

  214. grabulaon 29 May 2014 at 9:00 pm

    @Leo/Ian

    Stop ignoring the direct questions, answer RickK’s question. You’re both so busy trying to slide around and avoid direct answers to questions it’s ridiculous. It’s why you aren’t taken seriously.

    “But let’s sincerely try to find some common ground. Give me a recent, well-documented example of a person with a paranormal ability that they were able to replicate under controlled conditions in the presence of skeptics, and we can discuss it.”

  215. Hosson 29 May 2014 at 9:14 pm

    Leo: “Well… we can never know really we could be living in a computer simulation.”
    You’re correct. Although hypothesizing, testing hypothesis, and philosophizing about our reality being The Matrix is fine, acting upon the belief could potentially bring unnecessary harm and reenforcing irrational behavior and thinking. There are an infinite number of possibilities, and you know what? I don’t have to proven a single one wrong. The burden of proof is on the other side – those making factual claims. Idealism and your interpretation of reality has not met the threshold of proof. The standards you’re using for collecting evidence have major flaws where your conclusions cannot logically follow.

    Non-naturalist/non-monist: How does your interpretation of reality differ from the reality of naturalism or materialism? Do these differences manifest themselves where they can be perceived/detected?

    I’m of the opinion that dualism and idealism serve no other purpose than to justify or a product of other (irrational) beliefs.

  216. grabulaon 29 May 2014 at 9:17 pm

    @Ian

    I missed this doozy:

    “I think about things a lot. I mean about what the world is, why we’re here, what it all means etc. More so than the average person.

    But no, I know next to nothing. But I do know I know next to nothing. Unlike others.”

    This is laughable Ian. You’re assumption that you think about things more than other people is patently ridiculous, otherwise provide some proof. You’re false humility is even more ridiculous. You spend most of your time here trying to laud your own intellect over others – failing miserably mind you. Someone of some intelligence can also effectively communicate. You see it all the time here. You’d best be served lurking here and learning about all that stuff you don’t know.

  217. Ian Wardellon 29 May 2014 at 9:21 pm

    grabula
    “How would YOU have a discussion with someone who can’t solidify their own stance, can’t explain themselves using language appropriately, can’t understand the boundary between science and philosophy and spends most of his time dismissing anyone who fails to agree with them on their spurious points?”

    I can’t. I’m just wasting my time.

  218. grabulaon 29 May 2014 at 9:24 pm

    @Hardnose

    On a neuroscientists blog you state this absurdity:

    “So neuroscientists and non-neuroscientists have that ignorance in common.”
    You ever look up the definition for irony?

    “I don’t believe in dualism. I think the brain is an important part of the mind, and that it allows us to interact with the “physical” world. “

    You’re partially right, without a brain you’ve got no mind!

    “It seems odd to me that mainstream physics assumes there are alternate universes, higher order dimensions, etc., yet mainstream biologists and M.D. seem to have never heard about any of it.”

    Mainstream physics assumes nothing. The multiverse, other dimensions and so on are extremely theoretical. You and leo keep taking these concepts on the extreme edge of science at the moment and assuming consensus just exists. That shows a profound misunderstanding of how science works and the specific sciences in general.

  219. grabulaon 29 May 2014 at 9:25 pm

    @Ian

    “You can’t. I’m just wasting your time.”

    I fixed that for you.

  220. grabulaon 29 May 2014 at 9:27 pm

    @Ian, Hardnose, Leo

    The question the three of you keep getting asked, and keep avoiding is this:

    Given that changes to the physical brain show changes in the mind, and given that specific changes to specific parts of the brain give predictable results, how do you explain this is your make believe world?

    You don’t have answers and that’s why you avoid the question but I’ll ask again anyway, just to prove the point.

  221. Ian Wardellon 29 May 2014 at 9:47 pm

    @grabula. OK wasn’t going to make another post, but since you ask:

    http://ian-wardell.blogspot.co.uk/2009/03/is-after-death-conceivable.html

  222. leo100on 29 May 2014 at 10:02 pm

    Mainstream physics does actually most physicists think we live in a multiverse. The evidence is growing that we live in a multiverse.

    http://www.messagetoeagle.com/evidencepararelluniverse.php
    http://www.space.com/25100-multiverse-cosmic-inflation-gravitational-waves.html

    Hoss

    Neither has your case met the threshold of proof. Your making an announcement that we know what reality is we have no clue what reality is. But we know that reality thanks to quantum physics is far more expansive than naturalism/materialism could have ever thought.

    Grabula

    We have already given your answers but you refuse to even consider them. We are not here to repeat ourselves for your satisfaction.

  223. Niche Geekon 29 May 2014 at 10:09 pm

    Leo,

    “But we know that reality thanks to quantum physics is far more expansive than naturalism/materialism could have ever thought”

    Quantum *is* a materialist theory.

  224. Niche Geekon 29 May 2014 at 10:16 pm

    Leo,

    Please read your own source:

    “It’s not impossible, so I think there’s still certainly research that needs to be done. But most models of inflation do lead to a multiverse, and evidence for inflation will be pushing us in the direction of taking [the idea of a] multiverse seriously.”

    “May… Suggests”

    So not accepted, and not even necessarily taken seriously. I personally find the possibility interesting, but you do yourself no favours when you over state it.

  225. leo100on 29 May 2014 at 10:45 pm

    Niche Geek

    Did I say parallel universes are a fact? no I didn’t I said the evidence however is growing. Could that model in physics be overthrown sure it can. If, you know a lot about physics please give me a model that doesn’t have a multiverse in it?.

  226. leo100on 29 May 2014 at 10:47 pm

    Niche Geek

    Was it brought in by the framework of materialism sure. Does it strongly challenge materialism? it sure does. As materialism assumes a casually closed universe but if there is a multiverse then the universe is not casually closed. Its open instead.

  227. grabulaon 29 May 2014 at 11:08 pm

    @Leo

    “Mainstream physics does actually most physicists think we live in a multiverse. The evidence is growing that we live in a multiverse. ”

    I don’t know how many more times we need to tell you this is not even close to accepted as a consensus and generates a lot of contention. No matter how many times you say it, it still won’t make it true.

    “We have already given your answers but you refuse to even consider them. We are not here to repeat ourselves for your satisfaction.”

    No, you haven’t. You’ve danced around the subject. You’ve made outrageous claims about what mainstream science accepts or doesn’t accept but you have literally not delivered a direct response to my question, posed to you, by many others. again, you dodge the issue.

    “Did I say parallel universes are a fact? no I didn’t I said the evidence however is growing.”

    No, this is literally the first time you’ve acknowledged it’s anything but mainstream – see my quote from you above.

    Leo, ultimately until you realize that the dichotomy you’ve built around materialism and the rest of the world is full of holes, you cannot make any progress in your understanding. It’s approaching dogma.

  228. grabulaon 29 May 2014 at 11:10 pm

    @Ian

    “OK wasn’t going to make another post, but since you ask:”

    Quitting already? In all honesty I thought it would have happened sooner but still falls successfully within my predictions, am I psychic?!

    More importantly, I’m not feeding your ego-train by going to your blog. Cut and paste or try to explain it to use muck dwellers if you can. So far you’ve failed to here and the few who have visited and criticized your blog have shown there’s nothing of substance there either.

  229. leo100on 29 May 2014 at 11:20 pm

    So the physicist Sean Caroll who was with Steven Novella debating the afterlife was wrong when he said and I quote. “Sean Carroll’s observation, “As crazy as it sounds, most working physicists buy into the many-worlds theory”.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Many-worlds_interpretation

    I mentioned that the filter theory of consciousness can explain those observations. You and other skeptics here just keep ignoring it.

  230. grabulaon 29 May 2014 at 11:35 pm

    @Leo

    “So the physicist Sean Caroll who was with Steven Novella debating the afterlife was wrong when he said and I quote. “Sean Carroll’s observation, “As crazy as it sounds, most working physicists buy into the many-worlds theory”.”

    Yes, he overstated the case.

    The filter theory has been taken apart here, including the blog post your posting on right now. Is that really you’re only shoddy evidence for something other than the brain/mind connection?

  231. Niche Geekon 29 May 2014 at 11:36 pm

    leo100,

    “Was it brought in by the framework of materialism sure. Does it strongly challenge materialism? it sure does. As materialism assumes a casually closed universe but if there is a multiverse then the universe is not casually closed. Its open instead.”

    You’ve confused yourself. Quantum is well established by experimentation. Multiverse is a mathematical implication that is not yet verified. How is quantum mechanics a challenge? It’s only a challenge to Ian as it shows that the world doesn’t actually work in the way we perceive it.

  232. Bill Openthalton 30 May 2014 at 3:33 am

    Niche Geek –

    How is quantum mechanics a challenge? It’s only a challenge to Ian as it shows that the world doesn’t actually work in the way we perceive it.

    Not even that — it shows that at the fundamental level, we cannot use analogies based on the level we experience. Electromagnetic waves are not like waves on a pond, as Michelson and Morley discovered.

    As far as the multiverse is concerned, you are so right to make the distinction between the mathematics and reality. It is a fact that often progress in mathematics has preceded discoveries in physics. When one knows how to approach something, it becomes a lot easier to study. But that doesn’t mean that reality always follows mathematics — negative numbers don’t make -2 apples possible.

  233. Insomniacon 30 May 2014 at 4:07 am

    leo : “The universe may have never existed without observers Davdoodles that is what experiments shown in quantum physics. That you need an observe to make collapse the wave function. That doesn’t mean of course that we create reality but it means the observer and reality exist as a pair.”

    This is just not true, this is an incorrect interpretation of quantum mechanics. The collapse of the wave function is just a matter of interaction with the macroscopic world, what we call a “measurement”, it happens even if there is no one observing. Maybe the use of the word “measurement” is misleading because it entails an observer. When you look at electron interferences, individual electrons have their wave function collapsed as soon as they hit the wall, and for that no human presence is required (or that of any sentient being for that matter).

    Ekko : “Ian already dodged my critique of idealism but Bertrand Russell demolished it long ago anyway. 10 different people’s sense data of a table = 10 different tables because there is no such thing as an external material object.”

    Actually I don’t know from which Russell’s work you got this, because I recently read On Our Knowledge of the External World and he clearly states that he could not prove that things don’t exist when not perceived. It’s still a good working hypothesis though. He just says that the perfect coordination of all senses stimuli when you move with respect to one object make it highly likely that the thing is just out there.

  234. Bruceon 30 May 2014 at 4:42 am

    “Not even that — it shows that at the fundamental level, we cannot use analogies based on the level we experience. Electromagnetic waves are not like waves on a pond,”

    I have always thought of it in a very basic sense, if you take an ant and make him as big as a human, he will not be the same as just a big ant, he will probably break under the weight of his own carapace. Just because something works at a micro or macro level does not mean it will work at all in the same way at the other end of the scale. Quantum woo-woo seems to revolve around trying to shoehorn macro and micro all in one.

    That is my very simple understanding of it.

  235. AliSinaon 30 May 2014 at 5:08 am

    Looks like I ruffled a few feathers here.

    The survival of consciousness in fact and the evidence is out there for anyone who cares to check them out. I did. I was challenged when I made the same baseless claims that you are making. Someone said, you claim to be after truth so watch these videos. I watched more than what he asked me. I watched hundreds of them. At the end I had to admit that if I keep denying I would be guilty of the same fault I accuse the Muslims of.

    “I love this one: Quantum Physics doesn’t make sense. My ideas don’t make sense. Quantum physics is true, therefore my ideas are true. Yay!”

    Sorry, it is not my fault that you have tenuous comprehension. I explain again so even you can understand.

    Our logic is based on our experience of things with which we interact, i.e. the Newtonian world. The world of quantum physics is beyond our experience. They are counterintuitive and strange. This strangeness is not the attribute of the minute particle but a characteristic of a word that is not dominated by time and space. The behavior of particles gives us an idea of what happens when space-time quantum is absent. Time and space are properties of matter (substances larger than atom). Without matter, there is no time or space. We can’t envision a world without time and space. Quantum world allow us to peep into such universe.

    Since consciousness is not made of matter, it is not subject to time and space quantum. The behavior of particles in a timeless and spaceless universe can give us an idea of the behavior of consciousness. So just like electrons consciousness can be in multiple places at the same time, it also can pop in and out of here and now.

    It is also absurd to say since we can’t see or measure consciousness it therefore does not exist. Has anyone seen or measured dark matter. Dark matter is all around us. It goes through us and neither can we sense it nor our instruments can detect it. Yet we are pretty much positive that it exists. Why? Because of its effect on galaxies. There is evidence that it exists. The evidence for the survival of consciousness is in the psychic/telepathic ability of the near death experiencers. There is no other way for us to detect it. This is the only way we can know that it is real. When there are thousands of people reporting coming out of their body, looking at the medical team operating on them from above and reporting accurately what the people did and said we can’t keep denying the phenomenon. When many of these unconscious patients go to the other rooms to find their relatives and the report accurately what they said and did, it would be intellectually dishonest to keep defending an ideology. Facts are facts and they are easily accessible to anyone who cares to check them out. Don’t pooh-pooh things that are beyond your ken. Check them out. You don’t want to know because you have already made your mind. You “know” there is nothing to be learned and hence why waste time. I deal with people like you all the time. My job is to show Muslims the fallacy of their belief and I am quite familiar with this attitude. Those who know least are often more convinced. They have no use to check out any evidence presented by their opponents since this to them mean waste of time. After all what is left to learn after having learned it all. Sorry buddies, but that is not the right attitude.

    We debate until cows come home. People have been discussing his subject for hundreds of years, if not thousands. This problem cannot be solved through discussion and argumentation. It can only be settled through observation.

    In the last 40 years, since doctors have managed to resuscitate dead patience millions of near death experiences have been reported. Thousands of them have been verified by the doctors, nurses and the relatives of the patients. I am only interested in the latter. Unless there is a worldwide conspiracy that includes the medical professionals and the relatives of patients, I have no reason to doubt that these reports are true. Only if one of them is true, it is enough. But we have hundreds.

    I fact I myself had a peep into a different dimension for a few seconds while fully awake and in good health. It happened over two decades ago. I could not make sense of it until I learned about the stories of the near death experiencer and realized I have been there.

  236. mumadaddon 30 May 2014 at 5:28 am

    Woooooo!

    AliSina true believer trope counter:

    - You just don’t get it
    - Skeptics are too closed minded to see the truth
    - I used be a Skeptic but now my eyes are open
    - My woo is true because quantum physics
    - Extensive strawmanning
    - You tube videos of anecdotal experience as evidence
    - The materialist paradigm is about to be shattered

    Keep them coming AliSina, help me pass some time today.

  237. grabulaon 30 May 2014 at 5:42 am

    @AlSina

    “Looks like I ruffled a few feathers here.”

    You’re in the middle of a glut of true believers here at Neurologica Blog. I blame Dr. Novella, apparently afterlife/consciousness brings out the real wackadoos.

    “Sorry, it is not my fault that you have tenuous comprehension”

    We’re hearing this ad nauseum these days. Seems if someone goes with the evidence instead of the series of irrational loopty-loops one has to do in order to get around the evidence, then they obviously just don’t understand. So many geniouses and so little time…

    “They are counterintuitive and strange. ”

    You woo guys have got to get on board with a common theme here. Some of you say it’s completely understandable, some of you equate it’s strangeness with proof that whatever you want to believe in exists.
    I think the underlying problem here is that if you’ll pause to notice for a moment, the skeptical view is pretty synchronous amongst us skeptics. Wonder why that is? Possibly because we’re attemtping to follow the evidence and the science instead of trying to wing it as we go along. It’s why if you take 10 different woo practitioners of any one woo, they’ll give you 1000 different ways to do it. There’s no consensuse because there’s no evidence to support a consensus.

    “Since consciousness is not made of matter, it is not subject to time and space quantum.”

    Dr. Novella already addressed this bizarre belief – consciousness is a process. For example the process of evolution is also not made of matter, but it doesn’t require crazy quantum woo to explain it.

    “So just like electrons consciousness can be in multiple places at the same time, it also can pop in and out of here and now. ”

    Here’s why you’re already annoying me, guys and girls like you come in swinging with these absolute statements and nothing to back them up except some philosophizing. Philosophy is not science, though you and Ian both seem to make the mistake of thinking it’s so.

    “It is also absurd to say since we can’t see or measure consciousness it therefore does not exist. Has anyone seen or measured dark matter. Dark matter is all around us”

    Again, your ignorance leads you astray. For example ‘dark matter’ is theoretical – it’s not a specific thing. However, based on the hypothesis scientist have been looking for specific affects predicted by the theory and so far so good, it’s held up pretty well. We know there’s something but we have yet to identify what exactly it is, only some of it’s effects. Just like we can measure the effects of dark matter to strengthen the hypothesis, we have also observed how altering the physical brain alters the function of the mind. In both cases there are measurable and predictable effects.

    “The evidence for the survival of consciousness is in the psychic/telepathic ability of the near death experiencers. There is no other way for us to detect it.”

    Then you have absolutely no way to prove or disprove your theory. Anecdotal NDE’s does not evidence make. Someone said it earlier on this thread – thousands of anecdotes do not make good science. Millions are just as worthless as one. Show us even a couple of strong experiments proving any of these psi phenomena you guys keep claiming exist, and lynchpinning your arguments on.

    “When there are thousands of people reporting coming out of their body, looking at the medical team operating on them from above and reporting accurately what the people did and said we can’t keep denying the phenomenon”

    There are much simpler explanations for these than having to reach out and create a magical phenomena from thin air, with absolutely no evidence to support it.

    “Check them out. You don’t want to know because you have already made your mind. You “know” there is nothing to be learned and hence why waste time”

    We have, there’s no evidence,the last sentence holds some truth however.

    “When many of these unconscious patients go to the other rooms to find their relatives and the report accurately what they said and did, it would be intellectually dishonest to keep defending an ideology”

    Again, anecdotal evidence isn’t. It’s intellectually dishonest to avoid all the evidence for a mundane explanation just because you can’t get past your infantile need to exist beyond your death.

    “Sorry buddies, but that is not the right attitude.”

    Are you and Ian Wardell pals? I ask because you both have this way of trying to establish you know ‘stuff’, then turning around and accusing everyone else of representing themselves as knowing all. WE only know what the evidence shows us. YOUR only defense against that is to ad hominem because you cannot present facts or evidence to support your stance. You don’t even seem to be able to understand the problem with anecdotal evidence.

    “It can only be settled through observation. ”

    Then how about you take the pepsi challenge Leo, Hardnose and Ian are flailing away at. Explain to us and provide evidence to support your case for how all the evidence points to a brain/mind link, but you still come to the conclusion there is something else. Don’t link to your blog, I took a look last night against my better judgement and it’s as bad and unintelligible as Wardells’.

    “Unless there is a worldwide conspiracy that includes the medical professionals and the relatives of patients, I have no reason to doubt that these reports are true. Only if one of them is true, it is enough”

    No but you have enough motivated reasoning to ignore the evidence against and only select what you think supports your claims – mountains of useless anecdotal evidence.

    “I fact I myself had a peep into a different dimension for a few seconds while fully awake and in good health.”

    I took about twice as much acid at a party one night and saw monsters and flames swim across the sky for hours. All explained biologically and chemically. Your story is anecdotal – starting to see a pattern in your evidence?

  238. grabulaon 30 May 2014 at 5:43 am

    haha, mumadadd beat me to it, and much more efficiently too!

  239. mumadaddon 30 May 2014 at 6:03 am

    grabula,

    Thanks. Did I miss any? Can’t wait for the next instalment…

  240. grabulaon 30 May 2014 at 6:10 am

    mumadadd, AlSina hit all the classics so I think you covered it pretty well!

  241. BillyJoe7on 30 May 2014 at 7:13 am

    AlSina,

    Did any ONE of those thousands of cases you’ve investigated reveal the code on top of the cupboard?

    No?

    Then report back when you find one.
    That’s all we ask – just ONE verified case
    Is that really too much to ask?
    Shouldn’t YOU be asking for such a case…I mean…as a true sceptic!

  242. grabulaon 30 May 2014 at 7:19 am

    “Shouldn’t YOU be asking for such a case…I mean…as a true sceptic!”

    Come on BillyJoe! There are THOUSANDS of people saying they had NDE’s. Using “Wardells Standard” (TM) – if there are thousands of them, not all of them can be wrong!

  243. Steven Novellaon 30 May 2014 at 8:06 am

    I want to emphasize one point:

    “Unless there is a worldwide conspiracy that includes the medical professionals and the relatives of patients, I have no reason to doubt that these reports are true.”

    But that is just it – there are plenty of good reasons to doubt that the reports are accurate and true. It’s called psychology. There are countless psychological experiments demonstrating in various ways, and unequivocally, that we cannot trust our memories of our perceptions. Our memories are not recorders. Rather, we actively construct a narrative that is just as much about belief and expectation as it is about our (also faulty) perceptions.

    Many belief systems built on millions of profound anecdotal experiences vanished under careful and controlled observing conditions.

    Haven’t you ever been in an argument with someone, and then immediately after the two of you have very different memories of the conversation you just had? You probably assumed it was the other person who was wrong (a natural assumption), but it’s likely you were both wrong.

    This is precisely where skeptics and believers separate. It is NOT because skeptics are closed minded or have already made up their minds. (If anything, the opposite is true.) Rather, it’s because skeptics understand the power of self-deception and the need for critical thinking.

    Millions of people can be profoundly and systematically wrong if culture, belief, and cognitive biases lead them there.

  244. hardnoseon 30 May 2014 at 9:06 am

    “Given that changes to the physical brain show changes in the mind, and given that specific changes to specific parts of the brain give predictable results, how do you explain this is your make believe world?”

    And changes in the mind influence the physical brain. How do you explain that in your 19th century materialist world?

  245. BillyJoe7on 30 May 2014 at 9:13 am

    The checkerboard illusion revisited.

    Ian has again linked to his interpretation of the checkerboard illusion:
    “http://ian-wardell.blogspot.co.uk/2011/03/are-perceptual-illusions-always.html”
    (Don’t click on this link)
    I’m not sure why, because he has consistently got it wrong as has been pointed out many times before.

    Here is a link to the checkerboard illusion so you don’t have to click on Ian’s blog:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Grey_square_optical_illusion.PNG

    (Note: The checkerboard illusion is a 2D illusion – simply the flat 2D screen of your computer with variously coloured areas on it. The areas on your computer screen marked A and B appear to be different colours but are actually the same colour)

    Ian: “I’m sure that all of us are astounded that the squares A and B are actually the same colour. It is the shadow cast over B by the cylinder which makes us think otherwise”

    If A and B are actually the same colour (which they are) the shadow cast over B by the cylinder would make B appear darker than A. In fact B appears lighter than A, so this cannot be the correct explanation The correct explanation of why B appears lighter than A is that B is surrounded by dark squares (making it appear lighter than it actually is) and A is surrounded by light squares (making it appear darker than it actually is). The reason that the “shadow” is added is that, without it, the actual colour of B would be too light to match the actual colour of A. The shadow makes the actual colour of B a little darker so as to match the actual colour of A.

    Continued…

  246. BillyJoe7on 30 May 2014 at 9:15 am

    Ian: “If this were a real object you are seeing, then squares A and B are very different colours. Our senses are not deceiving us”

    Really?
    Here is a video of the “real object”.
    You decide…are our senses deceiving us or not?

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=z9Sen1HTu5o

  247. steve12on 30 May 2014 at 9:33 am

    “How do you explain that in your 19th century materialist world?”

    I love the fact that hardnose doesn’t believe in supernatural, but doesn’t believe in materialism. WTF does that mean.

    But if you really try to pin down hardnose, he just won’t reply. Like Ian. He just trolls comments until he finds one where he thinks he has the upper hand.

    Getting to the nitty-gritty is their cryptonite – and for obvious reasons.

  248. Insomniacon 30 May 2014 at 9:43 am

    Ian : As BJ7 pointed out, and also from what transpires in your blog entries, you’re demonstrably wrong by claiming that we are never fooled by our senses and that the world is as it appears to be. Forget about drugs or hallucinatinos, just think about mirages… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirage

    For me, as long as you keep asserting that, it’s nail in the coffin for your idealistic worldview as a whole.

    Please address this point, and don’t try to elude this remark. If you do then you should know you’re losing the last remaining bit of your credibility.

  249. steve12on 30 May 2014 at 9:49 am

    Philosophizing is great and it’s fun.

    But you guys are engaging in the same epistemological model as Aristotle. Which is fine until you become so filled with hubris as to think that you’ve trumped science!

    I know you guys literally don’t know what science is (as you’ve shown above)- but science has moved on. We’ve made our assumptions – no solopcism, no supernatural causation, etc – and we’re actually getting it done. All of you who say your dialectic reasoning has trumped science are getting nothing done. No predictions. No discoveries. Nothing, nada, zilch.

    While you guys write yet another blog post that is in reality a re-hashing of the same ideas that have been around for millennia, we’ll be in our labs or clinics actually finding out a little something about how the world works or APPLYING that knowledge in a way that evinces actual understanding.

    I know I posted a variant of this above, but it bears repeating. This is like the losing football team in a 100-0 game sneeringly professing that they’re still #1. Completely contradicted by the data.

  250. Hosson 30 May 2014 at 10:01 am

    Leo: “Neither has your case met the threshold of proof. Your making an announcement that we know what reality is we have no clue what reality is.”

    I’m never made an announcement that I know what reality actually is – I’m calling BS. Quote me and prove it.

    “But we know that reality thanks to quantum physics is far more expansive than naturalism/materialism could have ever thought.”

    You understand that the methods used to reach beliefs are extremely important, right? Before evidence is presented, belief is not justified. There is no telling to how crazy the world, even beyond quantum mechanics, actually is. This is not incompatible with naturalism or materialism. In fact, the methods build around naturalism and materialism was what was used to discover quantum mechanics in the first place.

    Pragmatically idealism, dualism, and supernaturalism are useless, while naturalism and materialism delivers the goods.

    AliSina: Why don’t you respond to my previous comment to you? I did more than call you out on your bullshit. I proved, in at least one instance, that your method of researching life after death was lazy and resulted in collecting bad evidence that does not support your conclusion.

    Grabula: “You’re in the middle of a glut of true believers here at Neurologica Blog. I blame Dr. Novella, apparently afterlife/consciousness brings out the real wackadoos.”

    lol This is the most wackadoos I’ve seen on the site.

  251. mumadaddon 30 May 2014 at 10:01 am

    I wasn’t sure what idealism is so I just read something by Bertrand Russell on the subject. I think this paragraph sums it up best:

    “He then proceeds to consider common objects, such as a tree, for instance. He shows that all we know immediately when we ‘perceive’ the tree consists of ideas in his sense of the word, and he argues that there is not the slightest ground for supposing that there is anything real about the tree except what is perceived. Its being, he says, consists in being perceived: in the Latin of the schoolmen its ‘esse’ is ‘percipi’. He fully admits that the tree must continue to exist even when we shut our eyes or when no human being is near it. But this continued existence, he says, is due to the fact that God continues to perceive it; the ‘real’ tree, which corresponds to what we called the physical object, consists of ideas in the mind of God, ideas more or less like those we have when we see the tree, but differing in the fact that they are permanent in God’s mind so long as the tree continues to exist. All our perceptions, according to him, consist in a partial participation in God’s perceptions, and it is because of this participation that different people see more or less the same tree. Thus apart from minds and their ideas there is nothing in the world, nor is it possible that anything else should ever be known, since whatever is known is necessarily an idea. ”

    What a crock of shit! How would it be possible to distinguish this from a materialistic world? What’s the point??

  252. The Other John Mcon 30 May 2014 at 10:04 am

    BJ, thanks for again pointing out Ian’s silliness with the checkerboard color illusion. Ian and his ilk are so confused by this (and the many hundreds of other) perceptual illusions because they provide overwhelming, easy-to-demonstrate, and obvious proof against their interpretation of the mind. Why aren’t our perceptions always accurate reflections of reality? Because our perceptions, minds, and consciousness are a constructed, interpreted model *based* on information from an external reality (but obviously not equivalent to the external reality, as these illusions so clearly demonstrate).

  253. leo100on 30 May 2014 at 10:15 am

    Insomniac

    This is just not true, this is an incorrect interpretation of quantum mechanics. The collapse of the wave function is just a matter of interaction with the macroscopic world, what we call a “measurement”, it happens even if there is no one observing. Maybe the use of the word “measurement” is misleading because it entails an observer. When you look at electron interferences, individual electrons have their wave function collapsed as soon as they hit the wall, and for that no human presence is required (or that of any sentient being for that matter).

    You said when you look at electron interferences that is the point of the observer phenomenon its not just simply that a observer looks at something its that a observer can interpret something like results like you mentioned with the electron interferences and bring it into reality.

    You should watch this short video by Andrei Linde explaining the observer effect in quantum physics.

  254. leo100on 30 May 2014 at 10:15 am

    http://www.closertotruth.com/series/why-explore-cosmos-and-consciousness

  255. leo100on 30 May 2014 at 10:28 am

    I’m never made an announcement that I know what reality actually is – I’m calling BS. Quote me and prove it

    What I met was you seem awfully sure that materialism is true you seem to get all your feathers are ruffled when someone challenges it.

    “But we know that reality thanks to quantum physics is far more expansive than naturalism/materialism could have ever thought.”

    You understand that the methods used to reach beliefs are extremely important, right? Before evidence is presented, belief is not justified. There is no telling to how crazy the world, even beyond quantum mechanics, actually is. This is not incompatible with naturalism or materialism. In fact, the methods build around naturalism and materialism was what was used to discover quantum mechanics in the first place.

    In fact your wrong and John Wheeler knew how incompatible naturalism was with quantum physics.

    And I quote from here

    Quantum mechanics, however, throws a monkey wrench into this simple mechanical view of things. No less a figure than Eugene Wigner, a Nobel Prize winner in physics, claimed that materialism — at least with regard to the human mind — is not “logically consistent with present quantum mechanics.” And on the basis of quantum mechanics, Sir Rudolf Peierls, another great 20th-century physicist, said, “the premise that you can describe in terms of physics the whole function of a human being … including [his] knowledge, and [his] consciousness, is untenable. There is still something missing.”

    http://vereloqui.blogspot.ca/2012/07/materialists-who-didnt-get-quantum.html

  256. Steven Novellaon 30 May 2014 at 10:28 am

    The mind changes the brain because the mind is the brain. The brain is wetware – it’s own activity changes it’s own function. It is communicating with itself.

    We call this strange phenomena memory and learning.

  257. leo100on 30 May 2014 at 10:37 am

    @Steven Novella

    Memory and learning are a part of consciousness. You said mind changes the brain therefore mind is the brain but then say the brain changes itself. Well which one is it?.

  258. Steven Novellaon 30 May 2014 at 10:40 am

    Leo – quantum mechanics is not incompatible with materialism, nor is it necessary to for consciousness. Here is a good discussion of the topic by a physicist. http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2014/05/quantum_consciousness_physics_and_neuroscience_do_not_explain_one_another.html

    Key point – “The problem with Klemm’s assertions, as well as those of many others who misuse the word quantum, is that their speculation is based on a superficial understanding of one or both fields. Physics may or may not have anything informative to say about consciousness, but you won’t make any progress in that direction without knowing a lot about both quantum physics and how brains work. Skimping on either of those will lead to nonsense.”

  259. Steven Novellaon 30 May 2014 at 10:43 am

    “You said mind changes the brain therefore mind is the brain but then say the brain changes itself. Well which one is it?.”

    If mind is the brain, then these are both the same thing, right. What’s your confusion?

    You seem to be starting with the assumption that the mind is something other than brain function. If you treat this as a hypothesis, however (rather than a philosophical starting poimt) that hypothesis has failed.

    The mind as brain hypothesis has been remarkably successful, on the other hand, and is compatible with all reliable data we have.

  260. Hosson 30 May 2014 at 10:49 am

    leo:”In fact your wrong and John Wheeler knew how incompatible naturalism was with quantum physics.”
    Ohhh, damn. I’m sooo wrong. You got me with that argument from authority. Good job using a fallacy to prove me wrong.

    If quantum mechanics are not compatible with materialism and naturalism, how is it possible science, which assumes methodological naturalism, discovered quantum mechanics? How is it possible that quantum chromodynamics is so successful and accurate at explaining strong interactions? Quantum mechanics is one of the most accurate and successful branches of science.

    Quantum mechanics are not incompatible with naturalism or materialism.

    There is a slight problem trying to define the scope of naturalism and materialism – basically there isn’t a limit to what is possible within naturalism and materialism. Your arbitrarily setting a limit on naturalism and materialism, excluding phenomena that fall outside the bounds of common sense, in order to misrepresent materialism and naturalism.

  261. leo100on 30 May 2014 at 10:59 am

    Hoss

    I would think John Wheeler knows what he is talking about as he is an expert in quantum physics.True they discovered quantum physics but they didn’t expect to find what they found. They found that reality is far stranger than materialism would say it is. I agree quantum mechanics indeed is. Materialism states that everything is physical in nature that the universe is casually closed.

    Steven Novella

    But your admitting mind affect the brain makes it sound like you are following interaction dualism. Because that is what it says mind affect brain and brain affects mind a two way relationship.

    So your view is that consciousness can be explained by the brain and classical physics instead of quantum physics?.

  262. Steven Novellaon 30 May 2014 at 11:14 am

    Leo – again, you are getting lost in semantics. The mind is simply a process of the brain. So, when I say the mind affects the brain I am saying the brains functioning affects itself. When one neuron fires and affects the firing of a neuron to which it is connected, the dendrites become more dense, the receptor density may change, the synapse gap lessens, and the astrocytes modify their function further. It’s all biological stuff happening in the brain, all the way down.

    You are making an argument from authority, relying on a subset of physicists who have ventured outside their area of expertise, causing mischief. The majority of quantum physicists don’t buy this malarky. I linked to an article by one who lays this out. Sean Carroll is another, my partner in the Afterlife debate. In fact, every physicist I have ever spoken to agrees this is a nonsensical abuse of quantum theory. It’s just a few celebrity crackpots who are talking about such nonsense.

    I further never said that you can explain anything completely with classic physics. The reason we need quantum physics is because, when you dig deep enough, classic physics doesn’t cut it. However, that’s different than saying that quantum wierdness exists at the macroscopic level. It doesn’t. Decoherence and the De broglie limit see to that.

    Leo – to emphasize a key point, it seems that you are overly relying on a minority of physicists who have ventured into mysticism and areas outside their area of expertise. This is understandable, as they get disproportionate attention. But if you check, the majority of physicists don’t buy it. Just read the article I linked to in my prior post.

    Also – their arguments just don’t hold up, and they are generally ignorant of neuroscience.

  263. mumadaddon 30 May 2014 at 11:20 am

    Leo,

    The mind is a process. The process affects the physical substrate, like the process of cloud formation affects the water droplets in the cloud. Are you being deliberately asinine?

  264. mumadaddon 30 May 2014 at 11:27 am

    Oops, didn’t refresh so didn’t see Steve’s comment.

  265. steve12on 30 May 2014 at 12:14 pm

    “Leo – again, you are getting lost in semantics.”

    Cut them some slack Steve – that’s all they’ve got.

  266. leo100on 30 May 2014 at 12:33 pm

    @Steven Novella

    Thanks for clarifying. I would disagree they know consciousness has something to do with quantum physics they just don’t admit it. Consciousness is the skeleton in the closet when it came apparent it has some relationship with quantum physics.

    http://quantumenigma.com/

    Steve12

    If that is all we have then why bother debating with us.

  267. steve12on 30 May 2014 at 12:40 pm

    “If that is all we have then why bother debating with us.”

    Good question.

  268. the devils gummy bearon 30 May 2014 at 1:03 pm

    If that is all we have then why bother debating with us.

    Leo, same question; why do you?

  269. hardnoseon 30 May 2014 at 1:04 pm

    “I love the fact that hardnose doesn’t believe in supernatural, but doesn’t believe in materialism. WTF does that mean.”

    Steve12,

    So … for every philosophical controversy there is an A answer vs. a B answer? That would make the world very simple and not much thinking would be required.

    But even if you prefer a simple world where you don’t have to wear out your brain with too much thinking, that is not reality.

  270. hardnoseon 30 May 2014 at 1:07 pm

    “The reason we need quantum physics is because, when you dig deep enough, classic physics doesn’t cut it. However, that’s different than saying that quantum wierdness exists at the macroscopic level. It doesn’t. Decoherence and the De broglie limit see to that. ”

    Well Steve Novella, you managed to ignore the article I linked in one of your earlier posts, about some birds using quantum entanglement in their navigation systems.

    Things will only get worse for you quantum-deniers, as the research continues. This might be fun to watch.

  271. leo100on 30 May 2014 at 1:10 pm

    @ the devil’s gummy bear

    Maybe because its kinda fun when people have different views from my own.

  272. steve12on 30 May 2014 at 1:12 pm

    Hardnose

    I asked you to explain what a non-supernatural, non-materialist reality would mean. I laid out all of the several relevant questions and asked you to clarify / comment. You ignored them all, as you always do.

    A non-supernatural, non-materialist universe makes no sense. But I don’t expect you to get into any of the details. YOu don’t do that.

    “But even if you prefer a simple world where you don’t have to wear out your brain with too much thinking, that is not reality.”

    So if I don’t agree with you, I believe in a simple world? That’s ridiculous.

  273. The Other John Mcon 30 May 2014 at 1:15 pm

    hardnose, what exactly is a quantum-denier? when you get around to answering any of steve12′s questions, you might consider explaining (I am eager with anticipation!).

  274. Hosson 30 May 2014 at 1:16 pm

    Leo: You really need to educate yourself about what quantum mechanics actually is before using something you don’t understand as evidence to support your ideas. (I don’t know what quantum mechanics are, but I know they support my philosophy) Read up on it.

    I’d suggest starting with something simple like the Feynman lectures. It starts off with a Newtonian mechanics understanding of would happen with the Slit experiments then goes into what is actually observed(quantum mechanics).
    http://www.feynmanlectures.caltech.edu/III_01.html

  275. the devils gummy bearon 30 May 2014 at 1:16 pm

    @Leo

    Well, you’ve answered your own question. It is fun. As an exercise. And it is endlessly fascinating how people like you think. The foibles of human thinking gone awry are a curiosity, interesting to observe, and a cautionary example to remind me, at least, to remain vigilant in exercising critical thinking.

  276. leo100on 30 May 2014 at 1:54 pm

    Hoss

    I got a good understanding of quantum mechanics and so does the two physicist’s you came up with the Quantum Enigma book.

  277. The Other John Mcon 30 May 2014 at 1:58 pm

    Leo: “I got a good understanding of quantum mechanics.”

    Sure you do, buddy. I’d ask you to explain entanglement or the quantum eraser experiment but I’ve had my fill of copypasta.

  278. the devils gummy bearon 30 May 2014 at 2:00 pm

    I got a good understanding of quantum mechanics…

    You actually don’t.

    Even for a layperson, you seem to have less than a rudimentary understanding.

  279. steve12on 30 May 2014 at 2:09 pm

    http://scienceblogs.com/mixingmemory/2006/11/16/the-illusion-of-explanatory-de/

    +

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect

    +

    too much self confidence

    = the problem for Ian, Leo, Hardnnose, etc.

  280. leo100on 30 May 2014 at 2:25 pm

    The Other John Mc

    Why would I have to explain it to you or any of the other skeptics on here?. You ask me to do that then ask me how that has any connection to psi/afterlife. I am not an expert in physics or another other fields but I do have some knowledge about it.

    Devil’s Gummy

    Because I say that quantum physics casts doubt on a materialist worldview?.

    Steve12 you and other skeptics here you have it totally backwards you seem to be awfully confident in materialism.

  281. the devils gummy bearon 30 May 2014 at 2:33 pm

    Because I say that quantum physics casts doubt on a materialist worldview?.

    Nope.

    Leo, part of having an “open mind” is understanding and admitting that one probably doesn’t know a whole lot about most things outside of their very specific area of expertise.

  282. Hosson 30 May 2014 at 2:40 pm

    Leo: You’ve yet to provide a sound argument that puts materialism into question. All you’ve done is make erroneous assertions questioning the validity of materialism. Then you solve the non-problems of materialism, that you created, by asserting your philosophy is true through arguments from ignorance.(there is also equivocation fallacies, arguments from authority, flat out denial,…. – the list goes on and on.)

    Your methods are sloppy and inconsistent. You need to stop trying to defend your beliefs and fix your methods of inquiry, which are currently leading you to beliefs without valid justification.

  283. the devils gummy bearon 30 May 2014 at 2:40 pm

    Because I say that quantum physics casts doubt on a materialist worldview?.

    Let me clarify; because you make statements like this without irony. That’s why.

    (I say this knowing full well it will be entirely lost on you)

  284. Hosson 30 May 2014 at 2:42 pm

    leo: “Because I say that quantum physics casts doubt on a materialist worldview?.”
    That just means your ignorant of materialist philosophy and/or quantum mechanics.

  285. The Other John Mcon 30 May 2014 at 2:51 pm

    Yet another shining example of “Quantum mechanics is weird and difficult to undestand. My ideas are weird and difficult to understand. Quantum mechanics is true. Therefore, my ideas are true. Yay!!! In your face, you ignorant asshatted materialists!”

  286. steve12on 30 May 2014 at 2:54 pm

    “Why would I have to explain it to you or any of the other skeptics on here?. You ask me to do that then ask me how that has any connection to psi/afterlife. I am not an expert in physics or another other fields but I do have some knowledge about it.”

    Translation: I don’t know what I’m talking about, but I’m right anyway.

    Now that’s funny shit right there….

  287. midnightrunner2014on 30 May 2014 at 3:03 pm

    Leo100 wrote:

    “Greg Taylor had to put you straight because you were lying”

    Leo I have not lied about anything, like I said before I have spent over 20 years investigating psychical research and I take the various case studies very seriously. If I wasn’t I wouldn’t be spending as much as $125 on various books to acquire little known information. I was a Wikipedia editor for over six years, I do not hide this fact as it is a great place to upload references, all the articles I created can easily be found.

    Most of the articles on Wikipedia relating to psychical research or spiritualism were either created/ or updated by me – I have put countless hours into making content publicly available about many of these old mediumship or psychical cases, you would never do this i.e put yourself out for others and give all this knowledge out. Helen Duncan, Minda Crandon and every other Victorian medium were all frauds, even yourself said that ectoplasm is nothing more than cheesecloth, so what’s the problem with mentioning the fraud? We should not supress this information. It seems to me you just want to believe in the paranormal without really investigating these cases.

    I and several other editors updated Leonora Piper’s Wikipedia page with all the evidence for her tricks and her failed mediumship communications. A month after this happened a different encyclopedia called rationalwiki decided to copy some of my paragraphs about what I had written on Wikipedia onto their own site about Piper. I personally don’t have a problem with this as I have several admin friends on rationalwiki and Wikipedia has no copyright problems, stuff on this website is copied all over the web, it is free knowledge. But Greg Taylor being a spiritualist and big promoter of pseudoscience hates rationalwiki and often posts libel about it on his twitter. Once he suspected I was involved in rationalwiki, i.e. he saw that the website was using the same material I had originally sighted he banned me from his blog without engaging in any of the material I presented, no comment from him at all on any of it. That’s the truth of the matter. You have done basically the same – ignoring my huge reply to you about Richard Hodgson communicating with spirits and just throwing ad-hominems at me or other nonsense.

    “You seem to be the worst troll ever and your also lying as well.”

    You have absolutely no evidence I am a troll or a liar apart from deliberate libel and misrepresentation from a spiritualist Greg Taylor. Do you know who Greg Taylor is? He is the owner of DailyGrail one of the most famous pseudoscience and conspiracy theory websites on the internet. He will make stuff up about me because I exposed his pseudoscience.

    Look at the nonsense he publishes on his website, just a latest example:

    http://www.dailygrail.com/Guest-Articles/2014/5/Australian-UFOs-More-100-Years-Ago

    “Australian UFOs More than 100 Years Ago”

    http://www.dailygrail.com/Guest-Articles/2014/5/Can-Science-See-Spirits

    “Can Science see Spirits”.

    Anything he says about anything should be taken with caution, especially his nasty remarks against Martin Gardner and other skeptics with border on libel.

    The case with you Leo seems to be that if anything a paranormal believer says you automatically believe it over a skeptic. All spiritualists like Taylor hate me because I have debunked all the mediums they believe in, all they had left was Piper but I debunked her. They hate me so much all they have done for the last six years on various blogs and forums is make stuff up about me. The latest allegations have been funny thing such as claiming I am Jon Donnis founder of badpsychics or Robert Todd Carroll of The Skeptic’s Dictionary, being paid by the government to destroy mediumship research or being paid by Susan Gerbic of the Guerrilla Skepticism Wikipedia team to discredit spiritualism. The newest ones (from you) is being a troll or liar. None of those are true.

    I won’t discuss this further as I have your paranormal blog and I will email you leo100 if you want any rare material on Hodgson or Piper. Cheers.

    Truth is here if you want it tho bro :)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonora_Piper

  288. hardnoseon 30 May 2014 at 3:36 pm

    ” The reason we need quantum physics is because, when you dig deep enough, classic physics doesn’t cut it. However, that’s different than saying that quantum wierdness exists at the macroscopic level. It doesn’t. Decoherence and the De broglie limit see to that. ”

    What is a quantum denier? Steve N is one example. He states, as if it’s a proven fact that quantum “weirdness” does not exist at the macroscopic level.

    I have posted a link at this blog to research showing that some birds use quantum entanglement (which Steve N would call “wierdness”) in order to navigate.

    There are other biological studies showing quantum effects in plants and animals.

    Steve N is a quantum denier because he either ignores scientific facts that don’t fit his 19th century world view. Or he does not pay attention to research outside his own field (a very bad mistake, I think).

  289. hardnoseon 30 May 2014 at 3:41 pm

    How can I disagree with materialism, and also with supernaturalism? Because I think both are wrong.

    Materialism is wrong because it doesn’t make any sense given current scientific knowledge. We know that “matter” is not made out of little particles of “matter,” for example.

    I don’t believe in supernaturalism because nothing can be outside of nature. That is also an old and outdated way of thinking.

    I have said many times at this blog that I believe the universe is made out of information. And I believe there are higher dimensional levels, and possibly alternate universes.

    I don’t claim to know all about what the universe is made of and how it began. Unlike Steve N, I know enough to know that we understand very little.

  290. rjbullockon 30 May 2014 at 3:53 pm

    Ha, ha, ha… Spiritual paths and scientific paths both reveal different truths for different purposes. Both are entirely based on symbolic representation of a reality that is far beyond our understanding. That the believers and the skeptics are forever arguing is hilarious to me. Different modes of inquiry people! Both produce results! They don’t need to be reconciled when you recognize they’re both just ways of working with reality (whatever the hell that is…).

    Chill.

    Robert

  291. steve12on 30 May 2014 at 3:55 pm

    “Materialism is wrong because it doesn’t make any sense given current scientific knowledge. We know that “matter” is not made out of little particles of “matter,” for example.”

    Yeah – but that’s still materialism. QM, M-theory, etc are all consistent with materialism. It comes down to semantics of what you consider materialism, I suppose. There are a lot of (IMO) false BS philosophy distinctions.

  292. Hosson 30 May 2014 at 3:58 pm

    Hardnose: I could copy and paste quotes from Steven that contradicts everything you just said.

    Your agenda of proving Steve wrong about everything he says is getting annoying. You constantly misunderstand what he says, then you vengefully attack your incorrect interpretation. People then have to constantly have to correct your false premises. Its getting annoying, but at least it isn’t as bad as it use to be.

  293. the devils gummy bearon 30 May 2014 at 4:06 pm

    Quite a statement, Robert, but it dissolves into meaninglessness towards the end. What are some results spiritual inquiry produces!? What do you mean by that?

    Eh, I like the most bang for my buck (he tapped into his science machine).

  294. leo100on 30 May 2014 at 4:19 pm

    Midnightrunner

    Apparently you don’t care to bring up that Greg Taylor has refuted you numerous times as well as other readers on this blog. The same with Michael Prescott. No problem with mentioning the fraud but you have overstated your case.

    A poster by the name kaviraj refuted many of your arguments against Piper

    I quote

    HS,

    I provided a summary of points about Piper that I find interesting, including some of the conditions that were set in place that I regard as stringent and sufficient to rule out fraud. I hate repeating myself, but (AMONG OTHER THINGS): (1) the investigators had private detectives tail Piper, (2) Richard Hodgson dismissed those private detectives (when they informed him that Piper wasn’t getting intel from secret sources or engaging in any questionable behavior) and decided to stalk Piper to catch her himself, (3) Hodgson wouldn’t even let a sitter bring an umbrella inside on a rainy day (!), (4) the investigators often had stenographers write down every word, (5) the investigators took precautions against muscle reading and addressed that concern in detail, (6) the investigators often had *strangers* act as proxies for the actual sitters, (7) the investigators read all of Piper’s mail, (8) the investigators brought Piper to another country to test her, etc.

    Under those conditions, Piper’s controls often produced highly intimate hits immediately, even in cases where stenographic records show *no* evidence of fishing, in cases where strangers sat in for the actual sitters, and in cases where the sitters were far removed from any of the investigators (in terms of personal connections).

    I mentioned all of this before. I also already acknowledged that some of Piper’s controls sometimes fished for information. That was already reported in the PRIMARY literature by the ORIGINAL investigators. But there were times when they didn’t fish and also times when they would have been UNABLE to fish (such as times when strangers sat in for the actual sitters).

    Then I reminded you of that fact and pointed out that you have been unwilling or unable to actually address my points via argument.

    You replied to me by citing a Wikipedia entry on mediumship per se that only very briefly deals with a handful of mediums and then said that you would become a “believer spiritualist” like me if I could “refute all of this”. C’mon man… that is simply not an acceptable approach to conversation or debate.

    The wiki entry you provided does NOT mention (let alone seriously engage) ANY of the points I mentioned. Not one.
    wiki wrote:

    In an experiment to test if Piper’s “spirit” controls were purely fictitious the psychologist G. Stanley Hall invented a niece called Bessie Beals

    It’s certainly an embarrassing case and certainly OUGHT to be taken into consideration along with all of her other cases (failures and successes alike). But here are a few things I like to point out:

    (1) Stanley Hall later acknowledged that there was an actual Bessie Beals, although she wasn’t his niece and he says she was still alive at that time (I’ll take his word for it). (2) Hall admitted that he had “no desire whatever to obtain ‘test messages’” (and so he ignored and failed to follow up on the Hodgson control’s attempts to communicate information about other people). (3) There were no detailed stenographic records taken and so nothing for others to investigate for themselves. (4) In the midst of the deception, The Hodgson control actually said the following: “I am interested in seeing I I I am interested in seeing how many stories you can tell in a minute. They are awfully bad. They are awful whoppers. They are awful whoppers. I never heard so many from one in a minute.” That sure sounds like the Hodgson control saying that he was aware of their BS but wanted to play along…(5) In any case, it was already known and openly acknowledge by all of the primary investigators that some of Piper’s controls were ridiculous and dishonest. But (6) none of this justifies the full dismissal all of the cases where Piper’s controls quickly produced *very* intimate hits under the fraud-resistant conditions I described earlier (and more details could have been added).
    wiki wrote:

    The psychologist Joseph Jastrow wrote that Piper pretended to be controlled by spirits and fell into simple and logical traps from her comments

    Except that Piper’s trance was tested by having needle prick her skin, ammonia placed beneath her nostrils, having a flame make contact with her skin, by having spoonfuls of perfume and laundry detergent shoved into her mouth, and by having her pupil responses and respiration measured. Her trance was genuine. She wasn’t (consciously) faking *anything*, even if the controls were secondary personalities.
    wiki wrote:

    Researchers who studied the mediumship of Piper came to the conclusion she was a cold reader

    At best, this is a very irresponsible claim. At worst, it was intentionally misleading. Most of the primary researchers came to the opposite conclusion because of the specific points I summarized earlier.
    wiki wrote:

    and would “fish” for information

    Except in cases where STRANGERS sat in the actual sitters, cases where stenographic records fail to show evidence of fishing taking place, etc.
    wiki wrote:

    The physiologist Ivor Lloyd Tuckett who examined Piper’s mediumship in detail wrote it could be explained by “muscle-reading, fishing, guessing, hints obtained in the sitting, knowledge surreptitiously obtained, knowledge acquired in the interval between sittings and lastly, facts already within Mrs. Piper’s knowledge.”

    I already addressed that. No thanks don’t email I don’t you spamming me next thankyou.

  295. leo100on 30 May 2014 at 4:19 pm

    The source of that conversation is here http://www.dailygrail.com/Essays/2013/12/Top-Five-Phenomena-Offer-Evidence-Afterlife?page=1

  296. leo100on 30 May 2014 at 4:22 pm

    Hoss

    Keep saying that quantum mechanics don’t shown that materialism is probably false that isn’t going to change the fact that its false.

  297. Ekkoon 30 May 2014 at 4:30 pm

    leo,
    Please explain in your own words how quantum mechanics shows that materialism is false.

  298. the devils gummy bearon 30 May 2014 at 4:34 pm

    Keep saying that quantum mechanics don’t shown that materialism is probably false that isn’t going to change the fact that its false.

    You have no idea what you’re talking about. I would ask you to define what you think the words you used in that sentence mean, but that would go nowhere.

  299. BillyJoe7on 30 May 2014 at 4:37 pm

    rjbullocks,

    “Spiritual paths and scientific paths both reveal different truths for different purposes”

    Bullocks.
    Show me just one “truth” arrived at via the spiritual path.
    Show me just one contribution one such “truth” has made to the world.

  300. steve12on 30 May 2014 at 4:38 pm

    “Both produce results! ”

    What results does the spiritual path produce?

  301. steve12on 30 May 2014 at 4:41 pm

    “Please explain in your own words how quantum mechanics shows that materialism is false.”

    If he reads aloud the text from the link he’s going paste, will this count as his own words?

    What am I talking about, he doesn’t read these links before pasting!

  302. the devils gummy bearon 30 May 2014 at 4:44 pm

    steve12, 10 internets says it’s going to be a (rolls dice)… a wordpress link.

  303. leo100on 30 May 2014 at 5:03 pm

    @the devil’s gummy bear

    Your one funny person.

    @Ekko

    Paul Davies and John Gribbin do a good job of showing how quantum physics undermines materialism.

    It reveals matter itself has far less substance than what we might believe it to be- Paul Davies. Another scientist in that wiki entry is Max Planck. I would strongly advise you study the physics of today not of decades and decades gone by.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Materialism

  304. the devils gummy bearon 30 May 2014 at 5:13 pm

    Leo, I have read this very article on materialism on wikipedia in order to try to understand where you’re getting your definitions from. I see I was pretty spot on… However, which section of this article are you basing your definition of materialism on? How are you defining “materialist” or “materialist view”?

    IN YOUR OWN WORDS, DEFINE MATERIALISM!!!

  305. Hosson 30 May 2014 at 5:13 pm

    leo: Materialsim is the idea that everything is made up of matter/energy. There is nothing in quantum mechanics that contradicts this. Also,to head off any of Hardnose’s objections, information is a type(my wording might be a little off here) of matter/energy and not some other thing.

    Science assumes methodological naturalism – not methodological materialism.

    I believe in philosophical naturalism, which is much larger in scope than materialism.

    I have a feeling you’re about to play more semantic games. I would prefer to argue for naturalism rather than materialism. Do you think quantum mechanics contradicts naturalism?

  306. AliSinaon 30 May 2014 at 5:15 pm

    “Sorry, it is not my fault that you have tenuous comprehension”
    “We’re hearing this ad nauseum these days.”

    Let us analyze this. I said here the behavior of particles as demonstrated in quantum physics make no sense and yet we do not reject it because it is observable. I then said the same applies to consciousness surviving the death. Even though unexplainable, it must be accepted because it is observable. So the commonality is observation. One genius commenter mocked my argument thinking that the commonality I am suggesting is the inexplicability of the two phenomena. Is that commentator stupid? I doubt it. So why he prefers to engage is straw man and ridicule fallacies instead of refuting my argument rationally? This behavior is peculiar to believers. So don’t call yourselves skeptics when you act like believers.
    I said it before that any discussion on this subject is intellectual masturbation. It is like trying to argue whether Big Foot is real or not through logic. This argument can settled only through evidence. For thousands of years the evidence was scant and hearsay. In the last 4 decades such evidences have been accumulating and now number hundreds of thousands. All is left to do is look at the body of the evidence. But obviously the believers in materialism have not use for evidence. They have already figured out everything, so why waste precious time digging for evidence. It is must more pleasant to intellectualize.

    “Some of you say it’s completely understandable, some of you equate it’s strangeness with proof that whatever you want to believe in exists.”

    The two positions are not mutually exclusive. The phenomenon is unexplainable through Newtonian physics, the physics that is intuitive to us. But it can be perfectly understood and explained through quantum physics. All you need is a shift in paradigm. Think of countless visual illusions. See this for example. Is this a cat or a rat? http://knowledgeoverflow.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/scary-optical-illusion-29.gif Survival of consciousness makes no sense if you wear materialistic glasses. Materialism filters anything that does not interact with matter directly and hence cannot be detected. At one point, even the materialists have to bow to evidence. The best example is the dark matter that I mentioned before. Why do we even consider such thing when dark matter is just as ethereal and undetectable as spirit? We accept the existence of dark matter because we see its effect. It is evidence that compel us to believe in something no one can see or measure. We have now plenty of compelling evidence that consciousness acts independent from the brain and survives its death. The evidence is there for any genuine skeptic. But the believers is materialism have no use for evidence. They rather intellectualize and engage in mockery than waste precious time checking out the evidence. Isn’t it true that you have figured out all the secrets of the universe and that there is nothing else to be discovered? Isn’t it a fact that our great scientific ayatollahs such as R. Dawkins and Carl Sagan are/were materialist? So why bother?

    “Dr. Novella already addressed this bizarre belief – consciousness is a process.’
    That is not fact but theory. Consciousness is not a process or the function of the brain. I debunked this theory in an article titled “The Faithfulness of the Skeptic.” You can search it on Google. I don’t give the link since Dr. Novella does not seem to like me giving links to my blog. Again I backed my argument with evidence.

    “Philosophy is not science,”
    Isn’t this exactly what you people do all the time? Isn’t the above article philosophy in the garb of science? Science is supported by evidence. This article ignores the mountain of evidence altogether and engages in nothing but philosophy. Providing rational arguments that are not based on evidence is straw man fallacy. Yes you make perfect sense but since your premises are wrong, you are wrong. It is like saying since 2+3= 8 then 2+4=9. There is nothing wrong in your logic. Your error is in your premise. Your premise is wrong because you ignored the body of evidence.

    As for dark mater you first mocked me (which shows you are highly smart) and then rehashed the same thing I said. As for altering the brain and thus changing its function, it is does neither prove your argument nor proves mine. You can also tinker with a radio receiver and alter its function.

    “Then you have absolutely no way to prove or disprove your theory. Anecdotal NDE’s does not evidence make. Someone said it earlier on this thread – thousands of anecdotes do not make good science. Millions are just as worthless as one. Show us even a couple of strong experiments proving any of these psi phenomena you guys keep claiming exist, and lynchpinning your arguments on.”

    That is denial of facts. Tell us then what constitute evidence for you? A patient is brought to hospital. She is unconscious. She is taken to the operating room and flat lines. No vial sign exist in her. She is clinically dead. She is then resuscitated and reports accurately seeing what the doctors were doing, (confirmed by the doctors). And reports accurately what her relatives in the waiting room were doing and that too is confirmed by her relatives. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EydWO5vqT80
    When we have thousands of cases like this, it is only intellectual dishonesty to dismiss them all as hearsay. I am dealing with faithful believers and I nothing you say surprises me. You can’t accept the evidence because it will shatter your faith in materialism. Read my article “The faithfulness of the skeptics”

    “When there are thousands of people reporting coming out of their body, looking at the medical team operating on them from above and reporting accurately what the people did and said we can’t keep denying the phenomenon”
    There are much simpler explanations for these than having to reach out and create a magical phenomena from thin air, with absolutely no evidence to support it.

    Okay! Please provide those “much simpler explanations.” I am all ears! If you can provide them you have be back into atheism. that would end the discussion. So since you are going to provide those simpler explanations, there is no point for me to answer the rest of your arguments (logically fallacies)

  307. rjbullockon 30 May 2014 at 5:18 pm

    BillyJoe7, my particular spiritual path is Tibetan Buddhism. Here are the truths I’ve learned:

    1) Nothing has any intrinsic reality. All identities are imputations or projections (however you want to put it). The ultimate nature of reality is far, far beyond our thoughts about what it might be. This should be obvious to us but it is not. It’s obvious to quantum physicists. But no, we don’t need scientists and especially not physicists to “prove” this is the case; we just need to look at our own direct experience, contemplate it, and we’ll see it is true if we look very, very carefully. Everything is empty of true existence. We mistake our models of reality for reality itself and end up in some pretty strange arguments because of that!

    2) Naturally, there is no self. “Self” is also a conceptual fabrication, top to bottom, a convenient way to refer to a whole host of aspects that are roughly associated (body, thoughts, feelings, social position, name, etc.). If anything is a self, it would be the continuity of experience, but as that has no identity, it’s not much of a self.

    3) Since identities / models / concepts, etc. are all basically imaginary, to cling to them is the most ignorant thing you could do, but it’s our intense clinging that causes us our greatest suffering.

    Now, the above to you might a) seem like bullshit and if not then, b) not seem to have anything to do with spirituality. If (a), then we’re in for a long discussion. If (b), then you don’t get that “spirituality” need not evoke supernatural beliefs. The point of spirituality is to help us work through the existential dilemma’s we face, to overcome our psychological suffering and to live happy, meaningful lives. That’s it, in my opinion. All of the metaphysical claims and speculations about what we “really are” are just a lot of wasted air… It might be sometimes fun to talk about such things, but they’re really quite beside the point of a spiritual path as far as I am concerned.

  308. Ekkoon 30 May 2014 at 5:20 pm

    AliSina,
    “I said here the behavior of particles as demonstrated in quantum physics make no sense and yet we do not reject it because it is observable. I then said the same applies to consciousness surviving the death. Even though unexplainable, it must be accepted because it is observable. So the commonality is observation.”

    The problem here is where you claim that consciousness surviving death is observable. It is not. The evidence for it is in no way comparable to evidence/experiments in quantum physics. The two are not on the same order of credulity in any way imaginable.

  309. the devils gummy bearon 30 May 2014 at 5:30 pm

    rjbullock, so… Hot air, is it? RESULTS!

    Not really the same results as, say, oh… I don’t know, parking shit in geosynchronous orbits, is it?

  310. hardnoseon 30 May 2014 at 5:36 pm

    “Yeah – but that’s still materialism. QM, M-theory, etc are all consistent with materialism. It comes down to semantics of what you consider materialism, I suppose. There are a lot of (IMO) false BS philosophy distinctions.”

    Steve12,

    You take a word, such as “materialism,” and then do with it whatever you like. That’s fine, but don’t expect anyone to understand what you mean by the word. I have absolutely no idea what you mean by “materialism.”

    Well, actually, maybe I can guess. By “materialism” you mean that things such as ghosts, spirits, gods, angels, etc., are not real. They are hallucinations.

    I think you need to find a better word to describe your belief system.

    Maybe you should call yourself a “hallucinationist.” Meaning that everything anyone experiences that does not fit your preconceptions must be a hallucination.

  311. steve12on 30 May 2014 at 5:46 pm

    Ha! Hardnose – materialism is a classically slippery definition in philosophy. You seem to think material means you can hold it in your hand.

    So educate me hardnose. How are you defining materialism?

  312. Hosson 30 May 2014 at 5:47 pm

    AliSina: You should read what I wrote, specifically, to you. Hoss on 28 May 2014 at 2:58 pm

    Your methods of inquiry are garbage as they lack reliable standards.

    The only thing people here(the naturalist) are denying about NDEs is your interpretation of them – that they happen outside of the body. No one here is denying that people are having these experiences. You’re presenting poorly controlled evidence as incontrovertible. I’m sorry but science does not work like that. The explanations that science provides for NDEs are much more satisfying and does not invoke unnecessary, unverifiable variables.

  313. steve12on 30 May 2014 at 5:50 pm

    Oh, and Hardnose:

    When you answer that “everything is made of matter”, please explain your words here a bit more:

    >Materialism is wrong because it doesn’t make any sense given current scientific knowledge. We know that >“matter” is not made out of little particles of “matter,” for example.

    How do we know this?

  314. Hosson 30 May 2014 at 5:55 pm

    Hardnose: When answering steve12, remember e=mc^2

  315. BillyJoe7on 30 May 2014 at 6:24 pm

    HardNose,

    “What is a quantum denier? Steve N is one example. He states, as if it’s a proven fact that quantum “weirdness” does not exist at the macroscopic level.
    I have posted a link at this blog to research showing that some birds use quantum entanglement (which Steve N would call “wierdness”) in order to navigate.
    There are other biological studies showing quantum effects in plants and animals.”

    Here is your problem.
    Steve says that macroscopic objects don’t EXHIBIT quantum effects.
    You counter by giving examples of quantum effects having CONSEQUENCES at the macroscopic level.
    Do you see your problem?

    The macroscopic consequences of radioactive decay are clicks on a geiger counter.

    The macroscopic consequences of interference at the quantum level is an interference pattern on a photographic plates in double slit experiments.
    But photographic plates themselves do not exhibit interference.

    The macroscopic consequences of quantum tunnelling in the Sun is that the Earth gets warmed.
    But the Earth does not exhibit quantum tunnelling.
    Tennis balls do not pass through solid brick walls.

    The macroscopic consequences of entanglement in electrons within certain molecules in the retina of migrating birds is that birds migrate successfully.
    But birds do not exhibit quantum entanglement with other birds.

    The macroscopic consequences of entanglement in the chloroplasts of plants is that plants are able to use the energy from the Sun at >90% efficiency.
    But the plants do not exhibit quantum entanglement with other plants.

    I am labouring this so that you will understand this and not make that mistake AGAIN!

    If quantum effects did not have consequences at the macroscopic level, then they would not be detectable and physicists would not even know that they exist. So, of course, quantum effects have consequences at the macroscopic level. In fact, the entire macroscopic world is a consequence of quantum interference, entanglement or tunnelling. But the fact is that macroscopic objects do not themselves exhibit quantum interference, entanglement or tunnelling.

    (Theoretically, a tennis ball could pass through a solid brick wall but the universe would have to continue for another trillion trillion trillion times as long as it has already existed in order for there to be a trillion trillion trillion to one chance of that happening – my figures may be off here but, hey, it aint gonna happen!)

  316. Hosson 30 May 2014 at 6:38 pm

    Here is an interesting article I thought relevant to the current discussion.

    “Is materialism “known to be false”?”
    http://rationallyspeaking.blogspot.com/2012/12/is-materialism-known-to-be-false.html

    On a side note, I greatly respect many of the commenters here and of course Dr Novella. The insight and entertainment is very much appreciated.

  317. BillyJoe7on 30 May 2014 at 6:40 pm

    AliSina,

    But still not ONE verified case where the code placed on top of the cupboard was successfully read.
    Why is that?
    After so many thousands of cases, why is that ONE piece of incontrovertible proof missing?

  318. AliSinaon 30 May 2014 at 7:00 pm

    @ # Steven Novella
    “There are plenty of good reasons to doubt that the reports are accurate and true. It’s called psychology. There are countless psychological experiments demonstrating in various ways, and unequivocally, that we cannot trust our memories of our perceptions.”
    This argument would have had some validity if the reports of the NDErs were solely confined to them. Many of these report are confirmed by their doctors while there was no possibility for them to see from their bed, even if they were fully awake. You must explain how one in coma gains psychic ability that they can see things happening in other places and their reports are confirmed.
    I am not going to be impressed with your explanation of how a person with comatose brain can hear and see. It is not rational, but I even accept this fallacious argument if you can explain the telepathic and psychic phenomenon. In the article “Why I Believe in God and the Afterlife Now” I posted a dozen of such cases. There are hundreds of them on youtube.

    “It is NOT because skeptics are closed minded or have already made up their minds”

    I have no argument against this statement. My argument is that many who love to call themselves skeptics are hardcore believers. When you deny evidence and dismiss a mountain of proof as hearsay, you are a believer.
    You dismiss all the testimonies of doctors and the relatives of patients who corroborated the stories of the patients and say they were not done under controlled observing conditions. What constitute controlled observing conditions? Does placing a picture in a high place satisfy your criterion? Why should it? You still have to rely on the testimony of the doctors or experimenters. As far as your reasoning goes it is still hearsay. Please explain in what way it differs from the testimony of doctors and nurses that we have now?
    Raymond Moody has compiled the testimony of over 300 relatives of dying people who although in good health themselves claim to have shared the NDE of their dying relative. That to you is still hear say. I am dealing with believers on daily basis. I know their mindset. You are a believer my dear doctor. I am a skeptic. I left Islam when I saw the evidence, even though it went against everything I held sacred and dear some 18 years ago and less than a year ago I again changed my core belief from atheism to spiritualism, when I see the facts. Denial is stupid. I am committed to truth not to an ideology. I have proven I can change my mind when facts are shown to me. How many times have you changed your mind? You were born with truth. You are above searching for it. Truth bubbles from inside you, so why search it anywhere else.
    Well I was not born with truth inside me. Not as lucky as you I suppose. So as a self-professed ignorant I know the only way for me to become wise (like you) is by being humble and question my beliefs and convictions every day. I pray never arriving at the conviction that you and other faithful believers have arrived.

  319. the devils gummy bearon 30 May 2014 at 7:12 pm

    AliSina, it appears you are not going to “impressed” by what we mean by controls, blinded studies, or quality evidence.

    It appears you are not going to “impressed” by psychological explanations for supposed phenomena, or belief therein, or explanations that are mundane or common (not necessitating flights of fancy).

    You seem to be “impressed” by anecdotes.

  320. AliSinaon 30 May 2014 at 7:20 pm

    @Steve 12
    “How are you defining materialism?”

    I don’t think there is a consensus on the definition of materialism. However, since the meanings of word are conventional, for me matter anything bigger than atom. There is not the universally agreed upon definition. It is just my definition

    Subatomic particles are forms of energy. Yes energy and matter are convertible, just as water and ice are convertible, but they are not the same.

    Consciousness is also a form of energy. It is just as real as matter, but with a different vibration.
    Everything is energy. Or perhaps a better way to say it is, everything is consciousness. Even matter is consciousness. To put it in a simpler way, everything is thought. Maybe the old Hindu sages had it right when they said, the universe is the dream of Brahma.

  321. tmac57on 30 May 2014 at 7:25 pm

    AliSina- What you consider evidence and mountains of proof are still firmly in the realm of ancedote.
    How many times have we heard from the persons who once visited a so called psychic,that “They knew things about me that there IS NO WAY for them to know!”
    But sadly,we DO know how psychics can ferret out such information,through cold reading, hot reading,guessing combined with the motivated sitter unconsciously colluding with the psychic by forgetting the misses and only remembering the hits.
    And as time passes,the story (just like a ‘big fish’ story) gets more eerie and uncanny than it actually was. People’s memory of such things are really,really terrible and fallible to confabulation and exaggeration.
    All of this is the exact reason why no one in their right mind (rational) would accept such unusual stories as fact,solely on the testimony of observers.We are (all of us) really shit when it comes to observation,and especially so when it feeds in to our expectations,wishes,and cultural biases.
    That is why the scientific method was developed.It is not perfect,but out of the whole range of cognitive tools that we have for interrogating reality,it is the one that has again and again got the job done,where other methods have fallen flat for centuries.

  322. AliSinaon 30 May 2014 at 7:30 pm

    @ the devils gummy bearon

    “It appears you are not going to “impressed” by psychological explanations for supposed phenomena, or belief therein, or explanations that are mundane or common (not necessitating flights of fancy).”

    Sure I will be. Please impress me. Explain how patients in coma gain psychic and telepathic ability to see things in other rooms and I will be immensely impressed.

    Explain under what psychological conditions doctors share their patients’ psychosis when the patients are in coma and incommunicado from the world and I will be very impressed.

    What does not impress me is to deny the millions of evidences and pooh-pooh the testimony of those around the patients as shared hallucination. That I find dishonest and disingenuous.

  323. leo100on 30 May 2014 at 7:35 pm

    I agree with Alisina that the evidence for near death experiences is very good. How do you explain people with very little brain activity having these experiences?. Even neurologically speaking these experiences should be impossible if the mind really produced by the brain. Plus, skeptics say that there can still be some deep level of brain activity that could account for these experiences well I don’t think lower cortical processes can take over higher cortical processes. As its usually assumed that the cerebral cortex of the brain is the crucial area for consciousness itself.

  324. leo100on 30 May 2014 at 7:51 pm

    Hoss

    From the blog post you linked too. It is a non-starter to say that reality becomes stable only through the presence of an observer. What was the universe doing before we came along?

    As Andrei Linde puts it nicely you can’t cut me out of the observations and my observations is my consciousness so its kinda weird isn’t it because it assumes that consciousness may have some independent importance. Lawrence Kuhn asks Andrei Linde a question the same one posed above. So sentinent creature have been around for lets say 100,000 years or 10 million years pick your number but the universe seems to have to been around a lot longer than that. Andrei Linde then says that true it seems that way as if it were around that long and this brings me too a quantum interpretation of Copenhagen that everything comes to existence by the time it is observed you reduce the wave function of the universe into a certain state after you observe the universe. Before you make an observation there is no such thing as a real existence of anything there but once you make an observation everything looks as if it existed all the time before it happens.

  325. leo100on 30 May 2014 at 7:58 pm

    Hoss

    Quantum physics says that matter isn’t primary anymore that energy is now. But, my point is that consciousness fits perfectly into quantum mechanics and many physicists know this. I find naturalism a dead end when it comes to consciousness and other phenomenon that I think are indeed real like some mediums, near death experiences, out of body experiences, apparitions and so on.

  326. Hosson 30 May 2014 at 8:02 pm

    Leo: Holy crap….
    I don’t have time to deal with you, but you’re wrong about the science.

  327. the devils gummy bearon 30 May 2014 at 8:08 pm

    Sure I will be. Please impress me. Explain how patients in coma gain psychic and telepathic ability to see things in other rooms and I will be immensely impressed.

    I am unaware of any verifiable evidence that demonstrates psychic or telepathic abilities. Will you provide me with this evidence, cited appropriately? This will surely be impressive, will it not?

    Please impress me. Explain how patients in coma gain psychic and telepathic ability to see things in other rooms and I will be immensely impressed.

    Doctors share patients’ psychosis when they are in a coma? I’m afraid I don’t follow (and I don’t want to presume)

    What does not impress me is to deny the millions of evidences and pooh-pooh the testimony of those around the patients as shared hallucination. That I find dishonest and disingenuous.

    I don’t understand what “millions of evidences” means. As for pooh-poohing the testimony of… I think I understand what you’re getting at, but it would appear you are not open explanations that are not inline with what you believe in. If I am to take your statement at face value, you are saying that explanations that you don’t agree with… are dishonest and disingenuous?

  328. the devils gummy bearon 30 May 2014 at 8:18 pm

    Sorry AliSina, I made a markup mistake and pasted the same quote twice. It should be obvious what I meant anywho…

  329. rjbullockon 30 May 2014 at 8:26 pm

    There’s no way to reconcile this guys, isn’t that obvious? Different models, different purposes.

    From a certain perspective you can say the brain produces consciousness… from the perspective of a neuroscience major *perhaps* (and not even definitely)…

    But from the perspective of a laymen, we use “folk models” for describing the ways we experience reality. That’s our primary concern: *how we experience reality*… not what is “real” or “true” or “scientifically valid” but what makes a difference in the quality of our lives. Utility, in other words.

    For example…

    While I am in no way a theist, I find great utility in the use of symbolic beings to represent various states of mind… So, for example, when you are in a very kind, compassionate state of mind you call that “Chenrezig” (a sound symbol) and perhaps give it a visual symbol as well… something that looks like a human or a mythical creature, or a simple geometric design, etc. Then, when you wish to enter that state of mind, you call that symbol to mind, you “supplicate it” (that is, generate the desire to enter the target state of mind) and you’re either their or not.

    That’s a spiritual practice but it makes perfect sense, does it not? It’s an incredibly powerful way to work with our own minds. Now, if you were to say, “But that’s just symbolic! True believers take the symbols literally!”, I would agree, that is a mistake. But why do the fundamentalists / literalists get to lay claim to spiritual traditions and teachings they don’t even understand?!

  330. grabulaon 30 May 2014 at 8:34 pm

    @steve12

    “I love the fact that hardnose doesn’t believe in supernatural, but doesn’t believe in materialism. WTF does that mean”

    Hard nose definitely believes in the supernatural, he’s defended it on this blog on the past. Don’t let him fool you.

  331. grabulaon 30 May 2014 at 8:48 pm

    @leo

    “In fact your wrong”

    You idiots have yet to prove a single concept you’ve defended and yet you keep making this absolute statement. You’ve shown less than a basic understanding of science, the scientific method, physics or evidence and somehow keep making this statement.

    How about you try this Leo, next time you want to accuse someone of being ‘in fact’ wrong, you then follow that with some evidence for your statement?

  332. the devils gummy bearon 30 May 2014 at 8:49 pm

    rjbullock, no offense, but what you are describing as “incredibly powerful” spiritual practices, I call naval gazing.

  333. the devils gummy bearon 30 May 2014 at 8:52 pm

    *”Navel gazing”

    Not to be confused with leering at hot sailors.

  334. grabulaon 30 May 2014 at 9:00 pm

    @leo

    . “I am not an expert in physics or another other fields but I do have some knowledge about it.”

    And yet some knowledge allows you to state absolutely that people who disagree with you are ‘in fact’ wrong. Dunning, this is Kruger, I have another subject for our study

  335. leo100on 30 May 2014 at 9:02 pm

    Neither do on have the time time to deal with you either Hoss. I have evidence why not look at my blog instead of me having to repeat the sources.

    http://paranormalandlifeafterdeath.blogspot.ca/

  336. the devils gummy bearon 30 May 2014 at 9:06 pm

    There it is. There’s the money shot. Blog to flog.

  337. AliSinaon 30 May 2014 at 9:15 pm

    @ the devils gummy bear
    >>I am unaware of any verifiable evidence that demonstrates psychic or telepathic abilities. Will you provide me with this evidence, cited appropriately? This will surely be impressive, will it not?<>Doctors share patients’ psychosis when they are in a coma? I’m afraid I don’t follow (and I don’t want to presume)<>“it would appear you are not open explanations that are not in line with what you believe in.<<

    I could say that same about you. This is not true in my case. I have provided my evidence and you can find plenty of them if you search NDE on Youtube. Ignore the ones that are not confirmed by someone other than the patient. Just pay attention to the ones attested by others. If you spend time watching many of them, you eventually agree that something is going on and it is no longer honest to dismiss all these testimonies as hearsay.

  338. grabulaon 30 May 2014 at 9:17 pm

    @midnight

    “I already addressed that. No thanks don’t email I don’t want you’re rationality and science intruding on my woo”

    There, I fixed Leo’s response to you

  339. AliSinaon 30 May 2014 at 9:21 pm

    @ the devils gummy bear

    Sorry for the double posting but the first one was not published correctly I supposed the signs I entered were interpreted as html code.

    “I am unaware of any verifiable evidence that demonstrates psychic or telepathic abilities. Will you provide me with this evidence, cited appropriately? This will surely be impressive, will it not?”

    In the article Why I Believe in God and Afterlife Now I posted a dozen of such examples. You can find it with Google. I am a guest here and have to follow the orders of the host. He is not happy with me posting links to my articles on his blog.

    “Doctors share patients’ psychosis when they are in a coma? I’m afraid I don’t follow (and I don’t want to presume)”

    The examples I posted in the above mentioned article all are endorsed by people other than the patients, which exclude the claim that their experiences were subjective and hallucinatory. For example, a patient dies. His doctors, end the operation and leave him to be taken to the morgue. A couple of them then discuss among each other in the corridor about what they could or should have done. There was no way for the patient to see them or hear their conversation from the bed he was lying on, even if he was fully awake. (He was dead.) Then the patient comes back to life, on his own and reports exactly what the two doctors were discussing and where they were standing. He even says who had his arms crossed and was leaning against the wall. If anyone can explain what psychological phenomenon can make two doctors and their resuscitated patient share a hallucination of this kind I will be very impressed. Forget about me. You will be making a name for yourself in science and will certainly win the Nobel Prize.

    The believers in materialism will go to any absurd explanation to deny that such experiences are real. Sorry I am not a believer. I have no faith to defend, no ideology to fight for. I accept the truth when sufficient proof is provided. What I have seen in NDE is more than enough proof. Those who deny them have not seen them. They have not seen them because they feel no need to. Why waste time when they already know the truth?

    “it would appear you are not open explanations that are not in line with what you believe in.”

    I could say that same about you. This is not true in my case. I have provided my evidence and you can find plenty of them if you search NDE on Youtube. Ignore the ones that are not confirmed by someone other than the patient. Just pay attention to the ones attested by others. If you spend time watching many of them, you eventually agree that something is going on and it is no longer honest to dismiss all these testimonies as hearsay.

  340. grabulaon 30 May 2014 at 9:34 pm

    @alsina

    “That is not fact but theory”

    Supported by tons of evidence, repeatable. This is something you guys keep missing the point of. You want to put strictly anecdotal evidence up against hard, experimentally verifiable evidence.

    “Isn’t this exactly what you people do all the time? ”

    Uh no, we support or claims with actual dyed in the wool scientific evidence. You guys dint seem to comprehend the difference. That’s why the continuous statements about us not understanding you come ase extremely ironic. You need to grasp the basics before you can start pointing fingers

    “The Faithfulness of the Skeptic.”

    Alsina, you can’t debunk something if you dint even understand the fundamental basics you are arguing with our against. With each ridiculous claim your hole gets that much deeper.

  341. grabulaon 30 May 2014 at 9:41 pm

    @rbullock

    “It’s obvious to quantum physicists”.

    Fantastic, another one to add to the flock. You haven’t done much reading around these parts have you. The minute you invoke quantum physics as an excuse to believe what you want to believe because it’s ‘wierd’ you’ve already defeated yourself, no effort on our part needed

    If there’s one lesson you true believers should walk away with, it’s that just because quantum physics is wierd, it in NO WAY supports any type of bizarre magical thinking you want to defend. The minute you make this mistake you lose all credibility.

  342. grabulaon 30 May 2014 at 9:48 pm

    I apologize for the string of posts guys. I go to bed and wake up 7 hrs later to find the special needs kids still pushing against the door that says pull

  343. grabulaon 30 May 2014 at 9:56 pm

    @AlSina

    “So as a self-professed ignorant I know the only way for me to become wise (like you) is by being humble and question my beliefs and convictions every day”

    I’m not buying your BS. This is yet another tactic by you woo believers, a claim of humbleness in the face of skeptical hubris. Except where you guys accuse us of being absolutely wrong, incapable of understanding your arguments or your ‘evidence ‘. Please read up on Dunning/Kruger to find the source of your mistakes.

  344. grabulaon 30 May 2014 at 9:58 pm

    @AlSina

    “Explain how patients in coma gain psychic and telepathic ability to see things in other rooms and I will be immensely impressed.”

    Evidence please.

  345. pious fraudon 30 May 2014 at 10:03 pm

    I was seriously hoping that Alien Hand Syndrome link was going straight to a picture of Dr Strangelove saluting

  346. grabulaon 30 May 2014 at 10:07 pm

    @rjbullok

    “There’s no way to reconcile this guys, isn’t that obvious? Different models, different purposes”

    This is wishful, magical thinking at its worst. All things are subjective dudes. .. It’s all good, interpret and believe in whatever makes you comfortable. ..

  347. the devils gummy bearon 30 May 2014 at 10:10 pm

    I could say that same about you. This is not true in my case.

    Okay.

    I have provided my evidence and you can find plenty of them if you search NDE on Youtube.

    I have to search YouTube for your evidence?

    Ignore the ones that are not confirmed by someone other than the patient. Just pay attention to the ones attested by others.

    So… Ignore some, but not others? I don’t understand the criteria.

    If you spend time watching many of them, you eventually agree that something is going on and it is no longer honest to dismiss all these testimonies as hearsay.

    If I spend time, let’s say a lot of time, watching videos, many of them, but if I don’t come to the conclusion that “something” is going on, are you telling me I would have to be dishonest by that point? What if there are other explanations that are plausible? Is any explanation not inline with what you believe going to be a form of “dismissing testimonies as hearsay”?

    In the article Why I Believe in God and Afterlife Now I posted a dozen of such examples. You can find it with Google.

    I have to do a web search to find your “examples”? What are your examples?

    I am a guest here and have to follow the orders of the host. He is not happy with me posting links to my articles on his blog.

    Steve isn’t allowing you to share links? I wouldn’t know anything about that.

    The examples I posted in the above mentioned article all are endorsed by people other than the patients, which exclude the claim that their experiences were subjective and hallucinatory. For example, a patient dies. His doctors, end the operation and leave him to be taken to the morgue. A couple of them then discuss among each other in the corridor about what they could or should have done. There was no way for the patient to see them or hear their conversation from the bed he was lying on, even if he was fully awake. (He was dead.) Then the patient comes back to life, on his own and reports exactly what the two doctors were discussing and where they were standing. He even says who had his arms crossed and was leaning against the wall.

    I don’t understand the purpose of this story. Is this an anecdote you heard?

    If anyone can explain what psychological phenomenon can make two doctors and their resuscitated patient share a hallucination of this kind I will be very impressed. Forget about me. You will be making a name for yourself in science and will certainly win the Nobel Prize.

    I don’t think you will be “impressed” by anything. I think it is you, who will be making a name for yourself, winning a Nobel (or whatever), but I don’t think you are going to get anywhere with stories.

    Sure.

  348. grabulaon 30 May 2014 at 10:11 pm

    @AlSina

    “This is not true in my case. I have provided my evidence and you can find plenty of them if you search NDE on Youtube”

    I have a challenge for you AlSina, can you define anecdotal evidence and can you explain to us why anecdotal evidence is problematic. Don’t cut and paste, just answer the question

  349. grabulaon 30 May 2014 at 10:12 pm

    @pious fraud

    Lol, I keep getting flashes of idle hands…

  350. grabulaon 30 May 2014 at 10:17 pm

    Whether Dr.Novella cares about blog posts or not, if you came here to discuss there’s no reason you can’t post your arguments here. I don’t click on blog links about 99% of the time because it’s just fishing for hits.

  351. the devils gummy bearon 30 May 2014 at 10:17 pm

    The believers in materialism will go to any absurd explanation to deny that such experiences are real. Sorry I am not a believer. I have no faith to defend, no ideology to fight for. I accept the truth when sufficient proof is provided. What I have seen in NDE is more than enough proof. Those who deny them have not seen them. They have not seen them because they feel no need to. Why waste time when they already know the truth?

    Sure.

    You’re not a believer. Believers go to absurd… Denial… Yada yada yada. You have no faith to defend. No ideology to fight for. You accept the truth… Adequate proof… Provided… Deniers… Why waste time… Got it.

    Totally.

    Godspeed with all of that.

    Gummy Bear out.

  352. rjbullockon 30 May 2014 at 10:27 pm

    “This is wishful, magical thinking at its worst. All things are subjective dudes. .. It’s all good, interpret and believe in whatever makes you comfortable. ..”

    No, that’s not what I said. I did NOT say that “all things are subjective”… I said that SOME things are subjective and we have ways of working with THOSE things and it’s called, among other things, “spirituality”… You apparently believe that the scientific mode of working with reality is the ONLY means of working with reality. I say that’s a pretty narrow approach.

    Guess what? Subjective reality is a reality!

    Another one of you Adherents of Scientism dismissed my religious practice as “navel gazing”… Ah, sure, right. Because there’s nothing else to see here, learn here or realize here except the terms, methods and conclusions of The Scientists.

  353. leo100on 30 May 2014 at 10:34 pm

    Grabula

    Stop misrepresenting my response to Midnight he is an obvious troll and has an axe to grind. He is also a spammer and liar as well. He leaves too when at the end of the daily grail discussion when someone called his out on his arguments and debunked them.

  354. grabulaon 30 May 2014 at 10:59 pm

    @rjbullock

    “I said that SOME things are subjective and we have ways of working with THOSE things and it’s called, among other things, “spirituality”… ”

    This is nonsensical. What you’re trying to say is since we don’t understand everything, therefore magic!

    Science is a methodology, a way of finding answers and it’s the absolutely the best process we have currently. Just because it doesn’t support what you want to believe doesn’t make it anything more or less.

  355. the devils gummy bearon 30 May 2014 at 11:01 pm

    Guess what? Subjective reality is a reality!

    Anything goes pomo land. WHEEEEEEE!!!

    Another one of you Adherents of Scientism dismissed my religious practice as “navel gazing”… Ah, sure, right. Because there’s nothing else to see here, learn here or realize here except the terms, methods and conclusions of The Scientists.

    Now now, no need to get cranky. No one cares what you believe in. You’re welcome to it. And you’re also full of it. Who cares?

  356. grabulaon 30 May 2014 at 11:02 pm

    @leo

    “Stop misrepresenting my response….”

    I don’t care what your beef to grind with midnight is. It appears he’s called some true believers out and they don’t like it. What’s more telling to me is that you’re so busy cut and pasting some argument someone else has with him, and not busy enough trying to understand where you reason has gone. I highly recommend you start with the last article Hoss posted. Massimo dies a good job of breaking down the problems you guys are having with reconciling your deep misunderstanding of physics and consciousness.

  357. leo100on 30 May 2014 at 11:07 pm

    @midnight

    A full rebuttal of arguments against DD Home mediumship can be found here. http://bensteigmann.blogspot.ca/2014_02_01_archive.html

  358. grabulaon 30 May 2014 at 11:19 pm

    You kill me leo…

    “http://bensteigmann.blogspot.ca/2014_02_01_archive.html”

    He builds ridiculous strawmen such as our ‘fear’ that an acknowledgement of psi or the soul would somehow bring us back to the dark age. What people like you and him don’t understand is that most of us are behind the advancement of knowledge and our understanding of the universe. I would LOVE to find out there is life after death, the problem is, I won’t follow that desire credulously. Psychic powers, pretty sweet if they were real. Being visited by aliens from another world, my dream come true. However where skeptics part with true believers is the scientific method, not fear.

    The second thing I find ridiculous about this article is all his ‘heroes’ he admits aren’t lauded, and ate typically regarded as charlatans and frauds within the scientific community. Of course he sees a conspiracy to keep the truth down but we know better than that don’t we Leo. If these guys were providing good, hard evidence they wouldn’t be viewed as crackpots would they?

  359. leo100on 30 May 2014 at 11:27 pm

    Are you so sure about that?. The psychology is pretty simple here you guys don’t care one ounce about scientific evidence. It would bring us back to the dark age the costs are too high are on your side of the fence. I don’t believe in conspiracies at all because there is no good evidence for any conspiracy theory that I have heard of. But I do think that materialists like to slow the progression of science down. Sure has materialism succeeded greatly before it sure has it gave us all this technology we have today. But when it runs into a brick wall when it comes to evidence it can’t erase such as life after death evidence, consciousness, psi phenomenon evidence as well as quantum physics.

  360. hardnoseon 30 May 2014 at 11:28 pm

    “Steve says that macroscopic objects don’t EXHIBIT quantum effects.
    You counter by giving examples of quantum effects having CONSEQUENCES at the macroscopic level.
    Do you see your problem?”

    No BillyJoe7 I don’t see the problem. If birds can use quantum entanglement, then we know quantum effects can be perceived by at least some animals. This makes all kinds of “weirdness,” including ESP, possible.

    Materialists love to say this is all woo and nonsense. But as more evidence is collected, it will get harder for them to ignore. Of course, then they will say that the researchers cheated, or are complete idiots who don’t understand anything about science. EVEN IF the research is published in the Physical Review.

  361. The Other John Mcon 30 May 2014 at 11:51 pm

    I have an honest set of questions for those of you that think: “if some subset of people believe it [OBE, NDE, Bigfoot, spirits, etc.] then some of them MUST be correct, therefore it must be true.”

    Am I correctly representing your thinking with the following?: There are thousands of reported sightings/experiences of [OBE, NDE, Bigfoot, spirits, etc], so if only a measely 1% is correct, then there are almost certainly *dozens* of true reports of these things, and it’s not possible all of them are lying/hallucinating/confused/on-drugs/etc. Ergo, some are true, this is good proof.”

    This is a pretty convincing argument, except for the fact that you have the math totally and 100% ass-backwards. I’ll explain with an easy to follow demonstration:

    Some people, some of the time, misperceive and misunderstand what they experience, they sometimes lie, sometimes are on drugs, sometimes (most likely I believe) they are honestly confused. I think (hope) we can agree this is undeniably and absolutely true.

    There are 7 billion people on planet earth. Let’s say each of us, once per week, has some experience that results in some type of misperception, it could be minor (I thought I put my keys over here!), it could be major (OMG I just saw a flying monkey!), but let’s assume on average one occurs once per person per week. Any type of notable misperception will do.

    Misperceptions = 7 billion/week. In a given year that’s 364 billion opportunities for some misperception of the external environment to occur, for whatever reason. Out of all the possible misperceptions that might occur, maybe only a tiny tiny tiny fraction (let’s say .00000001%) involve the misperceived feelings of OBE, NDE, or seeing Bigfoot in some nearby shrubbery. This math predicts that roughly 3,640 reports of OBE, NDE, or Bigfoot should occur each year, due ONLY to misperceptions that we all agree can occur at anytime to any of us.

    The important point to notice here is that there are MORE than enough possibilities of misperceptions to account for ALL REPORTED sightings of Bigfoot or OBE or NDE experiences reported each year across the world (and this is excluding possiblities of outright lying or drug use, which demonstrably occurs at a high rate). It really is simple math here, you just need to work in the proper direction without ASSUMING beforehand that some of these experiences must absolutely definitely undeniably have to be true, because the math speaks for itself.

  362. grabulaon 30 May 2014 at 11:57 pm

    @leo, you’ve shown that what you think and the reality are not the same thing. When presented with actual evidence you do nothing but deny. You simultaneously claim weer know nothing and aren’t interested in evidence then proclaim your own ignorance and deny evidence presented to you.

    I don’t believe ANYTHING that advances or knowledge of the world will inherently set us back. In fact is probably true that many skeptics started out wanting to believe but when the evidence collapsed faced the reality instead of running screaming from it and into the arms of the irrational. As a child I read every book on ufo and aliens I could. I soaked up comic books like any other young boy would. I didn’t one day decide not only does all of that stuff suck but now I have to fight ruthlessly against it no matter what. I came slowly, kicking and screaming, to the realization that that isn’t the world we live in. I decided that is only rational to follow the evidence.

    This is one of the biggest strawmen true believers construct about us to defend their intellectual dishonesty. Instead of accepting the evidence plainly in front of them they’re still in that kicking and screaming phase and they won’t let go.

    So far any brick wall science had run into has been moved past in favor of a path to more knowledge.

  363. grabulaon 31 May 2014 at 12:00 am

    Not only would I like to see any of this stuff confirmed by actual evidence, the little kid inside of me still gets excited to see reports of ufo or Bigfoot or psychic powers. The problem is time and time again that little kid still gets let down.

  364. the devils gummy bearon 31 May 2014 at 12:22 am

    I’ve Tim Minchin’s Storm (NSFW) on my mind, after the latest leo/hardnose/rjbullock (yes, rjbullock too) barrage.

    I want there to be evidence for something incredible. That would be something. That would be AWESOME! That would be so fucking massively cool.

    What do we get instead of evidence? Limp debunked-to-fuck links and links and links… and links… that go on and on and on into tunnels of dim dinky dumbness forever and ever, and advocates so steeped in credulity that they can’t even see the end of their noses through the dank of their thinking.

  365. The Other John Mcon 31 May 2014 at 12:27 am

    A related question regarding OBE’s after resuscitation from “death.” Out of the total number of people that are “dead” but then resuscitated, how many report OBE’s? My guess would be a small percentage or even a tiny one. But if the soul is real and explains consciousness (plus some quantum mechanics thrown in), and this survives after death, and lives deep inside all of us…why only the small percentage of people that this actually occurs to? Why not a majority, or even all resuscitation patients? Seriously, why the huge disconnect. Please think about why this occurs so very rarely.

    A random but perhaps related quote by Jack Handey: “If God lives inside all of us, like some people say, I hope he likes burritos because that’s what he’s getting!”

  366. rjbullockon 31 May 2014 at 1:04 am

    Grabula, why do you have to be so rude and condescending? Does it fill an emotional need of some sort? I’m sure it’s VERY rational, whatever it is.

  367. BillyJoe7on 31 May 2014 at 1:23 am

    HardNose,

    Nope, it seems you don’t see the problem…

    “No BillyJoe7 I don’t see the problem. If birds can use quantum entanglement, then we know quantum effects can be perceived by at least some animals. This makes all kinds of “weirdness,” including ESP, possible”

    In that short paragraph you have made no less than three errors.

    Firstly, the idea that birds use quantum entanglement for navigation is, at present, pure speculation: It was observed that a magnetic field one thousandth the strength of the Earth’s magnetic field could put a migratory bird off course. They only way they could think of that that could happen is if there is a quantum explanation for the phenomenon. They then hypothesised about what a quantum explanation would look like, and they came up with a possible mechanism involving quantum entanglement.
    But none of this has been verified. After three years it remains as pure speculation.
    Although I agree that this is a plausible explanation, it is telling that you have latched onto this possible, maybe, as yet un-evidenced, preliminary idea as if it’s been set in stone.

    Secondly, how these birds “perceive quantum entanglement” is essentially no different from how physicists “perceive quantum interference”. The hypothesis is that migratory birds have a map of the Earth’s magnetic field superimposed on their retinas, and hence their vision. This is no different from the interference pattern that appears on the physicists’ screen in the double slit experiment.
    Also, anyone can perceive radioactive decay (listen to a Geiger counter!) or quantum tunnelling (stand out on the sun).

    Thirdly, just because quantum effects are weird doesn’t allow you to pull in any sort of weirdness you like. No matter how weird quantum effects are, they are real with incontrovertible evidence to back them up. That quantum effects are real and weird lends no credence at all to any other type of weirdness being possible. Quantum physics has done the hard yards of evidence. ESP has been driven out of the yard by the lack of evidence.

  368. BillyJoe7on 31 May 2014 at 1:51 am

    AliSina,

    Okay,

    You have got thousands of anecdotes.
    But, you have not got one piece of hard evidence.
    You have got the anecdotal basis for an hypothesis.
    But, you have not got the evidential basis for a theory.

    May I suggest the following:
    (Seeing that you have been unable to come up with that ONE case I asked for)

    Instead of collecting more fairly useless anecdotes, use your valuable time to collect some hard evidence. Set up an experiment where codes are placed on top of cupboards in a resuscitation wards around the country. Then wait for someone experiencing an OBE to crack the code.

    Done.
    No more arguing.
    But you have to be willing to put your belief in the afterlife on the line – are you up to it?

  369. grabulaon 31 May 2014 at 1:56 am

    @rjbullock

    “Grabula, why do you have to be so rude and condescending? Does it fill an emotional need of some sort? I’m sure it’s VERY rational, whatever it is”

    I’m calling your BS. I’m not as patient as the rest of these guys for the silliness some if you bring to these conversations. You have no interest in an intellectually honest conversation, you’re just here to spot off your crappy philosophy you have mistaken for science. We’ve been dealing with just your brand of bs so much in this thread I could have your argument for you. As the rest of them you’ll come here, spout the vacuous crap you have, refuse to acknowledge any kind of evidence we provide you refuting your claims. You’ll mistake your huge gaps in understanding as proof for your claims. You’ll condescend and say we don’t understand your arguments, then you’ll turn around and try to paint yourself as just a humble question asker who’s keeping an open mind while us evil close minded skeptics continue to not understand poor rjbullock.

    It’s tiresome, and I’ve lost all of my patience. Some if these guys feel honest discourse is going to get them sonewhere with you but the problem is you’re not here asking honest questions, you’re here to test you’re personal theories with non believers but you’ll get frustrated because we won’t buy your unintelligible and unsupportable stance. If we’re really ‘lucky’ you’ll start posting links to your blog so you can atleast score some hits there before you go.

    It’s extremely rare to gety someone in here who starts talking about woo based garbage who is honestly keeping an open mind. 99% of you tiresomely repeat the same crap making the same bad arguments. YOU within two posts jumped straight to quantum physics to support your crap, classic mistake.

    Maybe you’re getting the picture? Close minded commitment to useless misunderstandings of science do not a conversation make.

  370. AliSinaon 31 May 2014 at 1:59 am

    @ the devils gummy bear

    “I have to search YouTube for your evidence?”
    All you have to do is type NDE in Youtube and you’ll find hundreds of videos.

    “So… Ignore some, but not others? I don’t understand the criteria.”
    Since you will dismiss the testimonies of people with NDE with no other person corroborating them as hallucination, I said you can ignore them. But if you want to believe them you may do so and it will make my job easier.

    “If I spend time, let’s say a lot of time, watching videos, many of them, but if I don’t come to the conclusion that “something” is going on, are you telling me I would have to be dishonest by that point? What if there are other explanations that are plausible? Is any explanation not in line with what you believe going to be a form of “dismissing testimonies as hearsay”?”

    If you have any explanation I would be glad to hear them. So far the only explanation I heard is that these stories are hallucination. That is not a correct answer. A dead person cannot hallucinate what is going on in the other room and be right about it.

    “I have to do a web search to find your “examples”? What are your examples?”
    I am afraid you have to search my article as I was specifically told by the owner of this blog not to post links to my blog. Just type the title I gave you and it will be the first article on Google search.

    “Steve isn’t allowing you to share links? I wouldn’t know anything about that.”

    I was told not to do it. You can read it yourself

    “I don’t understand the purpose of this story. Is this an anecdote you heard?”
    It is one of the cases I posted on my blog. But you can watch it on Youtube. Here is the link.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JL1oDuvQR08

    ‘I don’t think you will be “impressed” by anything.” This is projection. You are projecting your own trait on me. I am always open to hear new ideas and willing to change my views. Done it at least twice! I was a Muslim and then an atheist and now a spiritualist. You can still read my atheistic articles on my blog. Haven’t changed them.

  371. AliSinaon 31 May 2014 at 2:20 am

    @ BillyJoe 7
    “Instead of collecting more fairly useless anecdotes, use your valuable time to collect some hard evidence. Set up an experiment where codes are placed on top of cupboards in a resuscitation wards around the country. Then wait for someone experiencing an OBE to crack the code.”

    And in what ways the above is different from the cases I provided in my article? It is my understanding that such test is being conducted. It is only a matter of time to get result.
    No one knows why only a fraction of people who flat line have OBE. That is of yet a mystery. But I suppose if one person has a soul everyone must have it.

  372. BillyJoe7on 31 May 2014 at 2:34 am

    BJ: “Set up an experiment where codes are placed on top of cupboards in a resuscitation wards around the country. Then wait for someone experiencing an OBE to crack the code.”

    AS: “And in what ways the above is different from the cases I provided in my article?”

    You really don’t know do you?
    You really don’t know the difference between anecdotes and hard evidence.

    “It is my understanding that such test is being conducted. It is only a matter of time to get result”

    But what do you care?
    You don’t even think that hard evidence is necessary.
    All you need are your anecdotes.

  373. the devils gummy bearon 31 May 2014 at 2:47 am

    Hey AliSina, I’m more than willing to return to a discussion, but I would prefer a more thoughtful one, as I’m sure you would too. I gave you a little bit of my time, please tell me if this acceptable- give my five minutes of your time… Here’s a starting point, regarding anecdotes and testimonials and so forth, brought to you by the SGU 5X5 (our distinguished and lovely all around host’s companion podcast): http://www.theskepticsguide.org/podcast/5×5/112

    It will only take five minutes of your time.

    Also, tell me if you’re not even going to bother, just as a courtesy, if you wouldn’t mind (I don’t want to spend any more time on anything if you’re not going to spend any time either).

    And if you’re really up to talking about this stuff, like for realz… Here’s Steve et al discussing NDEs and OBEs: http://www.theskepticsguide.org/podcast/5×5/68 (c’mon, you know you have 5 more minutes, I mean, all of the questions you’ve asked me, the things you’d say you’d be “impressed” by, are gone over right there).

    If you’re really serious about this stuff, AliSina, let’s start here. Or not. That’s fine to.

  374. the devils gummy bearon 31 May 2014 at 3:17 am

    Oh…

    If you have any explanation I would be glad to hear them. So far the only explanation I heard is that these stories are hallucination. That is not a correct answer. A dead person cannot hallucinate what is going on in the other room and be right about it.

    I’m pretty sure a dead person means they’re dead. Died. Gone to meet his maker… Pining for the fjords. Passed on. Ex-parrot. Etc.

    What I mean, AliSina, is that if you a person is “dead”, you are of course referring to brain death? You know there’s no coming back from that, right? There’s no story time after brain death.

    Not to get ahead of myself here, I want to know if you’re going to bother listening to those 5X5s. This comment you made caught my eye for some reason. I’ll get to the rest of your comment after I find your site/blog.

  375. AliSinaon 31 May 2014 at 4:18 am

    @ the devils gummy bear

    I listened to the audio on anecdotal evidence. I have no problem with that definition. I told you to watch the videos about NDE and ignore the ones that are not corroborated by someone other than the patient. You wondered why. It is because those testimonies are anecdotal. Someone can report he went to heaven and met God and his grandparents. We have no way to confirm that his experience was real.

    However, if this person also sees an aunt of his in heaven of whom he had no knowledge because she had died before he was born and no one had told him about her, then he is coming back with information that he could not have known. Then you can no longer dismiss his experience as anecdotal. If you dismiss that experience then you have to explain how he came to know of his aunt? There are several cases like that. One child died and when he was resucitated he said he met his sister. No one had told him about his dead sister. Another two years old child has memories of being a pilot in the Second World War and his airplane being shut by the Japanese. His agnostic father finally decides to investigate and finds out that a pilot as described by his son actually had been killed during a bombing mission on Japan. The boy also remembered the name of his friend in the war who was also identified and was still alive in his 80s. Cases like these cannot be classified as anecdotal.

    So while the first category of testimonies, that I said ignore, is anecdotal the second category is not. They are also not scientific. They can’t be tested in laboratory or replicated. This is all we can get and that is good enough. The test you are proposing and is being conducted will not give us anything more than what these proven cases give us.

    I hope it I was successful to explain the difference between anecdotal and proven cases.

  376. AliSinaon 31 May 2014 at 4:23 am

    Just search my name on any search engine and you can get to my blogs

  377. the devils gummy bearon 31 May 2014 at 4:46 am

    I do not see the purpose of these stories or understand where you’re getting them from. Regardless, these are anecdotal stories.

    This is all we can get and that is good enough.

    If this is all we can get, then it is not good enough.

    BJ7 suggested an experiment to test your hypothesis. It is a very good example of the sort of controlled example that could test your claim.

    …will not give us anything more than what these proven cases give us.

    I see no indication that anything has ever been proven.

    I’ve found your blog, and can make very little sense out of it, and don’t understand what I’m supposed to find there. I also watched the YouTube video you linked to. Every physician I know has a freak story or two. I didn’t find his interesting at all, in fact, as far as freaky doctor stories go, that one was kind of lackluster.

  378. the devils gummy bearon 31 May 2014 at 5:00 am

    If your threshold for what constitutes as “proven” is this low, then I have a bridge to sell you.

    (And don’t worry, a guy who knows a guy says he spoke to someone about the bridge and their story vaguely lines up with another bridge story about this same bridge, if you tell the story just so, so they line up, so, you know; proof)

  379. AliSinaon 31 May 2014 at 5:18 am

    “I do not see the purpose of these stories or understand where you’re getting them from. Regardless, these are anecdotal stories.”

    In that case I see no point in continuing debating with you I explained very clearly the difference between anecdotal and proven stories. If you did not understand there is no point for me to continue and if you understood and still insist because that would mean you have to reevaluate your entire Weltanschauung and find it hard, then there is no point in debating with you. If all you are interested in is intellectual masturbation, you better fine another partner.

    The stories I quoted are not made up by me. You can check them up in the article Why I Believe in God and the Afterlife Now.

  380. grabulaon 31 May 2014 at 5:25 am

    @AlSina

    “In that case I see no point in continuing debating with you I explained very clearly the difference between anecdotal and proven stories”

    Nothing, I don’t get why you can’t understand this alsina. A story is just that, a story. Unless they perform repeatable experiments you literally have nothing but stories.

    Serious question, do you belief in Bigfoot? There are hundreds of stories of people who have witnessed them. Many of these by multiple people. Ufo’s?

    You claim to be an atheist? There are hundreds of people who’ve witnessed miracles. My grandmother swears when she got hit by lightning she literally saw jesus Christ reach down from the clouds to pull her into heaven.

  381. mumadaddon 31 May 2014 at 5:55 am

    Alisina,

    The example about the dead aunt: this is not good evidence. The person may have seen photographs of this aunt, they may have come back from their NDE with a vague discription of seeing a woman, and later concluded this was their aunt, either through their family jumping to that conclusion based on vague information and embellishing the details, or a predisposition to believe that they were in the afterlife and then later trying to find a fit for what they saw. This is the same way in which people come to believe horoscopes and phychic readings: they seek out patterns that vaguely fit and then shoehorn in the details. You need some sort of objective evidence. If the experiment mentioned earlier with placing cards in operating rooms where they could only be seen from a high vantage point, and recording the number of NDE experiencers who are able to correctly identify the card, comes back dead negative, will you alter your position? My guess is not, but can you see the value of this experiment, and how it would undermine the notion of disembodied consciousness if it turns out negative?

    The same goes with pilot example. You start of with a reported past life experience of a pilot being shot down, then off you go to trawl through however many hundreds or thousands of documented cases of this happening to find a match. It seems unlikely you wouldn’t find a match given the sample size available to trawl through. It would be more impressive if this person could have said what their name was in their past life, and it could be demonstrated that they had no exposureto this information, but I’ll bet this wasn’t the case.

    This all comes down to human cognitive biases. We are asking for examples that can’t be easily explained by loose criteria for a hit, retrofitting to fit a personal narrative, confirmation bias etc.

    The fact that you have a lot of anecdotes makes them not the slightest bit better evidence.

  382. mumadaddon 31 May 2014 at 7:02 am

    And seriously, a friggin 2 year old. That seems awfully you to be able to give an accurate, and sufficiently detailed account of a vision or NDE that it could later be corroborated to a high enough degree of confidence to claim it as a hit. Do you honestly not see the huge red flags here?

  383. mumadaddon 31 May 2014 at 7:04 am

    *awfully young

  384. Insomniacon 31 May 2014 at 7:56 am

    AliSina : We’re not saying you’re making this up. While the people involved in this NDE story may actually have made it more compelling, even if it’s exactly what they experienced, it’s not good evidence. If you accept this level of evidence, you may well end up believing in every single anecdote you hear. And that includes UFOs, Bigfoot, or alternative medicine stories.

  385. mumadaddon 31 May 2014 at 9:01 am

    quote

    Just a test.

  386. mumadaddon 31 May 2014 at 9:02 am

    What are the HTML tags for a quotation on this site?

  387. mumadaddon 31 May 2014 at 9:03 am

    [quote] lihfoihvfshiv [/quote]

  388. BillyJoe7on 31 May 2014 at 9:25 am

    text

    (Without the spaces)

  389. BillyJoe7on 31 May 2014 at 9:31 am

    Okay, try again…

    Put the word blockquote in angle brackets.
    You’ll probably be able to guess the rest.

  390. mumadaddon 31 May 2014 at 9:45 am

    BJ7,

    Okay, try again…

    Put the word blockquote in angle brackets.
    You’ll probably be able to guess the rest.

    Much obliged!

  391. mumadaddon 31 May 2014 at 9:47 am

    It had occurred to me that asking via this forum might cause problems getting the answer across…

  392. steve12on 31 May 2014 at 10:15 am

    HARDNOSE to me:
    You take a word, such as “materialism,” and then do with it whatever you like. That’s fine, but don’t expect anyone to understand what you mean by the word. I have absolutely no idea what you mean by “materialism.’

    ME to HARDNOSE:
    So educate me hardnose. How are you defining materialism?
    When you answer that “everything is made of matter”, please explain your words here a bit more:
    >Materialism is wrong because it doesn’t make any sense given current scientific knowledge. We know that >“matter” is not made out of little particles of “matter,” for example.
    How do we know this?

    HARDNOSE’s Reply? Well, there is none. This is the point in the discussion that requires addressing the details of what he’s trying to say, and Hardnose just doesn’t do that. He replies only when he feels he has some rhetorical advantage. He can’t defend his own thoughts with any sort of depth – but he knows that they’re right.

    So Hardnose? Are you gonna reply this time, and reply to the full comment?

  393. mumadaddon 31 May 2014 at 10:26 am

    AliSina true believer trope counter – updated.

    Previously:

    - You just don’t get it
    - Skeptics are too closed minded to see the truth
    - I used be a Skeptic but now my eyes are open
    - My woo is true because quantum physics
    - Extensive strawmanning
    - You tube videos of anecdotal experience as evidence
    - The materialist paradigm is about to be shattered

    NEW!:

    - Skeptics are afraid of the truth
    - Skeptics are the true believers
    - Skeptics don’t look at the evidence
    - Abuse of skeptical terminology
    - Complete lack of understanding of human cognitive biases (this is a biggy)
    - Skeptics are deniers
    - Lack of response to specific criticisms or requests for better evidence
    - Begging the question
    - Utter hypocrisy

  394. steve12on 31 May 2014 at 10:31 am

    “It is my understanding that such test is being conducted. It is only a matter of time to get result”

    This reminds me of the bigfoot people.

    They spend more time trying to convince people that we should accept hunter’s sightings than they do LOOKING FOR BONES and BIGFOOTS (feet?)! That always drove me nuts. We need to accept the match that the visual system of a half drunk hunter came up with through trees from 200 yards away at dusk. They know what evidence would automatically count, and it’s very simple to collect if it’s real.

    Same here. An good NDE experiment is absurdly easy to design. Just do it and come back if it works.

  395. leo100on 31 May 2014 at 11:50 am

    Steve12

    Its not that easy to design as people from prior experiments seen things from the other side of the vantage point where the signs were put up. Also, very few people survive cardiac arrest and fewer reports accurate perceptions when they are down.

  396. leo100on 31 May 2014 at 11:51 am

    @Steve12

    Its not that easy to design as people from prior experiments seen things from the other side of the vantage point where the signs were put up. Also, very few people survive cardiac arrest and fewer reports accurate perceptions when they are down.

  397. leo100on 31 May 2014 at 11:52 am

    Whoops seems the comment thing is all messed up said I already said that but it didn’t appear right away.

  398. steve12on 31 May 2014 at 12:12 pm

    No Leo.

    Designing experiments that isolate and tease out different cognitive functions is hard.

    This experiment is very, very easy.

  399. Bronze Dogon 31 May 2014 at 12:29 pm

    I’ve heard of the hidden number experiments for OBEs. While emergency patients are hard to come by, there’s probably a good supply of people who have OBEs naturally. Given all the clever things neurologists can do, I wouldn’t be surprised if they’ve already found a way to intentionally induce them.

  400. mumadaddon 31 May 2014 at 12:30 pm

    Leo,

    This experiment is easy to double blind. Just have somebody not involved in the surgery, who has no interaction with the people involved in the surgery or performing the study, place a playing card or a code in a position that’s impossible to see from any vantage point but the ceiling or close to the ceiling, then seal the answer in an envelope (or something more extreme like a safe) until the results are in.

    Its not that easy to design as people from prior experiments seen things from the other side of the vantage point where the signs were put up.

    It’s quite difficult to decipher your gibberish – who, and from what prior studies are you talking about? What the hell is the other side of the vantage point?

    Personally, I think you’re the village idiot of Stupidville; you have no idea what you’re talking about, haven’t been able to construct one singe argument, constantly link to credulous woo sites as evidence, seek out arguments from authority then parade them around as if it makes your point, don’t have a clue about even the basics of the science you reference, throw up mutually exclusive ideas providing they deny that death is the end of consciousness, blindly support anyone or anything that challenges skeptics even though you haven’t the faintest understanding of the arguments, copy/paste your way through any response you give…

    Anyway leo, keep on cracking on and someday you’ll overturn reality. It doesn’t matter anyway, because when you die you’ll just magic into another you in another universe.

  401. leo100on 31 May 2014 at 12:51 pm

    @Mumadadd

    Other studies that they designed near death experts did but failed. Because, the patients were looking on the other side of the bed where the signs were not put at. But they saw things where that side of the bed and heard conversations. Plus let me ask you this if you were outside your body would you give a damn about a sign or an envelope that has no damn relevence to you at all? No, you be looking down at the doctors and your loved ones that are in that room. That is the last straw for me I am out of here for good. Personal attacks like that on me will not be tolerated by me.

  402. mumadaddon 31 May 2014 at 1:12 pm

    Leo,

    Other studies that they designed near death experts did but failed. Because, the patients were looking on the other side of the bed where the signs were not put at. But they saw things where that side of the bed and heard conversations. Plus let me ask you this if you were outside your body would you give a damn about a sign or an envelope that has no damn relevence to you at all? No, you be looking down at the doctors and your loved ones that are in that room. That is the last straw for me I am out of here for good. Personal attacks like that on me will not be tolerated by me.

    =special pleading. For f*ck’s sake leo, grow up.

    Try summarising your point like this:

    - science assumes materialism
    - science generates many, many successful hypotheses
    - therefore materialism is true

  403. steve12on 31 May 2014 at 1:17 pm

    “Plus let me ask you this if you were outside your body would you give a damn about a sign or an envelope that has no damn relevence to you at all?”

    If you put enough unusual words in enough places someone would see them. You could put “supercalafragalisticexpialadoshus” in 40 spots around each room. There’s 100 ways to do this. (In reality you’d need a different word for each room, of course).

    If you put it in enough places, and this business is true, someone will see it. If 5% of people came back and said they saw “supercalafragalisticexpialadoshus”, I’d say something weird was going one.

    But any standard without wiggle room will always be unacceptable for the purveyors for uggity-buggity.

  404. mumadaddon 31 May 2014 at 1:22 pm

    leo,

    That is the last straw for me I am out of here for good. Personal attacks like that on me will not be tolerated by me.

    You’ve said this before but failed to deliver. I hope you can now follow through on your promise. You’ve been treading water since you appeared – it’s now time to kindly f*ck off and stop wasting everyone’s time.

    Off you go then….

  405. AliSinaon 31 May 2014 at 1:32 pm

    @ grabulaon

    I generally ignore messages of people who think rudeness is a good substitute for reasoning. Your last message was uncharacteristically not rude so here is my reply.

    “A story is just that, a story.”

    Not so! If someone dies and comes back with information that he did not know prior to dying then his story is not just a story. I gave two cases of two boys. One died and after coming back said he met his sister. No one had told him about his sister who had died before he was born. It is dishonest to dismiss this as a child’s fantasy. The onus is on you to explain how he learned he had a sister when no one had told him about her?

    The other case I mentioned was of a boy who at two claimed to be a pilot whose plane was shot by the Japanese. No one had told this two years old child about the Japanese war. Then his father finds out that the person his child was claiming to be actually existed and his plane was shot over a bay in Japan. The boy also remembered the name of his pal during the war and he too was found to be alive in his 80s.

    There are 100s of cases like these. All you have to do is watch them on Youtube. These are testimonies of real people. These cases do not fall in the category of anecdotal because they are evidenced. The argument that the oxygen deprived braid generates vivid false memories, does not explain these cases. That argument is ridiculous. But let us accept it for the sake of argument. I want the you the faithful believers (in materialism) to explain to me how can dead people gain information that they could not have even if they were fully alert in their bed.

    As for the claims about the Big Foot, they are all anecdotal. So though I don’t categorically dismiss the existence of Big Foot, I am inclined to believe those claims are honest mistakes.

  406. Bruceon 31 May 2014 at 1:41 pm

    “All you have to do is watch them on Youtube.”

    SCIENCE!!!

  407. AliSinaon 31 May 2014 at 1:45 pm

    @ mumadadd

    As long as you adamantly refuse to look at the evidence you are excused to make such assumption, even though our disinterest in looking at such evidences is inexcusable.

    The child who met his sister in heaven was not told she had a sister died at infancy. The two years old boy who identified himself as a WW2 pilot, gave his name and the name of his friend. That is how his father could find them. Here is that story. Google my article “Why I believe in God and the afterlife now,“ and you will find the video of this boy and 11 other unexplainable cases. The cases I have collected are not anecdotal.

    All your arguments to question the authenticity of these stories are valid, but they do not apply.

  408. mumadaddon 31 May 2014 at 1:48 pm

    Not so! If someone dies and comes back with information that he did not know prior to dying then his story is not just a story. I gave two cases of two boys. One died and after coming back said he met his sister. No one had told him about his sister who had died before he was born. It is dishonest to dismiss this as a child’s fantasy. The onus is on you to explain how he learned he had a sister when no one had told him about her?

    So nobody, in his family and their extended circle, ever told him he had a sister who died? That seems pretty unrealistic to me. I’m well aware of my grandparents’ parents – they died well before even my parents were born, but were still referenced in conversation. I’m pretty sure if I had a sibling who died, my parents would have told me, and have had copious amounts of photo/video evidence of their existence. Were these people in Sudan or something?

    The other case I mentioned was of a boy who at two claimed to be a pilot whose plane was shot by the Japanese. No one had told this two years old child about the Japanese war. Then his father finds out that the person his child was claiming to be actually existed and his plane was shot over a bay in Japan. The boy also remembered the name of his pal during the war and he too was found to be alive in his 80s.

    Like I said before – a friggin 2 year old? Did his past life regression give him the language skills to be able to convey the detail necessary to identify a specific person and events? Or was the father a superstitious buffoon who, on scant details, went off on an exercise in motivated reasoning and confirmation bias?

    There are 100s of cases like these. All you have to do is watch them on Youtube.

    And I see you have still not moved past your fixation on anecdotes, or acknowledged any of the criticism of doing so.

    Good work, AliSina.

  409. BillyJoe7on 31 May 2014 at 1:52 pm

    leo,

    “Other studies that they designed near death experts did but failed. Because, the patients were looking on the other side of the bed where the signs were not put at…Plus let me ask you this if you were outside your body would you give a damn about a sign or an envelope that has no damn relevence to you at all?”

    How convenient!

    In NOT A SINGLE CASE did the person experiencing an OBE
    1) have a vantage point where the card is visible.
    2) notice the card sitting on top of a cupboard.
    3) ignore the card sitting on top of the cupboard.

    So you already have lots of excuses why all future experiments will fail.

    Leo, the real reason that NOT A SINGLE PERSON experiencing an OBE will ever crack the code is because NOT A SINGLE PERSON experiencing an OBE is actually floating above the operating table. Really, think about it. It’s all happening inside the brain. It’s been shown that OBEs can be simulated by oxygen deprivation, certain drugs, and by stimulating certain parts of the brain. Why should OBEs in people having near death experiences be any different?

  410. Bronze Dogon 31 May 2014 at 1:55 pm

    Plus let me ask you this if you were outside your body would you give a damn about a sign or an envelope that has no damn relevence to you at all?
    Different people evaluate relevance in different ways, based on desires, knowledge of a subject, and goals. For all the talk of subjectivity earlier, you seem quite dismissive of it with how you phrase that question.

    If I was lucid during an OBE, I’d certainly try looking for stuff I could use to prove to myself at the very least that I actually left my body, because otherwise I’d just think of it as a lucid dream or hallucination. I’ve experienced plenty of dreams and a few surgery-related experiences at varying levels of lucidity, so it wouldn’t really mean anything to me otherwise. I know that my experiences and memory can be pretty unreliable, especially in such circumstances, so I acknowledge the need for extra effort in how I interpret them. Nothing generic to medical emergencies would do, only things outside my knowledge and expectations. I’d probably try looking at high shelves, hidden locations, and such for long numbers I could memorize the moment I realized I was having an OBE. As soon as I was conscious and remembered the experience, I’d ask someone to write down the details I deemed important for this purpose so that I’d know I wasn’t modifying my memory in light of new information.

  411. AliSinaon 31 May 2014 at 1:56 pm

    @ mumadadd
    “And seriously, a friggin 2 year old. …Do you honestly not see the huge red flags here?”

    Not if you are an honest person. A 2 year old can have a lot of fantasies, but if he tells you he was a pilot in the war shot by Japanese and give you’re his name and the name of his friend and then you do a search and find out such person actually existed, he was shot by the Japanese and he had a friend by the exact name your 2 year old boy said he had, then it would be utter intellectually dishonesty to dismiss that as anecdotal coincident or fluke.

    There are many more stories like these. A girl dies and is buried She is born again to the same parents as another girl. She then remembers who she was before and when visiting the town where her parents lived in the previous life she takes them to the cemetery and directly goes to the tomb where she was buried. She claims having attended her own funeral and remembering the cemetery and her grave.

    You will find hundreds of cases like this, if you watch the videos about NDE.

  412. rjbullockon 31 May 2014 at 2:01 pm

    grabula says: “I’m calling your BS. I’m not as patient as the rest of these guys for the silliness some if you bring to these conversations. You have no interest in an intellectually honest conversation, you’re just here to spot off your crappy philosophy you have mistaken for science. We’ve been dealing with just your brand of bs so much in this thread I could have your argument for you. As the rest of them you’ll come here, spout the vacuous crap you have, refuse to acknowledge any kind of evidence we provide you refuting your claims. You’ll mistake your huge gaps in understanding as proof for your claims. You’ll condescend and say we don’t understand your arguments, then you’ll turn around and try to paint yourself as just a humble question asker who’s keeping an open mind while us evil close minded skeptics continue to not understand poor rjbullock.”

    That’s a load of crap, grabula. You called me a “true believer” when I’m nothing of the sort. I try to point out to you that I think there are different modes of knowing and working with reality and that those different modes are all valid in their own way for their own purpose, that is all. CAN YOUR SIMPLE MIND ABSORB THAT AT ALL? Or even genuinely reflect on what I’m saying? I don’t think so…
    You are a dogmatic asshole who is thoroughly convinced you’re so wise and 100% correct. You do NOT address a single actual point I made, you just dismiss them all with cliches and false characterizations of my positions.

    I don’t believe in “quantum woo”… I don’t “believe in” life after death. Again, you lump people into broad categories and barely address what they’re actually saying.

    You are narrow minded, literal minded and not especially smart but go ahead and keep attacking people, talking like a moron and see how life unfolds for you.

  413. mumadaddon 31 May 2014 at 2:03 pm

    AliSina,

    And I see you have still not moved past your fixation on anecdotes, or acknowledged any of the criticism of doing so.

    I will not add anything more until you do.

  414. AliSinaon 31 May 2014 at 2:05 pm

    Skepticism and belief are situational. No one is always a skeptic or always a believer. Everyone believes in some things and is skeptic of other things. If you believe in a religion, you are skeptic of other religions. If you believe in God, you are skeptic of atheism and if you are an atheist you are skeptic of theism. It is important to be clear on this. No one has the monopoly on belief or on skepticism. It is deceptive to call a group of people skeptic, because everyone is skeptic of something and believer in something else.

    In this article I will argue that the so called skeptics are just as faithful believers as the religious believers whom they so love to disparage. But let us first study the anatomy of faith. The following passage is from the skeptic website.

    Read the entire article from my blog. You can find it by searching “The faithfulness of the skeptics”

  415. mumadaddon 31 May 2014 at 2:09 pm

    rjbullock,

    I sympathise with your rhetoric on one level: I am currently trying to use meditation for insomnia, and also agree with most of the Buddhist philosophy, but you can’t just suddenly arrive on a skeptical/scientific blog, where many of the posters are working scientists, and equivocate every other worldview with science. As you’ve seen, you’ll get a hostile reaction…

  416. BillyJoe7on 31 May 2014 at 2:09 pm

    AlSina,

    “The onus is on you to explain how he learned he had a sister when no one had told him about her?”

    Actually the onus is on YOU to verify that this is what happened.

    I mean, are you telling me that you have not personally verified these stories? That you believe anything and everything you see on youtube without question? Without verifying them for yourself or confirming that they have been verified by independent sources? Are you telling me that you have changed your whole world view from atheistic to Christian on the basis of unverified stories on youtube? Are you for real, AlSina?

  417. AliSinaon 31 May 2014 at 2:16 pm

    @Leo 100
    [quote]Personal attacks like that on me will not be tolerated by me.[/quote]

    Come on now! Don’t you know ad hominem and insults are great substitute for reason for those who lack the latter? Why they insult you and mock you they feel smart and powerful.

  418. mumadaddon 31 May 2014 at 2:19 pm

    AliSina,

    Read the entire article from my blog. You can find it by searching “The faithfulness of the skeptics”

    No. Present your arguments here.

    . If you believe in God, you are skeptic of atheism and if you are an atheist you are skeptic of theism.

    No. Skeptics are all about understanding how our biases affect our worldview and trying to apply that understanding to how we evaluate the world and claims made about that world. You, on the other hand, are seeking to fulfill a conclusion you reached when you were 5 years old.

  419. BillyJoe7on 31 May 2014 at 2:24 pm

    AlSina,

    “he learned he had a sister when no one had told him about her”

    How do you know no one, not a single person, at any time during his life prior to the NDE ever told him about his sister? How could you possibly know that?

    How do you know he never chanced upon a picture of his sister or overheard conversation about her? How could you possibly know that.

    How do you know the people in the video did not know that he did know or conveniently forgot or actually forgot that he did know? How could you possibly know that?

    Yet you changed your whole world view based on these stories.
    I don’t get it. I’d need a whole lot more than unverified stories on youtube to change my whole world view.

  420. rjbullockon 31 May 2014 at 2:26 pm

    AliSina, you present excellent insights and I agree with most of them.

    Robert

  421. mumadaddon 31 May 2014 at 2:35 pm

    Ha, ha, ha… Spiritual paths and scientific paths both reveal different truths for different purposes. Both are entirely based on symbolic representation of a reality that is far beyond our understanding. That the believers and the skeptics are forever arguing is hilarious to me. Different modes of inquiry people! Both produce results! They don’t need to be reconciled when you recognize they’re both just ways of working with reality (whatever the hell that is…).

    AliSina, you present excellent insights and I agree with most of them.

    Okay then, you’re on the side of woo and misinformation. Good to clarify.

  422. AliSinaon 31 May 2014 at 2:46 pm

    @BillyJoe7

    I would have dismissed these stories if they were few. But when I see a doctor standing in front of the camera and putting his reputation at risk to attest his 7 year old patient who was brought to the emergency room after being drowned and remained unconscious during the entire operation recognized him when she recovered, told him what he did to her and that after the operation took her to another room, when there was no way for the girl to know all that, I start paying attention.
    Here is that story. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMuHHiWFCjc

    When I see hundreds of these stories I can no longer defend my materialistic view of the world. My commitment is to truth dear Billyjoe7 not to an ideology. I have no faith or religion to defend.

  423. AliSinaon 31 May 2014 at 3:39 pm

    @BillyJoe7

    “I don’t get it. I’d need a whole lot more than unverified stories on youtube to change my whole world view.”

    They are unverified for you because you don’t care to look into those claims. Who do you think should verify them for you? Are you expecting Steven Novella to verify them so you can accept them as true? He won’t. He has his own dogma to defend. You are the one who has to do your own research. Have you bothered to read my article? Did you watch the videos I posted to back my claim? Did you follow my line of reasoning? Did you read my article “The faithfulness of the skeptics?” If you haven’t then you are the one who needs to search for the truth. There are thousands of testimonies of real people on Youtube. Spend time and watch them. You will be bombarded with so many evidences that you can no longer dismiss them as “stories”. Ignore the ones that are not verified by someone other than the patients.

  424. the devils gummy bearon 31 May 2014 at 3:40 pm

    I’ve got one for ya, AliSina. A “case”. I’ll be brief.

    So my kid brother was born a few months after an uncle of ours kicked it. Kid brother became the namesake of said late uncle (his middle name, however).

    When kid brother was about 2 going on 3, he started talking about imaginary friends. One of them was… Allegedly our late uncle, our mom’s older brother. He would tell our mom childhood stories only late uncle and mom would know about. For about a year, kid brother and the spirit of our late uncle would romp around and get up to all manner of hijinks and mischief (according to mom). Mom thought this was miraculous and encouraged this relationship… Mom would report strange bumps in the night, rattling chains in the attic, strange occurrences… How could my kid brother know about someone who passed away before he was born? Kid brother called his spirit friend by his first name (which is the kid’s middle name, but surely it couldn’t be a coincidence, the late uncle must have found his way to the small child named after him…)?

    Seems pretty spooky and compelling, aye? Would you like to know what was really going on? Or would you prefer to count this story as a hit (if it were in a YouTube video interview, with the people involved, including “impartial” people who “ovserved” this that or the other thing, like grandma too) and declare it an irrefutable “proven case”, one so bulletproof one would have to be dishonest to dismiss?

    DOM! DOM! DOMMMMM!

    To be concluded after lunch.

  425. mumadaddon 31 May 2014 at 3:52 pm

    AliSina,

    If the experiment mentioned earlier with placing cards in operating rooms where they could only be seen from a high vantage point, and recording the number of NDE experiencers who are able to correctly identify the card, comes back dead negative, will you alter your position? My guess is not, but can you see the value of this experiment, and how it would undermine the notion of disembodied consciousness if it turns out negative?

    What say you?

  426. mumadaddon 31 May 2014 at 3:59 pm

    the devils gummy bear,

    It seems to me you have a genuine case on your hands that disproves all us nasty skeptics. Why are hanging around here? Go tell it to the man, so they can stop people dying without getting to spend the rest of eternity in bliss because quantum physics. Goddamn you man, have you no sense of responsibility? Get on with it sir! Release us from this mortal coil!

  427. hardnoseon 31 May 2014 at 4:05 pm

    >Materialism is wrong because it doesn’t make any sense given current scientific knowledge. We know that >“matter” is not made out of little particles of “matter,” for example.
    How do we know this?

    We know this, Steve12, from 20th century physics. What are those little ultimate particles they expected to find? They did not find them. They found multidimensional vibrating “strings,” whatever they heck that is. Nobody is smart enough to figure out what “matter” is made out of. It certainly is not little tiny ball bearings, or whatever your 19th century imagination dreams up.

  428. AliSinaon 31 May 2014 at 4:08 pm

    @ the devils gummy bear

    I am sure you are smart enough to know you are engaging in a logical fallacy. You are saying that since you know of fake story of an argument then all evidences backing that argument must be false.

    Such reasoning, which is the favorite of materialists, is not worthy of consideration. I am not interested in your fake stories. I invite you to provide a logical explanation to each the ones I posted on my blog.

  429. the devils gummy bearon 31 May 2014 at 4:46 pm

    No, this is a true story. Here, let me finish.

  430. AliSinaon 31 May 2014 at 4:49 pm

    @ mumadadd

    “If the experiment mentioned earlier with placing cards in operating rooms where they could only be seen from a high vantage point, and recording the number of NDE experiencers who are able to correctly identify the card, comes back dead negative, will you alter your position? My guess is not, but can you see the value of this experiment, and how it would undermine the notion of disembodied consciousness if it turns out negative?”

    I think this is a very valuable test. It should be conducted in numerous hospitals, with flashing lights inviting the soul of the patient to look at the words or image placed at above 7 feet, but not in an envelope. It should be visible to the soul hovering at that height.

    The result can take time to come. The reason is that most people that flat-line, don’t report having had any experience. This happens only to a small percentage. No one knows why. Also many of them are zapped into a tunnel soon after they are out of their body to the other world. Only a smaller percentage of them hang around to watch the operation. We need a system to grab their attention, with a note telling them about the experiment. Asking them to please come back if given the choice and remember the code or the image they see printed on the card, explaining the importance of their contribution to the science and human understanding of reality. I know I would be tempted by such an offer. Heaven can wait.

    I am sure eventually we will get result. One doctor reported that her patient told her about her out of body experience. The doctor (she was a nurse at that time) was sympathetic and told her to rest. She had heard that before and was not pay much attention. The patient, realizing the nurse is not believing her, said write down this number. She then dictated a number consisting of 12 digits. She said this is the serial number of this respirator. You can read it at the top of it. The respirator was 7 feet tall, so they placed a small ladder and saw the two numbers are identical. The patient was getting bored and started memorizing the number.

    If say 100 hospitals participate in this experiment and after two or three years no returning soul can tell us about the experiment, then we have to find a logical experiment for the apparent psychic ability of some of the patients. Why can they see things in other rooms when they are under operation? The enigma will not be solved. But I would discard the suggestion that the soul leaves the body.

    Now what about you? Will you accept OBE if we find one or more patients correctly reporting what is written on those cards? One is enough. Two is plenty. Three proves the case beyond the doubt. Do the math and you’ll see that the chances of someone to guessing a code is astronomically low! How many cases would you need to be satisfied? Since you made a guess about me, let me make a guess about you. My guess is that not even a 100 of them will satisfy you. I don’t know you, but I know the mind of the believer and how it is wired.

  431. the devils gummy bearon 31 May 2014 at 4:52 pm

    Oh, did I mention that a doctor verified the events of this story?

  432. AliSinaon 31 May 2014 at 5:05 pm

    @ mumadadd

    “No, this is a true story. Here, let me finish.’

    Your story is either true or false. If it is true then you can take it as evidence and if it is not then it is a false comparison. I can’t comment or opine on your stories. Don’t carry one with logical fallacies. I have debated with thousands of believers and have heard all of the fallacies in the book and more.

  433. AliSinaon 31 May 2014 at 5:07 pm

    Oops! The above message was for the devils gummy bear

  434. BillyJoe7on 31 May 2014 at 5:26 pm

    AlSina,

    “I would have dismissed these stories if they were few…When I see hundreds of these stories I can no longer defend my materialistic view of the world”

    But have you verified just ONE of these stories?

    That’s all I need – and the least you should demand of yourself – just ONE genuine verified account of someone relating something after an OBE that they could not possibly have known before the OBE.

    Aren’t you interested in knowing for sure? I mean, you can’t possibly investigate them all, and some could not possibly be verified (you cannot prove that that child could not possibly have found out about his sister at any time in his life before his OBE), so pick just ONE that looks as if it would be possible to verify the details and go for it. You owe yourself that at the very least before changing your world view.

    “My commitment is to truth dear Billyjoe7 not to an ideology. I have no faith or religion to defend”

    You will not find it in youtube videos of OBEs
    And you are a Christian now and I think that’s what you are now trying to defend.
    Those youtube videos caused you to become a Christian. Conversion by youtube video! You owe it to yourself that to make sure the foundations of your house are not sitting on sand

  435. midnightrunner2014on 31 May 2014 at 5:27 pm

    “One doctor reported that her patient told her about her out of body experience. The doctor (she was a nurse at that time) was sympathetic and told her to rest. She had heard that before and was not pay much attention. The patient, realizing the nurse is not believing her, said write down this number. She then dictated a number consisting of 12 digits. She said this is the serial number of this respirator. You can read it at the top of it. The respirator was 7 feet tall, so they placed a small ladder and saw the two numbers are identical. The patient was getting bored and started memorizing the number.”

    I am interested in this. Can you please give your reference for this claim, and some additional details if possible i.e. the doctor or patients name etc. I know of a case in the 1960s that used a 5 digit code, but have never heard of a 12 digit code being used in an OBE experiment.

  436. steve12on 31 May 2014 at 5:32 pm

    Hardnose

    >We know this, Steve12, from 20th century physics.

    Really? Do tell!

    >What are those little ultimate particles they expected to find? They did not find them. They found >multidimensional vibrating “strings,” whatever they heck that is.”

    They found empirical support for M-theory? Wow – have to alert the Nobel folks – or at the very least Peter Woit!

    A simple google search could have shown you that you’re wrong, Hardnose. M-theory has, sort of famously, never been shown empirically (and may not even be testable). It’s a mathematical model that may resolve the problems between gravity and QM, but it has no empirical support. IOW “they” did not find ‘multidimensional vibrating “strings,” whatever they heck that is.’. If they ever do, they’ll be definable in terms of energy (as they are in the models) anyway, which is the same as matter (some famous dude said this once).

    >Nobody is smart enough to figure out what “matter” is made out of. It certainly is not little tiny ball >bearings, or whatever your 19th century imagination dreams up.

    But hold on – you said that my definition of materialism was wrong – now you can’t define it either because you don’t know how to define matter?

  437. BillyJoe7on 31 May 2014 at 5:48 pm

    AlSina,

    “They are unverified for you because you don’t care to look into those claims”

    I would need a really good reason to dedicate that amount of time and I haven’t seen any reason at all to spend more time on it than I’m spending here trying to find out why you think youtube videos are sufficient reason to convert you to Christianity.

    “Who do you think should verify them for you?”

    I am suggesting that you need to verify them before accepting them as a basis of your conversion to Christianity.

    “There are thousands of testimonies of real people on Youtube. Spend time and watch them”

    Yeah well, that is your style, not mine. I’m not impressed by thousands of testimonials. I would be impressed by just ONE genuine verified real bona fide case of knowledge gained during an OBE that could not possibly have been obtained before the OBE. That would be the slam dunk beside which a thousand testimonies on youtube would shrink to nothing.

    If you don’t have ONE such case, so be it, but seemingly unlike you, I require cold hard evidence to change my world view.

    “Ignore the ones that are not verified by someone other than the patients”

    Really, that adds almost nothing. There are all sorts of hidden reasons why another person could be motivated to confirm another persons story. You can do this yourself. You can easily get someone to agree they saw something that you said you saw that you know you didn’t see. I fact, you can find youtube videos demonstrating this! How much easier would it be for someone who actually believes he saw something to convince others that they saw it too. People are easy to fool, especially you and me. We must both of us all of us be on our guard.

  438. the devils gummy bearon 31 May 2014 at 5:56 pm

    Part 2 of Return of Spooky Uncle or Touched by an Uncle

    So, how did kid brother, who was born after uncle died, know about uncle? How did he know stories only mom and uncle would know? What about the spooky spectral stuff? And what about the doctor who verified all of these events?

    (hang on mumadadd, I’m getting to it)

    It’s pretty straightforward really. You just need some additional, but critical, information.

    Mom had gotten into supernatural stuff at the time, reading spooky paperbacks and gobbling up all the paranormal media she could find. This was the late 80s/early 90s, and she was always watching the precursors to today’s paranormal cable shows. She would read “true story” books about NDEs or other contact-with-the-other-side, books about spiritualism. She wanted to believe.

    She and grandma had even been to a psychic or two. They were terribly grief stricken. They wanted to believe.

    So when kid brother got to the age where kid’s imaginations shift into hyperdrive, all the pieces were in place, the environment was primed.

    It was unintentional at first. Innocent enough, you might say. Kid brother had loads of ad hoc imaginative tales to tell. At some point between the ages of two to four, kid brother’s stories, in the midsts of mom’s paranormal media environment, took a turn (according to mom). He made contact with his uncle’s spirit, and the two of them became thick as thieves… Uncle, interestingly, often appeared to kid brother as a kid himself, as the kid version mom grew up with…

    What really happened, of course, is mom pretty much coaxed and confabulated this entire situation. Not on purpose, I can’t even categorize it as pious fraud. My mom really believed this was happening. She was actively encouraging kid brother to produce certain stories, leading the witness and so forth… And kid brother was more than happy to oblige in this playtime. It made mom enormously happy when he would “play along”. Pretty high stakes playtime for a little boy.

    Stories like this, are a dime a dozen. Nearly every family has at least one.

    If you tell this particular story of mine in a certain way, omitting certain information, and only focus on the narrative you want, you can point a video camera at it… And had you interviewed my mom in.. oh, 1995 on camera, you would have gotten a result identical to, or uncannily similar to, any one of these of YouTube videos you’ve been going on about.

    And what of the doctor I mentioned who could verify this story? She would have been sitting right next to my mom on camera, putting her “reputation on the line”, confirming various aspects of my mother’s stories; For this doctor was a witness, you see, who could (and did, and continues to) to dispel any skepticism that there could be any other possible explanation, other than the spirit of the departed befriended a small child, and told this child stories only a person present in the mid 1960s could know. The intricate details which my kid brother was miraculously privy to, as told to him by the spirit of the late uncle were irrefutable, according to this doctor. Because she was there. My grandmother is a doctor.

    My point with this analogy, AliSina, is you need to think a little more critically about these sorts of stories being told in these YouTube videos of yours.

    (Followup: mom grew out of her paranormal “phase”, due in part to all of her kids going on to earn advanced degrees in the sciences, while challenging her to think more critically about things along the way. Kid brother is finishing his PhD at USF. Dr. Grandma remains convinced her dead son came back and befriended her grandson. No ghost uncles were harmed in the retelling of this tale)

  439. BillyJoe7on 31 May 2014 at 6:10 pm

    AlSina,

    BJ: “There are all sorts of hidden reasons why another person could be motivated to confirm another persons story”

    See the devils gummy bear’s illustrative story above.
    I have one of my own – which is one of the reasons why I am not fooled by so called corroborated stories – but one is enough for our purposes.

    And the lesson stands even of you don’t believe his story.
    Or my claim that I have a similar story.
    I mean, I hope you would want independent verification before you allow it to change your world view!

  440. AliSinaon 31 May 2014 at 6:49 pm

    @ BillyJoe7

    “But have you verified just ONE of these stories?”

    I had a brief vision of the other world more than 20 years ago. I ignored it and became an atheist because I could not make sense of it. Now that I came to see so many people have been in that world I realize I was there too.

    Said this, your question is disingenuous. You believe in many things when you have not verified them yourself. Have you ever verified the claim that cyanide kills? Have you ever been bitten by a cobra? How do you know Venus is not filled with gorgeous women when you have never been there? I can go on. After watching hundreds of cases of NDE only a brain-dead fool can remain unaffected. Once you see several of them you will starts suspending disbelief and pay attention. I explained the difference between anecdotal and confirmed. There are hundreds of the latter stories to convince any hard core skeptic. But you need to be a genuine skeptic to see the truth, not a hardnosed believer, deceiving yourself with that label. Most materialists who love to think they are skeptic are fanatical believers. You must learn to be a freethinker. As a freethinker you can’t belong to any school of thought. That is a deception. It is like believing homosexuals are actually merrier than others because they call themselves gay. Don’t fall for the labels. The self-proclaimed skeptics are not skeptic. Materialism is a faith. You must be a truth seeker and a free thinker if you want to be a true skeptic.

    I am also not a Christian. No Christian will accept my Christianity. I am an evolutionist Darwinist and don’t believe in most of the fables in the Bible. I however recognize Jesus as a highly evolved spiritual being. Why? I am older than Jesus. I am more educated than him. I have read hundreds of books whereas I doubt he had read a single book. Books did not exist when he lived on Earth. I have access to all the knowledge through the Internet. Despite all my advantages, any time I discover a spiritual truth, which is after many struggles, I realize Jesus had already talked about it. I could not see it before because I could not even distinguish it. If you are a bushman you can’t possibly make sense what the heck Leonard Susskind is talking about. You need to have some understanding of physics to understand it. I can now see the vastness of the spiritual wisdom of Jesus, only after years of study and search for truth.

    Said this, I don’t believe the Bible to be the word of God or even a holy book. I compare it to a gold mine, which means most of it is plain dirt. So as you see, no Christian will accept my Christianity and I don’t even pretend to be one. I also find enlightenment in the teachings of Buddha and much wisdom in the philosophies of Hinduism. As for whether God exists or not I can’t be sure. I think He does and we are all part of Him, in the same way that water molecules everywhere are part of the ocean. This is all philosophy. I am not sure of any of that. One thing I am sure of now is that we survive. We were never born and will never die. Consciousness is a form of energy. In fact the essence of everything is energy. And we both know that energy cannot be destroyed.

    We are eternal. This universe is eternal. It changes form, but its essence is energy and energy is eternal. If the universe is eternal it precludes God and the act of creation. The universe and by extension, we sentient beings, existed always, which means we are God. God is in everything – humans, animals, plants, and rocks.

    If you are interested in this subject you can read my article “Should we fear God.” Search it on Google. It comes up in the first page, or add my name to your search to get it at the top.

  441. Bruceon 31 May 2014 at 7:21 pm

    AliSina,

    Your dodging of the question is disingenuous. We know cyanide kills because of the mountain of verified scientific data behind the hypothesis that cyanide kills. If you put 20 people in a room and give ten of them cyanide and ten water, those ten who took cyanide will die.

    You have not once given any form of verifiable evidence for your claims. You might convince people who have a very low evidence threshold, who are just looking for hope, but you will not convince anyone on this blog without something a bit more substantial.

    Every single thing you have said and all of your arguments have been seen here many many times before and they have ALL been addressed at some point multiple times. You are really not bringing anything new to the discussion.

    PS “If you are a bushman you can’t possibly make sense what the heck Leonard Susskind is talking about.” This is bordering on racist. I think I know what you are saying, but couched in those terms you could be implying that a bushman doesn’t have the capacity to learn as much as others.

  442. the devils gummy bearon 31 May 2014 at 7:27 pm

    AliSina, do you know what a thousand anecdotes add up to? The exact same amount as one anecdote. A story.

  443. leo100on 31 May 2014 at 7:51 pm

    The devil’s gummy bear

    I have decided to come back I am used to personal attacks. Especially, the one mumadadd threw at me all I will say about that is the reason why he scooped to that level is because he can’t refute my arguments. He knows that. I have a good rebuttal on skeptics proclaiming that anecdotes are completely useless.

    http://subversivethinking.blogspot.ca/2009/01/pseudoskepticism-anecdotal-evidence-and.html

  444. leo100on 31 May 2014 at 7:56 pm

    How convenient!

    In NOT A SINGLE CASE did the person experiencing an OBE
    1) have a vantage point where the card is visible.
    2) notice the card sitting on top of a cupboard.
    3) ignore the card sitting on top of the cupboard.

    So you already have lots of excuses why all future experiments will fail.

    Leo, the real reason that NOT A SINGLE PERSON experiencing an OBE will ever crack the code is because NOT A SINGLE PERSON experiencing an OBE is actually floating above the operating table. Really, think about it. It’s all happening inside the brain. It’s been shown that OBEs can be simulated by oxygen deprivation, certain drugs, and by stimulating certain parts of the brain. Why should OBEs in people having near death experiences be any different?

    @BillyJoe7

    Its a legitimate problem that if you were outside your body you would care less about some silly sign or card as it would have no meaning or relevence to you. The only thing that would matter is your lifeless body laying there and your family. I am sorry but its been shown that oxygen deprivation is not the cause of near death experiences, the same with drugs that been debunked hundreds of times the same with stimulating certain parts of the brain.

  445. BillyJoe7on 31 May 2014 at 8:07 pm

    AlSina,

    Well, I didn’t expect a sermon, despite it being a Sunday morning here.
    I’m usually being entertained by the chirping of birds on my Sunday morning hill run.
    Alas I have an Achilles strain.

    AlSina: “You believe in many things when you have not verified them yourself”

    This what I said the first time I bought up the verification issue:
    BJ: “Without verifying them for yourself or confirming that they have been verified by independent sources
    Since then I have shortened it for brevity. Sorry if you missed my first mention.

    I don’t believe in any thing that I have not either verified myself or that has not been verified by independent sources and, I might now add, confirmed by further independent sources. Replication and all that. My beliefs are in proportion to the verifiable evidence for them. Otherwise I know from bitter experience that I will be fooled into believing something that has either been proven to be false or not proven to be true and therefore not worth hanging my world view on.

    So, no, I don’t need to test cyanide on myself, or cobra venom, or go to Venus. There are plenty of independent sources that can inform me what dose of cyanide or cobra venom will kill me and that Venus is not conducive to life as we know it. This is called doing science.

    Similarly, you don’t need to verify these stories yourself, you can refer to independent sources that have verified them. This, after all, is what I asked for in the first place. But it seems, from your lack of references, that these independent verifications do not exist. It seems you are happy to go with unverified and unreliable youtube personal testimonies and so called corroborated witnes testimony, despite the many known psychological reasons why this sort of “evidence” is almost totally unreliable.

  446. the devils gummy bearon 31 May 2014 at 8:08 pm

    Hey Leo, don’t let the bastards keep you down. Give ‘em hell man.

    Oh shit, AliSina I missed your latest opus above. You are one hot mess.

    It is like believing homosexuals are actually merrier than others because they call themselves gay. Don’t fall for the labels.

    I wish we had some sort of award system here to hand out prizes in categories, like “most incredible random weird thing to say”. After spending some time on your site, and after deciphering your monolithic blocks of tirades here, I’m quite literally speechless. Words fail me.

  447. BillyJoe7on 31 May 2014 at 8:18 pm

    leo,

    It seems you are pretty certain that NOT A SINGLE PERSON having an OBE will ever see the code on top of the cupboard.
    I’m left wondering why you are so CERTAIN of this.
    You might look up “cognitive dissonance”.

  448. the devils gummy bearon 31 May 2014 at 8:36 pm

    Leo, your links go nowhere but to the fringes, where people about as coherent as you lurk and lurch about. Stephen Bond picks his ass, and Leo’s got a link to it.

    Leo, on behalf of pseudoskeptics everywhere, you win. We pseudoskeptics are a bunch of asshats and dumb-dumbs who wouldn’t be able to see things for what they really are, even if our earth doppelgangers in universe c137 popped in with a portal gun and punched us in the face (you guys get Rick and Morty over there, yeah?)

    Happy?

    And I’m not pandering when I say this; the special things you believe are fine. Although you haven’t been able to explain your beliefs or ideas, I’ve gathered that you think something in quantum mechanics _________________, thus multiverse and then _______________, therefor afterlives and _____________. I know it may seem like I’m taking the piss out it man, but I’m not. You believe in something that is amazing to you, so go forth and be proud my Canadian interblaging friend, for no one can take that away from you. Multiverses forever, Leo. Multiverses forever. Huzzah!

  449. Bronze Dogon 31 May 2014 at 8:50 pm

    Its a legitimate problem that if you were outside your body you would care less about some silly sign or card as it would have no meaning or relevence to you.

    Leo, you have a serious problem with projecting your attitude and priorities onto all other people, here. Sometimes I wonder if people who do this sort of thing believe other people are just inferior copies of themselves. It’s an incredibly condescending and narrow-minded view of humanity.

    Again, if I had an OBE and was lucid, noticing things like those signs and cards would be my highest priority. Without confirmation like that, I’d consider the OBE to be just another dream or hallucination, and nothing to change the way I view the world.

  450. leo100on 31 May 2014 at 9:13 pm

    Bronzedog

    Lol, the only way they can test for them is in a cardiac arrest situation in a hospital. So with that being said my life is threatened lets say by a heart attack I am not going to be concerned about validating what some scientists want to validate or invalidate because my mind is on more pressing issues.

  451. leo100on 31 May 2014 at 9:17 pm

    Devil’s gummy bear

    I don’t think you guys are dumb or stupid at all in fact many of you guys are very smart and intelligent. It’s just that you have a different worldview from mine and the conversation will never really go anywheres.

  452. the devils gummy bearon 31 May 2014 at 9:42 pm

    my life is threatened lets say by a heart attack I am not going to be concerned about validating what some scientists want to validate or invalidate because my mind is on more pressing issues.

    So our ghost selves have panic attacks that prevent them from observing anything meaningful or of consequence. Hey, the logic works out.

    BTW, how do ghosts see things? Just out of curiosity; how do our floaty OBE ghosts “sense” things anyway? How does that work? Serious question.

    Also, what’s the point of believing in OBE floaty ghost-times, if while in this unincorporated hazy state these floaty ghosts, out of their bodies, are going to be so preoccupied with episodes of trauma/panic/disorientation, they won’t remember anything reliable anyway. Why do ghosts only see things that a person can experience in a dream or in a drug induced state anyway? Or can otherwise construct over a drowsy in and out period some time later?

    It’s kind of like Sagan’s Dragon or Sam Harris’ giant diamond, isn’t it? You ask an obvious question, like why don’t ghosts remember things well or accurately, and the answer is because ghosts are lousy with memory, and can’t be trusted anyway… Then what’s the point?

  453. grabulaon 31 May 2014 at 10:34 pm

    @leo

    [Blockquote]. But they saw things where that side of the bed and heard conversations[/blockquote]

    Leo, you’re done. This is a really childish form of special playing.

  454. grabulaon 31 May 2014 at 10:35 pm

    {Blockquote} test {/blockquote}

  455. grabulaon 31 May 2014 at 10:35 pm

    Lol what’s the trick again?

  456. grabulaon 31 May 2014 at 10:42 pm

    Alsina

    “It is dishonest to dismiss this as a child’s fantasy. The onus is on you to explain how he learned he had a sister when no one had told him about her?”

    No, it is intellectually lazy to assume a couple of young kids aren’t making up a story. One that might happen to coincide just enough with a real one to be accepted with credulous thinking. Eye witness and anecdotal evidence is bad enough now you’re trying to tell us not only is it OK but it’s OK to accept it from children

  457. leo100on 31 May 2014 at 10:43 pm

    The devil’s gummy bear

    I think the soul uses ESP as the sensory of sight as normal sight works but way better than normal vision. Your defining ghosts as all knowing but when you die you don’t just get the secrets of the universe in your hands it doesn’t work that way. The soul works the same way as a person would act they don’t care about silly signs etc that scientists have set up trying to prove its existence.

  458. grabulaon 31 May 2014 at 10:51 pm

    @alsina

    “The child who met his sister in heaven was not told she had a sister died at infancy.”

    How common are miscarriage or infancy deaths? What are the chances the child overheard done talk about it? What are the chances a child’s imagination leads him to create a made up sister he met in heaven?

    “The two years old boy who identified himself as a WW2 pilot, gave his name and the name of his friend. That is how his father could find them”

    This is just ridiculous.

    I’ve got a story. My sister when we were young knocked a tv over and it hit me in the head and I had to go on for surgery. I ‘remember’ waking up surrounded by bright light and hearing my mom’s voice. I also remember green aliens surrounding me. My mom mentoined when I got older I was sedated do they could work and the Dr’s and nurses all wore green surgical outfits including masks. I can’t even tell you if what I remember is real or dream to be honest but you could see how one might misread the memory

  459. grabulaon 31 May 2014 at 11:01 pm

    @rjbullock

    “That’s a load of crap, grabula. You called me a “true believer” when I’m nothing of the sort”

    Sure rjbullock, so I’ll just go ahead and re post the ‘truths’ you discovered since you’ve already forgot the crap you came out of the blocks with:

    “1) Nothing has any intrinsic reality. All identities are imputations or projections (however you want to put it). The ultimate nature of reality is far, far beyond our thoughts about what it might be. This should be obvious to us but it is not. It’s obvious to quantum physicists. But no, we don’t need scientists and especially not physicists to “prove” this is the case; we just need to look at our own direct experience, contemplate it, and we’ll see it is true if we look very, very carefully. Everything is empty of true existence. We mistake our models of reality for reality itself and end up in some pretty strange arguments because of that!
    2) Naturally, there is no self. “Self” is also a conceptual fabrication, top to bottom, a convenient way to refer to a whole host of aspects that are roughly associated (body, thoughts, feelings, social position, name, etc.). If anything is a self, it would be the continuity of experience, but as that has no identity, it’s not much of a self.
    3) Since identities / models / concepts, etc. are all basically imaginary, to cling to them is the most ignorant thing you could do, but it’s our intense clinging that causes us our greatest suffering.”

    -invoking the strangeness of quantum physics, check
    -we don’t ‘get’ reality therefore magic, check
    -no need for science, I figured it ouy staring at my navel, check
    -is so easy, why don’t you her it skeptics, check
    -magical thinking based on mysticism, check.

    Did I miss anything?

  460. Bronze Dogon 31 May 2014 at 11:10 pm

    Uh, Leo, you do realize that some people, scientist or not, have this thing called “curiosity,” right? If I have an OBE, I’m going to be damn curious if it’s real or not. This isn’t just about “some scientists,” it’s also about me and what drives me. Besides, what good is it going to do me to watch the doctors or my family if I can’t do anything about my condition? I’d rather do something productive with that weird, likely one-time state of existence than sit on my ethereal posterior and worry ineffectually.

    I often have dreams where I gain the power of levitation. In one of the more lucid ones, I floated around a lot, trying to figure out just how I was doing it and what the limitations were. My maximum altitude was a few feet above solid surfaces, but if I went over an edge or down an incline, I’d gradually descend, rather than immediately drop to the new maximum height. I would move horizontally by leaning very slightly in the direction I wanted to go. My maximum forward speed would reduce the angle of descent to about 30° going down 45° stairs, and about 45° if I floated off a vertical wall. The physical sensation was like that of magnetic repulsion and included a hollow feeling in my shins. It activated when I was in the air and pointed my toes downward. I remember being dissatisfied with the vague Dragon Ball Z invocation of “energy” in a woo sense because it’s not a meaningful answer. I wanted an account of every joule of real energy involved, where it came from, and how it got converted into kinetic energy.

  461. mumadaddon 31 May 2014 at 11:14 pm

    AliSina,

    I think this is a very valuable test. It should be conducted in numerous hospitals, with flashing lights inviting the soul of the patient to look at the words or image placed at above 7 feet, but not in an envelope.

    Just to be clear, the card, or code, would not be obscured by an envelope in the OR/emergency room; but the record of what the card/code is should obviously be obscured from anyone involved in the experiment. That’s the blinding I was referring to – I wasn’t suggesting that souls should be able to see through envelopes or safes…

  462. the devils gummy bearon 31 May 2014 at 11:17 pm

    Silly scientists. And their gotcha experiments. Trying to test ideas against reality. When will they learn, Leo?

    I haven’t defined ghosts as all-knowing anything. They appear to exist only in the minds of the credulous (which sort of sets the bar pretty low for what ghosts should be expected to “know” anyway).

    They are being described here as essentially inept phantom drunks that don’t remember anything interesting, and don’t do anything AT ALL. They are invisible and undetectable, can’t interact with anything in any way, and their memories (while OBE) are compromised to the point of being essentially useless, only remembering things that otherwise occur in dreams.

    So, ghosts “see” with Extrasensory Perception. How could that possibly work, Leo? How could ESP work?

  463. grabulaon 31 May 2014 at 11:17 pm

    @alsina

    “Have you bothered to read my article? Did you watch the videos I posted to back my claim? Did you follow my line of reasoning? Did you read my article “The faithfulness of the skeptics?” If you haven’t then you are the one who needs to search for the truth”

    So your evidence is…a couple articles you wrote and spoke YouTube videos providing anecdotes.

    I don’t think you’re being obtuse on what anecdotes evidence is alsina, I thin you’re being disingenuous.

  464. grabulaon 31 May 2014 at 11:24 pm

    @alsina

    “My guess is not, but can you see the value of this experiment, and how it would undermine the notion of disembodied consciousness if it turns out negative?”

    You’ve built yourself quite the impregnable fortress there alsina. Effectively, if you get a negative outcome from an actual experiment then it’s just undermining your system of beliefs. You are well on your way to making it compelling unfalsifiable.

  465. grabulaon 31 May 2014 at 11:37 pm

    @alsina

    “Said this, your question is disingenuous. You believe in many things when you have not verified them yourself. Have you ever verified the claim that cyanide kills? Have you ever been bitten by a cobra? How do you know Venus is not filled with gorgeous women when you have never been there?”

    I see as things move forward you abs Leo have stooped to childish new lows. YOUR IMPLICATION is disingenuous and you know it. Just in case you’re really that thick let me enlighten you in your error. ..

    -We know cyanide kills because it’s been observed, is scientifically backed by experimentation and we understand exactly how and why it kills. We’re not relying on Youtube videos of people claiming it kills.

    -I’m not even sure your point on the cobra so I’ll just take apart the whole thing. First I’ve seen cobra, YouTube has videos of cobras, not stories of people talking about cobras with no evidence. How do we know they’re venemous? See my explanation of cyanide.

    -ah yes, the classic were you there. Venus had been studied by probes, spectrometry and observation. We have pictures of the surface, enough to validly theorize is not filled with beautiful women. YOU would be making an outrageous claim saying it is and the burden of proof would lie on you to prove it.

    After this walk through can YOU AlSina tell me where you went wrong? Bet you can’t.

  466. grabulaon 31 May 2014 at 11:42 pm

    @devilgummy

    “So our ghost selves have panic attacks that prevent them from observing anything meaningful or of consequence”

    That’s right, never mind the anecdotal OBE expedience I’ve listened to often claim a strange calmness. ..

    As with alsina Leo had built an unfalsifiable fortress around his beliefs and cannot be budged

  467. mumadaddon 31 May 2014 at 11:58 pm

    For some reason, when I read any of leo’s posts I now have the theme from Noddy running through my head. (It’s a kids’ TV show from the 80s).

    Leo – are you the happiest little fellow in all Toyland?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QaHMyvqwU84

    Grabula – you have it right but you’re using the wrong brackets – try these <

    In case that doesn't show up, it's the ones that you'd use for greater than or less than….

  468. mumadaddon 01 Jun 2014 at 12:03 am

    leo,

    Why can’t you even make good on your (ahem) “threats” to stop wasting everyone’s time?

  469. grabulaon 01 Jun 2014 at 12:04 am

    test

  470. grabulaon 01 Jun 2014 at 12:04 am

    Boom, thanks mumadadd!

  471. mumadaddon 01 Jun 2014 at 12:07 am

    Quite welcome–BJ7 told me how to do it earlier today.

  472. grabulaon 01 Jun 2014 at 12:09 am

    @mumadadd

    “Why can’t you even make good on your (ahem) “threats” to stop wasting everyone’s time?”

    I don’t get why we continue to humor these guys. We literally haven’t made a dent in any of these guys, even after offering cogent and thorough arguments. We get bizarre rationales and loose support. AlSina is literally supporting his entire argument on anecdotal evidence. Leo defended the failure of a test with ‘the ghosts looked in the wrong direction’! And yet we still continue to try imparting some reasoning on these guys.

    I work nights at a slow job and even I’m getting tired of it lol

  473. mumadaddon 01 Jun 2014 at 12:30 am

    Devils gummy bear,

    I wish we had some sort of award system here to hand out prizes in categories, like “most incredible random weird thing to say”. After spending some time on your site, and after deciphering your monolithic blocks of tirades here, I’m quite literally speechless. Words fail me.

    You owe me a new keyboard! This one might be ruined due to the water that sprayed out of my nose when I read that.

  474. BillyJoe7on 01 Jun 2014 at 12:32 am

    grabula,

    Don’t capitalise the word blockquote.
    Otherwise you were correct with the angle brackets.
    That’s why I rarely use them…too easy to stuff it up and having your post resemble leo.

  475. mumadaddon 01 Jun 2014 at 12:35 am

    Grabula,

    I, for one, am quite happy to stop responding to leo, other than to ridicule him until he either ceases to post inane shit or actually comes up with something that hasn’t already been countered many times over. I think it was Steve12 who suggested this ages ago–I think we have more than enough evidence now that he’s totally incapable of any form of reasonable discourse.

  476. grabulaon 01 Jun 2014 at 12:43 am

    We should come up with some criteria for engaging weirdos, diverging like this:

    They must:
    -make a solid definable hypothesis
    -provide evidence free of fallacious thinking
    -refute point by point each but of evidence against
    -not post links to their blogs in lieu of an answer.

    This current batch of clowns is so bad I can literally predict their arguments before they make them. That should be a hint that maybe, just maybe the unique conclusion you’re swearing by has probably already been attempted and failed

  477. AliSinaon 01 Jun 2014 at 12:46 am

    @grabula

    “No, it is intellectually lazy to assume a couple of young kids aren’t making up a story. One that might happen to coincide just enough with a real one to be accepted with credulous thinking. Eye witness and anecdotal evidence is bad enough now you’re trying to tell us not only is it OK but it’s OK to accept it from children”

    You have to explain how these children could gain access to information that they did not have?
    It is not limited to Children. Here is the testimony of an atheist Russian scientist who was killed by KGB and spent two days in the morgue and returned to his body on his own. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S8j2g-IsBPQ

    Not only he learned that his parents did not abandon him at childhood as he was led to believe but were killed by KGB, and information that he did not have prior to his experience and turned out to be true. He also visited his friend in spirit and saw his little daughter crying. He learned that the baby had a fractured hip and the adults did not know of it. When he recovered, he told his friend about it and an X ray showed the baby had a fractured hip.

    I deal with fanatical Muslims all the time. I see no difference between you and them.

  478. mumadaddon 01 Jun 2014 at 12:53 am

    AliSina,

    For the love of god man, stop posting anecdotes! You have told repeatedly that they are worthless–even if we’re wrong, you know we are not going to be swayed by them.

    See grabula’s suggested framework above, and see if you can come up with anything that meets these criteria. Otherwise you are wasting your breath. Go hang out on Youtube; maybe you can convince some people there with this twaddle.

  479. AliSinaon 01 Jun 2014 at 12:55 am

    Ignore that video. It does not have the stories I told you about. Watch this one

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jcEbQdy-BAM

  480. mumadaddon 01 Jun 2014 at 1:00 am

    AliSina,

    Now what about you? Will you accept OBE if we find one or more patients correctly reporting what is written on those cards? One is enough. Two is plenty. Three proves the case beyond the doubt. Do the math and you’ll see that the chances of someone to guessing a code is astronomically low! How many cases would you need to be satisfied? Since you made a guess about me, let me make a guess about you. My guess is that not even a 100 of them will satisfy you. I don’t know you, but I know the mind of the believer and how it is wired.

    I would need to be convinced that there was no ‘pious fraud’ on the part of the experimenters, but I’d be absolutely ecstatic if this experiment bore fruit and could be replicated. Like I, and many other posters have said, I want you to be right. The reason I disagree with you is not because I’m threatened by your woo, but because you are not able to demonstrate that what you’re spouting off is true.

  481. grabulaon 01 Jun 2014 at 1:11 am

    @AlSina

    “I deal with fanatical Muslims all the time. I see no difference between you and them.”

    That’s rich kid. You provide me actual evidence and I’ll take your theory seriously. You buy into a few stories credulously and somehow I’m the fanatic?

    I’ll state this as simply as I can for you AlSina, as I did for leo. Provide me with credible and robust evidence and I will look at it seriously. That’s all I require. So far you’ve failed to do that

  482. the devils gummy bearon 01 Jun 2014 at 1:42 am

    The story so far: Essentially, our brains are RC antennas for souls, which operate their meatsack avatars through an unknown mechanisms.

    The basis of this claim: Dream-like stories of invisible, undetectable, incorporeal out of body experiences during unconsciousness (which BTW entirely encompeses the scope of NDEs). Unsurprisingly, these OBEs retain no meaningful information beyond that of a dream, information which only gains narration through collaboration with others (not a single story has been “corroborated”, Alsina. Collaborated on? Yup. Often times through pious/innocent coercion/fabrication. A single one corroborated? Nope. A critical distinction, hopelessly lost on you).

    Is this astral-RC-meatpuppet notion even an hypothesis? Is it falsifiable? I used to think so, until I was introduced to the special pleading here; that unincorporated OBEs, by their very nature, will evade any attempt to verify their existence. Leo has suggested that OBEs are lousy for remembering things, and can’t be trusted to notice anything or retain any remarkable memory at all. So this notion fails to make it to the hypothesis stage due to unfalsifiability. Further, there are ordinary explanations for these anecdotal OBE stories.

    Invisible, undetectable ghosts who do not remember things do not pass go, and do not collect $200.

    The Dragon in My Garage” by Carl Sagan: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJRy3Kl_z5E

    (and for Leo, the Canadian version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=frI5y6tNsZg)

  483. the devils gummy bearon 01 Jun 2014 at 1:50 am

    Ignore that video. It does not have the stories I told you about. Watch this one

    The scope of your qualitative data collection, and analysis, in a nutshell.

  484. AliSinaon 01 Jun 2014 at 1:57 am

    @ mumadadd

    “For the love of god man, stop posting anecdotes! You have told repeatedly that they are worthless–even if we’re wrong, you know we are not going to be swayed by them.”

    Are you really stupid? You can’t even know the difference between anecdote and evidence. How else we would know that consciousness survives? It is like people climbing a hill and coming back saying there is a village behind that hill and you would call all those reports anecdotes and dismiss them. How else can we know if there is a village behind that hill? I am baffled at the stupidity of you guys. You are actually more brain dead than Muslim. You ask for proof and when I show them to you, you don’t want to look at them. Sorry, have no time for stupid people.

    Good bye

  485. grabulaon 01 Jun 2014 at 1:59 am

    “The scope of your qualitative data collection, and analysis, in a nutshell.”

    I shot soda out of my nose I laughed so hard

  486. the devils gummy bearon 01 Jun 2014 at 2:11 am

    @ AlSina

    You have to explain how these children could gain access to information that they did not have?

    I demonstrated a very commonplace way this occurs. Scroll up.

    You must first rule out the ordinary explanations before you leap like an idiot to the extraordinary.

    @mumadaddon and grabulaon, regarding interacting with the weirdos; I second the ridicule approach, after it becomes derpfully pointless. I find this quote particularly apt (due to AlSina’s strange Christainy rant):

    “Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them…”
    - Long Tom Nickleface Pantaloons, 3rd place runner up for President of ‘Merika

  487. the devils gummy bearon 01 Jun 2014 at 2:18 am

    Are you really stupid? You can’t even know the difference between anecdote and evidence. How else we would know that consciousness survives?

    Houston, AlSina’s brain here. The Eagle has landed.

  488. grabulaon 01 Jun 2014 at 2:22 am

    @alsina

    “Are you really stupid? You can’t even know the difference between anecdote and evidence. How else we would know that consciousness survives? It is like people climbing a hill and coming back saying there is a village behind that hill and you would call all those reports anecdotes and dismiss it”

    See how wrong you are again? A Town on the other side of a hill is plausible. I can test it by walking up and observing that fact myself. Until I do I have only anecdotal evidence that it exists. It seems plausible enough. However if I am at the top of the hill observing the absence of a town, but they insist it was there, the burden of proof is on them to show evidence it existed. Until then I still only have anecdotal evidence.

    I really don’t get why it’s so hard for you to understand that a bunch of stories still only adds up to a bunch of stories.

  489. grabulaon 01 Jun 2014 at 2:24 am

    ““Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them…”
    - Long Tom Nickleface Pantaloons, 3rd place runner up for President of ‘Merika”

    It really is. Once you hit the wall of obstinate ignorance you have nowhere else to go

  490. mumadaddon 01 Jun 2014 at 2:30 am

    ALiSina,

    Are you really stupid? You can’t even know the difference between anecdote and evidence. How else we would know that consciousness survives? It is like people climbing a hill and coming back saying there is a village behind that hill and you would call all those reports anecdotes and dismiss them. How else can we know if there is a village behind that hill? I am baffled at the stupidity of you guys. You are actually more brain dead than Muslim. You ask for proof and when I show them to you, you don’t want to look at them. Sorry, have no time for stupid people.

    If you tell me that you have a pet cat called Chairman Miaow, I will accept your anecdote without question, as it comports with reality as I understand it; I know that you are a human, I know that cats exist, and I know that people often keep cats as pets.

    But if you tell me that souls exist, and can leave the body during NDEs, I will not accept any amount of anecdotes as evidence unless their content can be demonstrated not to be the result of known neurological processes. I would start to pay attention if, for example, everyone who flatlined saw Jesus, or the slug god I once saw in a K-hole. But we do understand how memories are confabulated and retrodicted to include new narrative details, and we do understand that people generally want to believe that death is not the end, and we do understand cognitive bias and how this whole sorry mess results in credulous twerps like yourself spaffing off inane anecdotes as though they represent evidence.

  491. mumadaddon 01 Jun 2014 at 2:32 am

    You can’t even know the difference between anecdote and evidence.

    Oh, for shame, AliSina, for shame.

  492. BillyJoe7on 01 Jun 2014 at 2:37 am

    AlSina,

    “You are actually more brain dead than Muslim”

    I think you meant Islam. Because Muslims are pretty much like Christians – a mixed bunch of ordinary people until they embarrass themselves talking about their religion. Of course there are fanatics on both sides with admittedly more than a fair share on the Muslim side. But no need to generalise.

    But, I’m sorry, Al, all your stories ARE simply anecdotes and, as I explained above, the witnesses do not change this. It is just easy to fool someone, and much easier when you have fooled yourself as well. Most “witnesses” fall over themselves to agree. Really, if youtube is your thing, look it up. It’s hilarious.

    “You have to explain how these children could gain access to information that they did not have”

    Nope. You have to verify that they actually had access to information during the OBE that they did not have before the OBE. Unless and until that verification is available, it’s a waste of time trying to explain how they gained this information. Because without that verification, there is nothing to explain.

    I truly hope you understand this at some level.

    So….
    Just ONE verified case.
    That’s all I ask.

  493. BillyJoe7on 01 Jun 2014 at 2:39 am

    …and what you should demand yourself.

  494. mumadaddon 01 Jun 2014 at 2:40 am

    AliSina,

    I think the word that best descrobes you is ‘nincompoop’.

  495. mumadaddon 01 Jun 2014 at 2:43 am

    You’re Bigears to leo’s Noddy.

  496. the devils gummy bearon 01 Jun 2014 at 2:43 am

    mumadadd-

    or the slug god I once saw in a K-hole.

    You saw it too? K is a hell of a thing…

  497. mumadaddon 01 Jun 2014 at 2:47 am

    Oh yeah, total alteration of reality – synesthesia even. The slug god is a parasitic universe that craves any and all conscious experience; suffering, pain, pleasure, orgasms, whatever.

  498. mumadaddon 01 Jun 2014 at 2:57 am

    Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them…

    Indeed. AliSina has been given more than enough time to come up with something intelligible. And it’s nice to bust out the N-bomb (nincompoop) occasionally.

  499. mumadaddon 01 Jun 2014 at 3:18 am

    AliSina,

    Good bye

    For realzies? Pinky swear? Leo has let me down countless times on this….

  500. BillyJoe7on 01 Jun 2014 at 3:29 am

    Missed this one…

    leo: “I am sorry but its been shown that oxygen deprivation is not the cause of near death experiences, the same with drugs that been debunked hundreds of times the same with stimulating certain parts of the brain”

    http://www.near-death.com/experiences/triggers07.html

    http://psychology.jrank.org/pages/444/Near-Death-Experience.html

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Out-of-body_experience

  501. mumadaddon 01 Jun 2014 at 3:31 am
  502. mumadaddon 01 Jun 2014 at 3:53 am

    Leo and Alisina:

    http://enidblytonsociety.co.uk/author/covers/noddy-and-big-ears-have-a-picnic-house-book-6.jpg

  503. BillyJoe7on 01 Jun 2014 at 3:57 am

    I don’t know how reliable this source is, but the author claims there is not yet ONE verified case of successfully reading a placard placed seven foot above the floor:

    http://www.paranormalpeopleonline.com/is-the-aware-project-really-finding-answers-ndes-and-the-science-of-death/

    Perhaps leo and Al are aware of this, and this is why they are already making excuses:

    to-date, not one patient has relayed the content of the placards, or even noted seeing a placard at all

    Goddamn those pesky placards not getting noted!
    It couldn’t be because…

  504. mumadaddon 01 Jun 2014 at 4:02 am

    No, BJ7! Leo and AliSina have already explained that blinking lights needed to be used to attract the souls’ attention. If you don’t get it then I guess you don’t get it. HUFF!!!

  505. mumadaddon 01 Jun 2014 at 4:45 am

    Ali Sina,

    I Googled you to see if you’d been posting on other forums. I have to commend you on publicly and actively taking a stand against Islam. Your arguments on this forum are still totally vacuous, but I totally respect your activism efforts! (sarcasm) peace be upon you! (/sarcasm)

  506. the devils gummy bearon 01 Jun 2014 at 4:49 am

    I’ve been playing with the placecard experiment in my head today (It had been ages since I’d encountered OBE/NDE/Astral-projection stuff, this afterlife debate and brain receiver stuff has really churned up some loons). I can, right off the bat, rattle off a few dozen ways the blinding could be easily compromised by the old place card facing up, then put in an envelope type setup. Too much room for human error to enter into the experiment, unintentional or not.

    Thinking through ways to rule these out, I started thinking of using a simple (extremely simple) LED displays instead of place cards. The resolution doesn’t have to be anything more than an old Lite Brite toy (remember those), or it could be an Android tablet.

    And as I’ve been following along here, and okay… I’m willing to account for the idea that alleged out-of-body entities are (big understatement) atypically impaired. Perhaps much too impaired to see or remember numerals? Or letters? Or words? Unable to “crack a code”? Okay. Sure. Then let’s make it easy; shapes and colors. A solid red circle… A blue Square… A green X. A yellow triangle. A blue triangle. You get the picture.

    I liked the idea of a whole bunch of place cards all over the operating room. You know, placed up on everything, or positioned strategically, out of site and controlled of course. So, instead of place cards, LEDs everywhere, facing up. They would synchronously display the same color/shape all at once. To an observer overhead, they would see, let’s say- blue squares everywhere. THAT would be overwhelming visual characteristic of the environment, when looking down, blue squares out the wazoo- impossible to miss, even if the observer’s attention was singularly focused on the operating table, there would still be a dozen or two blue squares basically in the way.

    These LED Lite Brite/Android tablets, programed to be randomized, would need to log/time stamp their output information. The system could be activated automatically or by switch when a patient is admitted, or the displays could just be left running on an endless randomized pattern, one color/shape left on for… An hour? Or even randomize the “change screen saver every ______ minutes” function.

    Then of course, I immediately think, well, how bright are these things going to be? If I’m thinking Lite Brite pegs/LED tablet bright, well, so much of operating rooms are reflective surfaces, and how on earth would one control for that?

    If this were my research project, and I had access to the rooms where my experiments would be running in, I’d be sitting in there for a good long while, pacing around, sitting on the floor, sticking my iPhone on top of things on full brightness, thinking things through… Hovering around during operations. And this is pretty much the limit of being able to design an experiment in my head, without the help of input/feedback/thoughts of my peers or other people thinking about things (I haven’t done lit. search, actually, I think I will now that I think about it).

    What do you guys think?

    No, BJ7! Leo and AliSina have already explained that blinking lights needed to be used to attract the souls’ attention. If you don’t get it then I guess you don’t get it. HUFF!!!

    Get out of my head, mumadadd.

    I’m just thinking outloud. For people like Leo or AliSina, if your reading this, this is how an intellectually curious person, with some amount of creativity and scientific training, starts thinking through the ways to solve the problem of detecting a frustratingly hard thing to detect, i.e. I’m actually trying to think through ways to detect OBEs, partially because I’m curious, but mostly because I really want to detect them….

    And that last bit is something I think a lot of people get wrong about skeptics and scientists.

  507. mumadaddon 01 Jun 2014 at 5:08 am

    I’ve been playing with the placecard experiment in my head today (It had been ages since I’d encountered OBE/NDE/Astral-projection stuff, this afterlife debate and brain receiver stuff has really churned up some loons). I can, right off the bat, rattle off a few dozen ways the blinding could be easily compromised by the old place card facing up, then put in an envelope type setup. Too much room for human error to enter into the experiment, unintentional or not.

    I immediately jumped to LEDs after reading this paragraph, but didn’t follow it through to the extent you did with reducing it to shapes and colours (I thought randomly generated words)–but I totally agree. I’ll pray to Alan that such an experiment is conducted, and even sacrifice one of my virgins in heaven if it does.

    It’s a pretty robust design that could be used to test other claims, such as remote viewing and psychic readings (you have a person view the LEDs then ask the psychic to psychically infer the images, obviously with no hints about the criteria).

  508. the devils gummy bearon 01 Jun 2014 at 6:44 am

    Jeesh, I was about to say I’m just as rusty on remote viewing as I am on OBEs… But then, I guess, nothing has really “happened” after centuries of trying to detect any level of clairvoyance (Leo, that’s what the Force was called before it got rebranded as ESP and psi, after years and years of parlor tricks in séance rooms turning up nothing, except parlor tricks, “clairvoyance” started getting a bum rap… Which is why us “pseudoskeptics” sort of toss your boring old claims that never worked ever in the history of looking into them onto the enormous heap of bullshit that’s been piling up for centuries, the same old crap, a mountain of it by now… compared to not a single shred of evidence for something interesting)

    I never keep up with the million dollar challenge, I wonder if a consultant has come up with an app for remote viewing. An iPad in an empty room, on a table. I suppose the utility of this would be the ability to double or triple blind the output information, but then, has no one ever gotten statistically significant hits with boring old cards? I can’t think of any interesting reason to look into it any more.

    In my bleary-eyed insomnia, I’m dreaming a rig, a chandelier to suspend from the operating room ceiling, a circular rig. With a dozen iPads facing up. I wonder if I can find an OR with a ceiling over 8′? Anyway, how weird would it be to paint the ceiling flat black? And those reflective grills in the fluorescent bays would have to go, and diffused screens would be put in their place. I’m thinking up more and more elaborate rigs, but I’m of the jamie hyneman school: the mark of a master of designer is elegance/simplicity. So everytime I start to get carried away, I have to stop myself and think “simpler” “more elegant” “idiot-proofness through bare bones”. I’m full of it tonight. Can’t sleep.

    Are people really still claiming that they can astral project? Or remote detect? What are they calling this crap these days? Haven’t these types never yet, not once, been able to detect anything better than statistical random guessing? I’m genuinely curious.

  509. the devils gummy bearon 01 Jun 2014 at 7:06 am

    Missed this one- AliSina (Yesterday, eh, 31 May 2014 at 3:39 pm) said:

    They are unverified for you because you don’t care to look into those claims. Who do you think should verify them for you? Are you expecting Steven Novella to verify them so you can accept them as true? He won’t. He has his own dogma to defend. You are the one who has to do your own research

    Alright AliSina, just in case you ever come back, you need to understand a few things.

    Look, we try really hard not to bother our high priest. Whenever Steve comes down from Mount Sinai, he usually smashes things something awful, and busts up our little graven things down here in the comments (it’s the reason we can’t have nice things).

    Where are we going to get our dogma if Steves is smashing the tablets? Damn it man, let us dance around our golden idols of incredulity and skepticism, and of not taking YouTube video-stories as gospel.

    Alisina, I love how you can declare, in 30 foot high letters that you “are not a believer”, or have no horse in this whatever you said, have no ideology to defend, etc, again and again… And in the same breath holler that anyone who doesn’t see things in your extreme black and white terms is a dogmatic liar.

    That’s nuts. That’s something a crazy person does. That’s zealot stuff. That’s the stuff fanatics shout at people. Stark raving mad couldn’t take enough adderall to keep up with you.

    BJ7 calmly and civilly responded to your denunciations with measured and reasonable politeness. His straightforward elegance is remarkable to read through, compared to your hostile vitriol.

  510. BillyJoe7on 01 Jun 2014 at 8:56 am

    “BJ7 calmly and civilly responded to your denunciations with measured and reasonable politeness. His straightforward elegance is remarkable to read through, compared to your hostile vitriol”

    Hmmm..

    You’re right!
    I had to go back a full 24 hours to find an even mildly snarky remark.
    I would have thought a nagging Achilles strain would have made me a little more testy than that.

  511. leo100on 01 Jun 2014 at 9:42 am

    BJ7

    Those materialist objections to near death experiences has been rebutted

    http://ncu9nc.blogspot.ca/2013/07/materialist-explanations-of-ndes-fail.html

    Also, I knew the problems before they created these experiments like placement cards apparently they were not taking the problems seriously.

  512. Bronze Dogon 01 Jun 2014 at 9:56 am

    There’s one thing that’s just so irritating about some woos. Even though they’re so certain of their correctness, they’ll often go out of their way to rationalize failure as the only possible outcome to the experiments we propose. It leaves one to wonder who they’re really trying to convince. Skeptics, or themselves?

    LED displays with randomized simple shapes? Sounds good like a good angle if there’s enough color and shape combinations. If there’s too few, someone might get it right by chance. Though for near-sighted souls, you’ll want to make sure all the shapes are easily distinguishable. Wouldn’t want them to confuse a square for a rhombus/diamond, for example. Doing so would also provide less excuse for experimenter degrees of freedom.

  513. leo100on 01 Jun 2014 at 10:40 am

    I would suggest an experiment of a picture of someone in their family that they would notice put on both sides of the bed.

  514. mumadaddon 01 Jun 2014 at 11:53 am

    I would suggest an experiment of a picture of someone in their family that they would notice put on both sides of the bed.

    Why?

    Ah yes, because it’s a high probability hit, and NDE experiences often contain reports of seeing one’s family, so let’s match the protocol with what we expect people to report. Never mind trying to find some proper evidence.

    It’s also sufficiently generic that you could massage a vague response to fit the correct answer–woman, middle aged, fair hair; oh it was your aunt, not your mother, but clearly there was some psychic intuition as you were close! No, it wasn’t your mother but your father, but was a parent so souls exist!

  515. Insomniacon 01 Jun 2014 at 11:53 am

    leo : On the link you provided one can read this :

    Skeptical claims are often wrong or misleading. Many scientists including Nobel prize winners have proved some paranormal phenomena are genuine. Highly skilled stage magicians have investigated many mediums and have found them to be genuine. Studies have shown people with more education are more likely to believe in the psychic phenomena and the afterlife , and most medical doctors believe in the afterlife.

    Many red flags here…

    This should arouse your suspicion as to the honesty of whoever wrote this. You might want to look for a probable agenda they may have…

  516. The Other John Mcon 01 Jun 2014 at 12:25 pm

    Speaking of magicians….So do these really credulous people just straight-up piss themselves with sheer wonder when they go to a magic show? Are they like: OH MY SWEET JESUS that man was just sawed IN HALF! Then he disappeared and instantly re-materialized on the other side of the room, this violates all known laws of physics (but not quantum) and proves the supernatural DOES exist, HOLY CRAP STICKS!!

  517. leo100on 01 Jun 2014 at 1:02 pm

    Mumadadd

    Let’s see because its important to them and it means something to them not some silly sign with a nothing on it. Or some envelope.

    Insomniac

    Well he is right no red flags seem to be only red flags when a paranormal proponent mention it but if a skeptic mentions that most scientists uncovered fraud in all mediums and that mind is somehow produced by the brain that doesn’t raise any red flags?.

  518. Insomniacon 01 Jun 2014 at 1:11 pm

    leo : Well, no. You won’t see anything like that in a blog like this one. There’s nothing but arguments from authority. It strikes me when I read things like this and it immediately makes me feel like I should be wary. Read again what I pasted, it tells you a lot about the guys who’re involved in this website.

    I’m not using double standards, really. Think about it.

  519. leo100on 01 Jun 2014 at 2:43 pm

    Isomniac

    They are not arguments of authority he using scientists yes that have rebuttal what other materialist scientist’s said about near death experiences in their studies. It’s that the evidence from rem intrusion, lack of oxygen and so on for near death experiences fall apart when looked at with a critical mind.

  520. the devils gummy bearon 01 Jun 2014 at 2:55 pm

    Leo, you really don’t understand mumadadd’s point, do you? You really don’t understand. I can’t magically grant you the capacity for curiosity or learning, or the interest in understanding the thinking behind designing an experiment with independently controlled variables that would show statistically meaningful results. Putting familiar pictures of loved ones on place cards could not possibly demonstrate any kind of interesting effect, because NDEs report hazy/vague recollections of loved ones. You do not see why this is an issue. I give up. You refuse to, or are otherwise unable to learn. I’m afraid to say these ideas can’t be dumbed down any further. I spent a good hour going through your blog the other day (and I would encourage anyone trying to figure what’s going on with our colleague here, to take a look), and this isn’t an ad hom or tone trolling or anything, this is an honest to goodness appraisal of the situation; for the peanut gallery; I think there might be some developmental issues going on here, for real. Just something to bear in mind. Leo, bud… I’m sorry, but I give up. Ridicule wouldn’t even the ease the frustration. End of the rope. Good luck and godspeed.

  521. the devils gummy bearon 01 Jun 2014 at 3:32 pm

    Not to belabor the point of why putting pictures of familiar faces on both nightstands of a hospital bed wouldn’t yield interesting results… But I was up late reading about OBEs. I was reading one of BJ7′s links (Blanke at the University Hospitals of Geneva and Lausanne inducing OBE-like effects in a woman). What struck me, was when she was experiencing out of body sensations, she could only see her immediate surroundings from the vantage point of her bed… She couldn’t see her own face or head, but only her trunk, arms and legs- the things you see when lying down. Isn’t this the case in all OBEs, that the only verifiable sensory experiences reported are what the patients can see in their immediate vicinity? Or what they can guess at, imagine to be what things would appear to look like in the most general terms without any particular details, or otherwise construe from descriptions they overhear or talk about later? OBEs seeing things that patients could otherwise see from lying in their bed would only show that nothing extraordinary is occurring.

  522. mumadaddon 01 Jun 2014 at 3:46 pm

    I read something by Thomas Metzinger – he’s a philosopher who’s also quite involved with neuroscience, and describes being able to float around the room in his own OBEs. It might just come down to how powerful the individual’s visual imagination is as to how much they can reconstruct.

  523. leo100on 01 Jun 2014 at 4:25 pm

    Another problem too is the fact that death is a process itself not an event.

  524. leo100on 01 Jun 2014 at 4:30 pm

    Devil’s Gummy Bear

    I will admit I am considered “mentally challenged” or learning disability but that doesn’t mean you have to be bias either and say nothing of what I say is useful. Although once when I have a phobia fear of death I went to a psychiatrist and checked out if I was able to read good remember what I read and according to him I have no learning disability whatsoever. I have looked at the near death literature and they don’t report like you said “hazy recollections of their loved ones”.

  525. the devils gummy bearon 01 Jun 2014 at 5:30 pm

    Hey Leo, I didn’t mean that disparagingly. I’ve just noticed some of us, including myself, have flown off the handle, perhaps a little too harshly. If it’s any consolation, I see a psychologist weekly for some things (I even see a psychiatrist every other month. Medical science; booyah!). Here’s to striving for a world where these things are no longer taboos, no stigmas attached; Cheers.

    But… For the life of me, I cannot figure out a way to inspire some modicum critical thinking in you, and I’m a little short-staffed in the patience department these days. So, I must resign myself of it.

    A common trait in NDEs are reports of reunions with the departed (loved ones). Thus hazy recollections of. A common characteristic of OBEs is the alleged observation of people in the room. These people are very often loved ones. Thus hazy recollections of.

  526. leo100on 01 Jun 2014 at 6:18 pm

    The devil’s Gummy Bear

    If you actually read the near death experience literature Olaf’s patient had a hallucination not a real out of body experience like people who are close to death have. They don’t report seeing their legs becoming shorter or just seeing their trunk and arms.

  527. BillyJoe7on 01 Jun 2014 at 6:21 pm

    leo,

    They merely argue that the OBEs induced by oxygen deprivation and drugs are different in quality from OBEs during NDEs. Well, I’m not surprised. I would expect them to be different in quality. Different circumstances and all that. They have not rebutted oxygen deprivation and drugs as causes of OBEs.

    They also think they can pin down the actual time the OBE occurs but, to do so, they are assuming their conclusion. This is called “circular reasoning” or “begging the question”.

    And where’s the rebuttal that stimulating the right anterior gyrus induces an OBE.

  528. leo100on 01 Jun 2014 at 6:58 pm

    BillyJ7

    If they were the same then OBEs and NDEs probably are brought on by oxygen deprivation and drugs. Skeptics say they probably occur before or after it occurs not when it happens. But when nde proponents say they can pin point when it occurs the skeptics get all mad.

  529. the devils gummy bearon 01 Jun 2014 at 6:59 pm

    I have yet to encounter any compelling research that would indicate OBE phenomena require extraordinary explanations, Leo.

    Ordinary explanations include; hallucinations, oxygen deprivation, magnetic stimulation, dreaming, stroke, ketamine, or any plethora of drugs for that matter, etc etc etc.

    Let me change tact for a moment, so it doesn’t seem like I’m dancing around something, just to make this one single point, so I don’t have to come back to it: I have yet to see a need to invoke an extraordinary explanation for OBEs, i.e. there is no such thing as “real” OBEs. There is not a single shred of evidence to indicate they occur.

  530. the devils gummy bearon 01 Jun 2014 at 7:25 pm

    I’m sort of bored with amusing Leo’s belief that OBEs are magic carpet rides of the soul-ghost. My point, above, is there is no aspect of OBE phenomena that requires paranormal explanations. Instead of accumulating evidence for psi (there is none, which is basically a deathblow for these ideas), there has been an exponential growth of evidence in neuroscience and medical science that all purported OBE phenomena occur within a malfunctioning brain.

    This is how I arrive at the above stated conclusion.

    If OBEs are magic carpet rides for ghosts and if NDEs are ferry rides to Valhalla… Then it is going to take more than a bookmarks folder full of links to the vaguer, fringer, netherwebs to convince me.

    /rant

  531. leo100on 01 Jun 2014 at 7:33 pm

    Lol you need to read up on some near death experience accounts. I have read hundreds of them.

  532. leo100on 01 Jun 2014 at 7:39 pm

    I have made up a list of accurate out of body veridical perception cases 7 years ago on my blog. Here is the list.

    Out Of Body Verdical Experience List
    veridical nde perceptions

    http://www.nderf.org/julie_nde.htm
    http://www.nderf.org/robert_e_nde.htm
    http://www.nderf.org/della_m_nde.htm
    http://www.nderf.org/sally_s_nde.htm
    http://www.nderf.org/rf_nde.htm
    http://www.nderf.org/ruud_l_nde.htm
    http://www.nderf.org/warida_nde.htm
    http://www.nderf.org/bernardita_b_nde.htm
    http://www.nderf.org/gwen_p_nde.htm
    http://www.nderf.org/sandra_j_nde.htm
    http://www.nderf.org/tim_b_nde.htm
    http://www.nderf.org/barbara_g_nde.htm
    http://www.nderf.org/francesca_t_nde.htm
    http://www.nderf.org/earl_w's_nde.htm
    http://www.nderf.org/sherry_g's_nde.htm
    http://www.nderf.org/amy_p's_nde.htm
    http://www.nderf.org/andy_n's_nde.htm
    http://www.nderf.org/graciela_h's_nde.htm
    http://www.nderf.org/monik_j's_nde.htm
    http://www.nderf.org/billly_d's_nde.htm
    http://www.nderf.org/andrew_c's_nde.htm

    http://www.nderf.org/tina_j's_nde.htm
    http://www.nderf.org/eve_h's_nde.htm
    http://www.nderf.org/annie_m's_nde.htm
    http://www.nderf.org/kris_k's_nde.htm
    http://www.nderf.org/charlene_k's_nde.htm
    http://www.oberf.org/donald_m_obes.htm
    http://www.oberf.org/david_sobe.htm
    _________________

    http://www.nderf.org/araceli_s_nde.htm
    http://www.nderf.org/S's%20NDE.htm
    http://www.nderf.org/celeste_y's_nde.htm
    http://www.nderf.org/kristin_d's_nde.htm
    http://www.nderf.org/david_m's_2614_nde.htm

    1. The case of Al Sullivan: Al was a 55 year old truck driver who was undergoing triple by-pass surgery when he had a powerful NDE that included an encounter with his deceased mother and brother-in-law, who told Al to go back to his to tell one of his neighbors that their son with lymphoma will be OK. Furthermore, during the NDE, Al accurately noticed that the surgeon operating on him was flapping his arms in an unusual fashion, with his hands in his armpits. When he came back to his body after the surgery was over, the surgeon was startled that Al could describe his own arm flapping, which was his idiosyncratic method of keeping his hands sterile.

    2. The case of the Chinese woman: The author Maggie Callanan in her 1993 book, Final Gifts, wrote about an elderly Chinese woman who had an NDE in which she saw her deceased husband and her sister. She was puzzled since her sister wasn’t dead, or so she thought. In actuality, her family had hid her sister’s recent death from her for fear of upsetting her already fragile health.

    3. The case of Pam Reynolds:This is reported by Michael Sabom in his book Light and Death. Pam Reynolds underwent a very risky operation to remove an aneurysm from her brain, in which her brain was drained totally of its blood so that the doctors could clip off the swollen blood vessel. During this procedure, Pam had a deep NDE in which she saw all of the details of the operation and later reported on it with complete accuracy, even though she was “dead” by usual criteria (no heartbeat or respiration, and a flat EEG) for much of it.

    4. Cases of the blind who can see: As recorded by Kenneth Ring in his book, Mind Sight, there is solid evidence for 31 cases in which blind people report visually accurate information obtained during an NDE.

  533. the devils gummy bearon 01 Jun 2014 at 8:29 pm

    Leo, I am intimately familiar with the state of psi phenomena, i have quite literally read “hundreds” of NDE accounts over the years. Probably thousands of accounts. I spent the first half of my life steeped in this stuff. And unless anything remarkable has developed in the past 15 or 20 years or so years since I stopped paying attention to this shit, then I don’t care. At all… For me, It’s been interesting to communicate a little bit with believers (since the Afterlife Debate), and it is endlessly fascinating for me to see how your minds work. I’m getting off now.

    Wouldn’t you be happier spending your time with anti-pseudoskeptics and psi proponents?

  534. leo100on 01 Jun 2014 at 8:46 pm

    @the devil’s gummy bear

    Yeah I would be happier spending time there instead.

  535. BillyJoe7on 02 Jun 2014 at 1:00 am

    Sorry, leo, I can’t decipher your response.

  536. grabulaon 02 Jun 2014 at 4:01 am

    @Leo

    “I have read hundreds of them.”

    And?

  537. grabulaon 02 Jun 2014 at 4:03 am

    @Leo

    I don’t know if you noticed where AlSina got torn to pieces but it was insisting anecdotal evidence is anything.

    The other thing I notice is you true believer types tend to assume we haven’t read up on this stuff. Just another indication you haven’t been paying attention to what people have told you this entire time.

  538. The Other John Mcon 02 Jun 2014 at 8:02 am

    Hallucinations of viewing your body from another viewpoint (which I think many NDE/OBE’s probably are) seem interesting from a visual psychology perspective. If you have normal binocular (two-eyed) vision, then your “sense of self” actually exists in space at the midpoint between your eyes, called the “cyclopean eye” or “cyclopean viewpoint.” Providing even further evidence that your sense of an external spatial environment (and your perceived place in it) are an elaborate mental construction.

    But, interestingly, there’s no theoretical reason your “sense of self” cyclopean view couldn’t exist at another point in space or from another viewpoint on your body. The reason for its location may be due to the primacy of vision as a high-fidelity sense, and also it seems reasonable that your sense of self should probably correspond to your actual physical self as you make your way through your spatial environment (to largely avoid misperceptions of the environment and avoid walking off cliffs or into obstacles; there’s almost certainly an evolutionary advantage that has shaped this).

    During some experiences of near-death brain states, trauma, etc., the mental module responsible for locating your sense of self at the cyclopean viewpoint seems to be disengaged, probably allowing for degraded, hallucinatory-type perceptions of viewing the world from other positions in space and even “seeing” your body from another perspective. Other commenters I believe have already pointed out some of the brain areas likely involved in this, though I can’t recall off the top of my head (no pun intended!).

  539. mumadaddon 02 Jun 2014 at 8:57 am

    Lep,

    Let me try to explain why we aren’t moved by your anecdotal evidence. First, let’s take a hypothetical situation where a patient flatlines in hospital, is then resuscitated and reports an NDE – that first report, if taken in a controlled manner, without any family or friends around and before they have even see them–to avoid any kind of contamination of the report with external details–should be your only data point for this report.

    If it could be then demonstrated that the subject was able to provide information about things happening elsewhere while they were flatlined, and in sufficient detail; or if they reported meeting people and describe them in specific detail (not generalities), AND it could be later proved to match a dead relative that they were completely unaware of, THEN you would have something approaching mildly compelling.

    There are still huge issues with the scenario above – how likely is it that they were completely unaware of this dead relative? How could this be verified? How much could be accounted for by coincidence (most people have dead grandparents, or great uncles, or whatever, and they have certain common features)? There are certain things happening within hospitals or waiting rooms that most people would expect to be happening, so how much of what’s reported can be accounted for by general expectation? There are certain ways most people would expect their loved ones to act in the waiting room whilst they are flatlining, so how much of that can be explained by general expectation?

    Most of the time we don’t get even any where near this – what you have is reports from days, weeks or months after the event, with plenty of time to confabulate memories and incorporate elements from other people’s recounting of the event. Plently of time to twist events to fit a narrative and your own cultural beliefs. This could be deliberate to some extent in some cases, but most of the time this will happen completely unconsciously.

    Do you understand this, leo? I don’t think you do, as when we were discussing how to design an experiment to actually give us some useful outputs, eliminate as many of the sources of biases as possible, you advocated trashing this model and using photos of loved ones “because the souls won’t be interested in shapes or numbers.” Having read what I just laid out, do you now see the problems with what you were suggesting?

    And this is all without even taking into account the extreme implausibility of a non-corporial soul that can leave the body but still have sensory input and form memories.

  540. mumadaddon 02 Jun 2014 at 9:01 am

    Oops – typo. That was addressed to leo, not Lep!

  541. BillyJoe7on 02 Jun 2014 at 9:33 am

    I had trouble reading your comment after that typo. Gave me the giggles for some reason and I needed a few minutes to collect myself before continuing.
    But, yes, spot on.

  542. leo100on 02 Jun 2014 at 10:08 am

    Mumadadd

    Do you think someone is going to be interested in a silly sign while there hovering above their body you said you would be but that’s you lots of others wouldn’t be. Extreme implausibility as you already know such a thing doesn’t exist. Also I should point out that people are radically transformed after a near death experience if it was a hallucination that isn’t something you would not expect. There are lots of those cases where souls have seen dead relatives they never saw before and later like you said actually did match a dead relative that they remembered they saw.

    @Grabula

    I need to ask you what types of evidence for survival have you researched? Near Death Experiences? Automatic writing? Cross Correspondences? Drop Dead Communications? Apparitions? Proxy Sittings? After Death Communication? Deathbed Visions? Poltergeist activity? Electronic and Instrumental Transcommunication? Past Life research? Xenoglossy? Astral Body Experiments? Out of Body Experiences?.

  543. Bruceon 02 Jun 2014 at 10:14 am

    leo100 should be renamed to SpecialPleading101

  544. mumadaddon 02 Jun 2014 at 10:35 am

    leo,

    Oh dear. The rebuttal to examples you just referenced are in the post you were responding to…

    At this point, are you ready to acknowledge that further discussion is futile? You aren’t able to acknowledge the fundamental problems at the base of your reasoning, and you sure as hell haven’t challenged anyone here’s stance on these issues.

    if it was a hallucination that isn’t something you would not expect.

    This is incomprehensible. Was that double negative intentional?

  545. leo100on 02 Jun 2014 at 11:33 am

    Mumadadd

    You know what I mean if it was a hallucination why is there such radical transformation of the person?. I know what you said before you said you would see those signs because it would interests you but I just said many others would not be interested like you are. I think I have that is why you came up with that lowball attack on attacking my character. Skeptics very commonly used the tactic of name calling such as crackpots among other words when they realize there arguments have no substance.

  546. mumadaddon 02 Jun 2014 at 11:40 am

    leo,

    “You know what I mean if it was a hallucination why is there such radical transformation of the person?”

    What sort of transformation are you talking about? I think if came close to death but pulled through, I’d be transformed (in a sense) temporarily. And if I saw something seemingly inexplicable, sure, that would have an effect too. But that would be no reason to expect anyone else to believe in souls and an afterlife.

    “I know what you said before you said you would see those signs because it would interests you but I just said many others would not be interested like you are.”

    I think you’re mistaking me for someone else. No worries it’s a long thread.

    “I think I have that is why you came up with that lowball attack on attacking my character.”

    Think you have what? What are you referring to?

    “when they realize there arguments have no substance.”

    Very rich, leo, very rich.

  547. Steven Novellaon 02 Jun 2014 at 12:14 pm

    leo – others have addressed the general problems with such evidence. They are narratives that emerge after the fact in the context, often, of prior belief.

    The Pam Reynolds case, as an example of distortion of these histories, is often misrepresented. Her brain activity was no flat lined during the entire procedure, only a small part of it. There was plenty of opportunity for her to have formed those memories during compromised, but not “flat lined,” brain activity.

  548. leo100on 02 Jun 2014 at 12:14 pm

    Mumadadd

    We are not talking about some temporary transformation but actually a permanent transformation. I think I have come up with good arguments is what I mean. Mumadadd sure do you hear believers saying pseudoskeptics, closed minded yes a lot. Do you hear skeptics saying crackpots, woo woo believers, closed minded back to them yes a lot. I would not like to be classified as a believer myself as I think I have very good reasons for thinking there is a lot of scientific evidence for the existence of psi and the afterlife.

  549. The Other John Mcon 02 Jun 2014 at 12:26 pm

    leo “I think I have very good reasons for thinking there is a lot of scientific evidence for the existence of psi and the afterlife”

    That’s what we are trying to tell you, speaking as actual practicing scientists, is that you don’t have SCIENTIFIC evidence for the existence of psi and the afterlife. You have ANECDOTAL evidence and crappy, uncontrollabe, pseudo-scientific “experiments” at best. We are telling you, as scientists, that these do not in any way meet the normal standards of science, and you are just confused or refuse to believe what we are telling you.

  550. leo100on 02 Jun 2014 at 12:53 pm

    The Other John Mc

    Well that is your opinions many practicing scientists would disagree with you. Even some skeptical scientists are admitting that the evidence is very good.

  551. leo100on 02 Jun 2014 at 12:54 pm

    But I guess I should trust your opinion? you know what I don’t take anyone’s opinions at face value I decide for myself.

  552. The Other John Mcon 02 Jun 2014 at 1:06 pm

    You don’t have to take anyone’s word…that’s the beauty of science. Literally dozens of people have walked you through mutliple cases explaining why what you are claiming fails the rigorous standards of science, yet I think you have managed to fatigue them all with your obstinence. As long as you admit you are relying on non-scientific anecdotal evidence to support your belief, there is little anyone can say about it, until you start saying Science is on your side because it clearly isn’t.

  553. The Other John Mcon 02 Jun 2014 at 1:11 pm

    “many practicing scientists would disagree with you”

    No. No they wouldn’t. Not at all, you are dead wrong on this. A few fringe-dwelling scientists who do shoddy experimental work might support your views, but as we saw with one of the links you provided, their crap doesn’t get published in respectable journals because its awful, so they unsurprisingly stick to non-peer-reviewed works or even start their own crappy journals (e.g., the Journal of Scientific Exploration).

  554. the devils gummy bearon 02 Jun 2014 at 1:26 pm

    I said:

    “If OBEs are magic carpet rides for ghosts and if NDEs are ferry rides to Valhalla… Then it is going to take more than a bookmarks folder full of links to the vaguer, fringer, netherwebs to convince me.”

    To which Leo responded with:

    “I have made up a list of accurate out of body veridical perception cases 7 years ago on my blog. Here is the list.

    …”

    Sorry Leo, I think today would be better spent getting caught up on things, and then going for a cycle ride up Big Cottonwood Canyon here in gay olde SLC. It’s probably a beautiful day in Nova Scotia, you should get out and breath it in :)

  555. mumadaddon 02 Jun 2014 at 1:28 pm

    Leo,

    It’s not impossible that you’re right, and souls are much more interested in pictures of their loves than codes or LESs. Now can you please explain how you’d go about designing the experiment to test their recollection of who the picture was of?

    “he’s going into cardiac arrest! Nurse, go through his wallett and see if he has any photos of his kids or a pet dog!”

  556. The Street Epistemologiston 02 Jun 2014 at 2:45 pm

    Following this thread and other recent ones should demonstrate the clear differences of skeptics and others who claim to be skeptics. There is no way these threads should EVER reach the # of comments they have – although I do wish I had more time to be a regular commenter, both sides proceed WAY to far too fast before agreeing (or not) on premise. This is not about belief – this is about how beliefs are formed.

    Leo, Ali, Hardnose, Sonic pay attention…ANY story, no matter how convincing, no matter how many there are, no matter how many people seem to corroborate it, DOES NOT meet the threshold for scientific evidence. It may meet your standard for evidence, and therefore your have formed your world view based on this and you consider it “evidence.” Until you come the realization that the standard for actual scientific evidence is much MUCH greater than anecdotes (hearsay), you will continue to accept and shape your beliefs based on fantastic and unsupported claims. Knowledge is belief that is true and JUSTIFIED. Whether you think so or not, your beliefs in psi and the like are NOT justified. Raising your standard of what constitutes evidence is the entire crux of these comments. This includes Ali’s personal NDE experience which seems to have had a powerful effect on him – his experience should be accepted as extremely powerful. This happens to millions of ppl around the world, and thankfully there are those like Dr. Novella and Sam Harris who are trying to shed light on the true neurological nature of these experiences.

    To the true skeptics that sometimes become so frustrated by this lack of understanding – it is easy to let the ad homs fly – they are quite entertaining, but keep in mind there are thousands or readers like myself who can plainly see which side has has the better argument. We should be compassionate in our understanding that not everyone has the same capacity for understanding. No amount of explaining facts or methodology will do – the only way to change someones mind is to help them achieve cognitive dissonance in their own mind. Those of you who ask these types of questions to believers of woo are on the right track. Keep your comments short and interactive while pressing for answers to questions that really get to the root of why beliefs formed in the first place.

  557. leo100on 02 Jun 2014 at 3:11 pm

    The Other John Mc

    I am not just talking about proponents which there is a large amount of them but others as well that are actually interested in psi and afterlife research but keep there job in science because it helps them keep food on the table.

    Mumadadd

    Well I would make sure that it was very controlled. It doesn’t have to be a photo of a loved one it can be as simple as their own shoe that they wear. They would identify with that or their hat.

  558. mumadaddon 02 Jun 2014 at 4:24 pm

    Leo,

    Okay, keep going. What would you control for and how? Try to be specific.

  559. leo100on 02 Jun 2014 at 4:27 pm

    I would control for contamination, make sure the shoe is a good distance from the bed.

  560. steve12on 02 Jun 2014 at 5:21 pm

    I’ve come to find out that these guys are right about NDEs and OBEs. Saturday night, I saw Heaven: The Light, the euphoric warmth – the whole deal.

    Now, in all fairness, I should mention that I had 12 Lagunitas IPAs just prior to this happening, but I don’t think that the effects on my brain can explain this spooky story.

    By the next morning, I had turned away from the “The Light”, but I somehow knew that my wife was furious with me despite her having been home the whole time. How could I have remotely sensed this? It would seem that quantum mechanics (or ghosts) had allowed me to read her mind (or traverse our shared consciousness). There is no other explanation for this truly spooky action at a distance.

    Turns out it’s not just me. All over the world, people in a similar euphoric state are able to remotely read their spouses’ minds from all kinds of distant locations – bars, jails, strip joints – whatever. You can’t just dismiss the claims until you’ve read the stories.

    Materialism is dead, Q.E.D.

  561. leo100on 02 Jun 2014 at 5:44 pm

    @Steve12

    LMAO, I have had experiences with the paranormal and I can tell you I have looked at all the natural explanations to account for them first I never jump to a paranormal explanation. What have I found? that in my experiences they couldn’t be explained by natural explanations. That was hard actually for me to admit that.

  562. BillyJoe7on 02 Jun 2014 at 5:56 pm

    leo,

    You know that you’re being totally stupid about this don’t you, leo?

    I mean, you really want us to believe that if you had an OBE, you would not notice one of the placards with a shape drawn on it placed on a seven foot high shelf on each of the four walls of the resuscitation ward? A shelf placed there for no other apparent reason than to hold that placard with the shape on it? You wouldn’t even have to pay attention to it or to memorise it. All that would need to happen is for you to notice it and recall later that there was a placard with a star shape on it. Come on, leo, there’s a large star shape on a placard on a shelf specially attached to each of the four walls of the resusciation ward and you’re not going to notice it. Is that what you’re asking us to believe?

    Is that REALLY what you’re asking us to believe?

  563. Bill Openthalton 02 Jun 2014 at 6:28 pm

    The problem is that personal experience trumps scientific evidence every time. Leo100 is totally genuine in his belief there are no natural explanations for his experiences. When I was much younger I was “cold read” by an amateur astrologer, and I still remember how utterly convincing it was (even though this amateur astrologer was a fellow student, and hence knew me rather well — so I guess it was a “lukewarm reading”).

    If something feels good it is very difficult to abandon, even with iron-clad scientific information available. It’s not our natural way of approaching information, and the ability of the rational part of the mind to override the subconscious parts that generate the good feelings is very limited.

    To use Jonathan Haidt’s analogy — the rider has very little influence on where the elephant goes, and little option but to explain to the best of his abilities why they landed up where they landed up.

  564. Bronze Dogon 02 Jun 2014 at 6:33 pm

    Souls always seem to be stupid, insipid, incurious, have bad memories, or are otherwise just plain incapable of anything beyond comforting platitudes. Leaves me to wonder what’s the point of having it linger after death.

  565. Bruceon 02 Jun 2014 at 6:55 pm

    What we need to do… guys and gals… is look at the evidence mosaic instead of demanding silly rigorous scientific evidence.

  566. leo100on 02 Jun 2014 at 6:58 pm

    @Bronze Dog

    How are souls stupid? insipid? incurious? bad memories? there is nothing in the evidence for survival that indicates that.

    @Bill Openthalt

    I didn’t say that but we should move away with the same old explanations like hallucinations especially if they been shown they were not involved.

    BillyJoe7

    If a soul is able to go anywhere’s it wants too what do you think it will do? Probably, check in on its family from miles away.

  567. Bronze Dogon 02 Jun 2014 at 7:20 pm

    Those are fairly typical excuses given when someone asks that a soul to do something other than comfort the living or sit and watch its body. The difference is I rephrased them in less polite terms.

  568. leo100on 02 Jun 2014 at 7:58 pm

    Bronzedog

    You wouldn’t comfort the living or sit and watch your body?.

  569. The Other John Mcon 02 Jun 2014 at 8:03 pm

    Leo “If a soul is able to go anywhere’s it wants to”

    Why can’t a soul leave it’s body at any and all times? What’s holding it back? Don’t you think it is an utterly fantastic coincidence that the soul seems to leave the body ONLY in cases in which the physical body and/or brain happens to be under intense duress, injury, stress, under the influence of drugs, etc.? Do you not literally see the relationship there?

    You don’t even need to respond to this, please just think about what a strange and bizarre coincidence that is.

  570. The Other John Mcon 02 Jun 2014 at 8:16 pm

    Leo: “You wouldn’t sit and watch your body?”

    That sounds like the most boring, god-awful thing I could ever imagine my soul doing, ever. Plus, my soul already knows what my body is doing, so why bother watching it in action? I’d be flipping through the channels on the hospital room’s TV, or snooping around watching people enter in their PIN numbers at the ATM, or paying attention to ridiculously obvious placards with secret numbers and shapes on them, so I could ACTUALLY FINALLY PROVE the existence of my soul and win a Nobel Prize. You know, something useful. Anything to avoid watching my own body lay around like a useless meatsack.

  571. leo100on 02 Jun 2014 at 9:49 pm

    The Other John Mc

    The soul leaves it’s body every night but we often don’t remember our dreams. No it wouldn’t know what your body was doing until it came out with an out of body experience. That isn’t useful to a lot of people winning a nobel prize what is useful to a lot of people is seeing if their loved ones are ok and finding out if they are going to be leaving this world or not.

  572. the devils gummy bearon 02 Jun 2014 at 10:10 pm

    My PKE meter just exploded. I forgot i set it on stupid. I give up.

  573. leo100on 02 Jun 2014 at 10:41 pm

    @Devil’s Gummy bear

    Lol you mean your bs meter that’s what you skeptics call it.

  574. the devils gummy bearon 02 Jun 2014 at 11:05 pm

    We’re being punk’d right? Any minute now Ashton is going to leap out of the bushes, laughing and pointing… I mean… C’mon, seriously? Really? You have got to be kidding me…

  575. leo100on 02 Jun 2014 at 11:18 pm

    Ashton is a pretty funny guy. Have a good night folks.

  576. Bronze Dogon 02 Jun 2014 at 11:55 pm

    Leo, I’ve already told you what I’d be doing if I had an OBE and why, but given how you speak, apparently you think know me and my family better than I do.

  577. grabulaon 03 Jun 2014 at 1:08 am

    @leo

    “I need to ask you what types of evidence for survival have you researched? Near Death Experiences? Automatic writing? Cross Correspondences? Drop Dead Communications? Apparitions? Proxy Sittings? After Death Communication? Deathbed Visions? Poltergeist activity? Electronic and Instrumental Transcommunication? Past Life research? Xenoglossy? Astral Body Experiments? Out of Body Experiences?.”

    Like any good skeptic whenever a subject becomes interesting to me I look into it. In this case it was about 10-15years ago so I can’t recall specific sources. A few books, some documentaries, a little cruising on the internet both on credulous and non credulous sites. that’s the cognitive dissonance you guys have with skepticism. Atleast on it’s face you appear to assume or believe that we just automatically dismiss anything fanciful. It’s typically the opposite. As I’ve stated before, I’d love to see evidence for most, if not all of this stuff. However I absolutely do require robust, and thoroughly investigated evidence before I believe it’s true.

  578. grabulaon 03 Jun 2014 at 1:20 am

    @Leo

    “I have had experiences with what I thought was the paranormal and I can tell you I have looked at all the natural explanations to account for them first I never jump to a paranormal explanation. What have I found? that in my experiences they always had natural explanations. That was hard actually for me to admit that.”

    There Leo, change a few words and you get exactly my thoughts on the subject. We can’t have both now can we?

  579. the devils gummy bearon 03 Jun 2014 at 1:49 am

    Thank you Bronze Dog, now you’re speaking my Changuage:

    Souls always seem to be stupid, insipid, incurious, have bad memories, or are otherwise just plain incapable of anything beyond comforting platitudes. Leaves me to wonder what’s the point of having it linger after death.

    Also, they eject themselves from our bodies at the precise moment when we need them the most. The hell?

  580. mumadaddon 03 Jun 2014 at 4:04 am

    Leo,

    When I asked you to explain how you’d set up and control the NDE experiment, I was giving you a chance to demonstrate that you understand the purpose of blinding and controlling variables. And you come back with:

    I would control for contamination, make sure the shoe is a good distance from the bed.

    This is beyond a joke. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t expecting a decent answer but I had held out the tiniest sliver hope that you would show that you’d learned something.

    Can somebody else help me out with something – I thought that there was an experiment such as we discussed (we excluding leo) that was close to completion; I think somebody here mentioned that something like this had already been conducted and not produced the results leo would have liked, which is why he’s got this hand-waving and special pleading already in the chamber and ready to fire.

    Can anyone link to this/these studies?

  581. Insomniacon 03 Jun 2014 at 4:47 am

    mumadadd : Hoss was referring to the AWARENESS study by Dr. Sam Parina, it’s currently at the peer-review stage (http://www.horizonresearch.org/main_page.php?cat_id=293).

    Steven also mentioned there has been a preliminary study, with negative results, but I don’t have any link.

  582. Insomniacon 03 Jun 2014 at 4:50 am

    Sorry, it’s called the AWARE study.

  583. mumadaddon 03 Jun 2014 at 5:09 am

    Insomniac – your link worked so I found it anyway. Much obliged.

  584. The Other John Mcon 03 Jun 2014 at 7:45 am

    Street Epistomologist – good comments. In regards to: “both sides proceed WAY to far too fast before agreeing (or not) on premises”.

    We seem to be caught in the trap described by Sam Harris: how do you explain to someone the value of logic & empirical evidence, using logic & empirical evidence, when they don’t value logic & empirical evidence in the first place.

  585. grabulaon 03 Jun 2014 at 7:58 am

    “We seem to be caught in the trap described by Sam Harris: how do you explain to someone the value of logic & empirical evidence, using logic & empirical evidence, when they don’t value logic & empirical evidence in the first place.”

    Important enough to be repeated.

    Street epistemologist – The thing we’re up against for example in this thread is several individuals who believe. If you spend the time to read through for example Leo’s comments since he’s been the most persistent, you’ll see patterns. For example, he often ignores direct evidence from us, or in some cases direct questions. If he doesn’t he almost as often insists he’s already explained it to us (or it’s on his blog, classic!). His evidence, as you’ve pointed out, is strictly anecdotal. He doesn’t seem to understand that even scientists are capable of credulous thinking and he equates a few fringe ideals as ‘accepted’ by modern science, when the evidence doesn’t bare this out. He often engages is pointing out the specific light absorbing properties of our kettle, while missing those of his own pot. His accusations are ironically often his most glaring problems when it comes to logically looking at the evidence.

    Recently we’ve had a rash of these guys. Some of them, for example Ian and AlSani have both convinced themselves with little to no evidence, that they’ve figured out what others haven’t been able to. Leo I think is a true believer who hasn’t necessarily figured it out for himself but is more than willing to swallow whatever reinforces his beliefs. This conversation moved past the point of any real intellectual discourse with these guys shortly after it started but I think some of us are just bored enough to engage anyway.

  586. Bruceon 03 Jun 2014 at 8:15 am

    “This conversation moved past the point of any real intellectual discourse with these guys shortly after it started but I think some of us are just bored enough to engage anyway.”

    I often get more engrossed in these kinds of conversations than the original topic. It is some kind of strange fascination, much like rubbernecking car crash scenes. I have also noticed quite a few more cranks coming out the woodwork recently. It might be because the blog is getting a higher profile, more hits through facebook linking etc… Steve has the numbers and might be able to verify that.

  587. Bill Openthalton 03 Jun 2014 at 8:27 am

    The Other John Mc –

    how do you explain to someone the value of logic & empirical evidence, using logic & empirical evidence, when they don’t value logic & empirical evidence in the first place.

    Actually, I don’t think this is the case. When one asks “believers” if they value sound reasoning and evidence, they assure you they do. The problem is that there is no agreement on what constitutes evidence (e.g. Leo’s page of anecdata) or sound reasoning.

    Our first task is to convince people to accept our definitions, but as this inevitably leads to their abandoning their convictions, it is an uphill battle.

  588. BillyJoe7on 03 Jun 2014 at 8:54 am

    The Street Epistemologist,

    “We should be compassionate in our understanding that not everyone has the same capacity for understanding”

    Well, that’s down right patronistic of you now isn’t it. (:

  589. Ian Wardellon 03 Jun 2014 at 9:05 am

    Could I just ask a question? Does anyone have a link(s) to what they consider to be the best arguments opposing an afterlife?

  590. mumadaddon 03 Jun 2014 at 9:11 am

    Ian,

    Here you go:http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Methodological_naturalism

    And I’m not being snarky.

  591. Ian Wardellon 03 Jun 2014 at 9:15 am

    @mumadadd That link doesn’t seem to contain any arguments.

  592. mumadaddon 03 Jun 2014 at 9:16 am

    I often get more engrossed in these kinds of conversations than the original topic. It is some kind of strange fascination, much like rubbernecking car crash scenes.

    Even though, as Grabula also said, there’s little chance of any real intellectual discourse, I can’t tear myself away. I guess it’s a bit tribalistic, like playing a team sport maybe.

    Apropos of nothing, I was just skimming through one of leo’s links (‘rebuttals’ of materialist explanations for NDEs: http://ncu9nc.blogspot.ca/2013/07/materialist-explanations-of-ndes-fail.html) and this caught my eye (regarding cultural expectations):

    The phenomenon is not a result of some religious expectations. If it were fulfilling the experiencer’s expectations of what dying is like, we would expect that only people who believed in and expected a near-death experience would have one, not suicides who anticipate annihilation, fundamentalists who expect only to see God, or agnostics and atheists who would not believe in an NDE phenomenon at all. In fact, that is not the case. Carol Zaleski wrote in her book, Otherworld Journeys, describing NDEs, “Suicide victims seeking annihilation, fundamentalists who expect to see God on the operating table, atheists, agnostics and carpe diem advocates find equal representation in the ranks of the near-death experiencers.”214

    The general theme of these ‘rebuttals’ seems to be that each explanation in isolation can’t account for all components of every NDE–therefore MAGIC!

  593. mumadaddon 03 Jun 2014 at 9:21 am

    Ian,

    If you’re looking for philosophical arguments, I don’t know. But the success of methodological naturalism and the scientific method is the best argument, in my opinion, to reject claims that either fall outside of this scope or fail every claim they make that is within this scope.

    There are some links to arguments against methodological naturalism on the page, so maybe start there and look for the counters to the counters?

  594. Ian Wardellon 03 Jun 2014 at 9:28 am

    @mumadadd Since methodological naturalism and the scientific method have had absolutely no success whatsoever in explaining the existence of consciousness *before* death — and indeed nor could it in principle since it deals with the quantitative where as consciousness is in the realm of the qualitative, should we conclude there’s no “life before death” either?

    Anyone got a slightly better link?

  595. Bruceon 03 Jun 2014 at 10:07 am

    “Does anyone have a link(s) to what they consider to be the best arguments opposing an afterlife?”

    The fact that evidence is pointing towards the mind as brain theory would heavily suggest that an afterlife does not exist. That and the overwhelming lack of good quality evidence for the existence of it.

    It is like you haven’t read anything anyone has said in the 500 posts before, let alone the original blog post.

  596. Ian Wardellon 03 Jun 2014 at 10:16 am

    @Bruce What evidence?

  597. The Other John Mcon 03 Jun 2014 at 10:17 am

    “It is like you haven’t read anything anyone has said in the 500 posts before, let alone the original blog post” — seriously Ian, you want to restart the entire series of conversations like they never even happened? lemme sum up: Ian has outsmarted everyone and all the overwhelming evidence just by his extraordinary thinking skills, so go read his awesome blog. Bam! done.

  598. leo100on 03 Jun 2014 at 10:17 am

    That’s funny you skeptics have a double standard when it comes to the paranormal you said eyewitness testimony and video footage is garbage but when it comes to a event that happens like physical events that happen around the world you say the evidence is overwhelming don’t see the double standard here?.

  599. leo100on 03 Jun 2014 at 10:21 am

    @Grabula

    All I want is the truth I could actually care less if there is an afterlife or not because I realize that that even though and afterlife would be great I can’t let my emotions cloud my judgement. The same goes with no afterlife blinking out of existence would be awesome after a temporary existence because at least I had the opportunity to have a very tiny slice of the pie.

  600. Ian Wardellon 03 Jun 2014 at 10:28 am

    Do you only have the mind-brain correlations as evidence?

  601. mumadaddon 03 Jun 2014 at 10:33 am

    leo,

    “That’s funny you skeptics have a double standard when it comes to the paranormal you said eyewitness testimony and video footage is garbage but when it comes to a event that happens like physical events that happen around the world you say the evidence is overwhelming don’t see the double standard here?.”

    Where to even start? You can’t see the difference between an actual event being filmed by multiple cameras from multiple angles, backed up by thousands of eyewitnesses and individual testimonies of that individual’s subjective recollection of an experience that is scientifically unverifiable and, in fact, contravenes vast swathes of scientific knowledge? Really? REALLY?

  602. mumadaddon 03 Jun 2014 at 10:49 am

    Some missing punctuation made that a bit ambiguous. Corrected below:

    Where to even start? You can’t see the difference between an actual event being filmed by multiple cameras from multiple angles, backed up by thousands of eyewitnesses; and individual testimonies of that individual’s subjective recollection of an experience that is scientifically unverifiable and, in fact, contravenes vast swathes of scientific knowledge? Really? REALLY?

  603. Ian Wardellon 03 Jun 2014 at 10:51 am

    Yesterday I said in a facebook group “But damage to the brain doesn’t even rule out a “life after death”". I got booted from the group. The guy who booted me said “Wow, f******g moron. Get the f**k out!!” (without the *’s of course). Then I found I couldn’t post any more in there. I sent him a private message asking:

    “Hi, I’m interested in you stating your reasons why you believe it’s moronic to subscribe to a “life after death”. Reductive materialism is unintelligible. Non-reductive materialism leads to epiphenomenalism which is incoherent. Strong emergentism (as opposed to weak) also has problems although not so formidable. And then there’s a colossal amount of evidence which lends support to such a notion (although a lot of it is confusing and sometimes seems to me to be contradictory). Perhaps there’s something you’re seeing which I’m simply not getting. Care to enlighten me?”

    No response.

    None of you guys are anywhere near as hostile and emotional about it. Some of you are even quite friendly eg mumadadd

    But it’s got me thinking and is the reason why I’ve come back.

    2 questions.

    1. What makes skeptics so absolutely certain that consciousness doesn’t continue?

    2. Why do some of them get so emotional about it? I mean if it’s so obvious why not just view unenlightened people with amused indifference?

  604. The Other John Mcon 03 Jun 2014 at 11:18 am

    Ian: “why not just view unenlightened people with amused indifference”

    I imagine there are dozens or hundreds of people right now doing just that.

  605. Bruceon 03 Jun 2014 at 11:32 am

    “1. What makes skeptics so absolutely certain that consciousness doesn’t continue?”

    The fact that evidence is pointing towards the mind as brain theory would heavily suggest that consciousness doesn’t continue. That and the overwhelming lack of good quality evidence for any kind of consciousness continuing.

    It is like you haven’t read anything anyone has said in the 500 posts before, let alone the original blog post.

  606. steve12on 03 Jun 2014 at 11:35 am

    “1. What makes skeptics so absolutely certain that consciousness doesn’t continue?”

    No evidence. I’m not “certain” of anything. But there is no quality evidence for it, and your philisophical constructions are simply semantic tricks that you refuse to defend once they’re broken dow.

    “2. Why do some of them get so emotional about it? I mean if it’s so obvious why not just view unenlightened people with amused indifference?”

    Everyone gets emotional, including you. The idea that pretending to have a greater sense of detachment means your poitns carry more weight is just an argument tactic.

    But here’s 2 things that annoy me:

    a. Many of us have worked very hard to reach the level of understanding that we have. Having someone who is unfamiliar with the basics (and unwilling to learn about them) tell us that we have it all wrong is galling.

    b. It’s annoying when people play games with their arguments as you do. When you are challenged in very specific ways, you obfuscate or ignore. Like Hardnose, you suffer from Selective Post Reading Syndrome (SPRS).

    I’m not angry at you – you’re not a troll like Leo. I have many friends who think as you do. But when you zero in on the crux of the disagreement and the person dodges – it’s a little annoying.

  607. Bruceon 03 Jun 2014 at 11:36 am

    Ok, I jsut copy and pasted my response from before, but the principle is the same.

    Unless you can provide evidence that stands up to scrutiny, you are not going to convince a skeptic. We might hope and really want there to be something, but I am afraid nothing you or Leo or any of the afterlife proponents have put forward here (or anywhere else I have stumbled upon) has gone anywhere towards convincing me. I suspect the same can be said for most other skeptical commenters here.

  608. Bill Openthalton 03 Jun 2014 at 11:40 am

    Ian Wardell –

    Since methodological naturalism and the scientific method have had absolutely no success whatsoever in explaining the existence of consciousness *before* death — and indeed nor could it in principle since it deals with the quantitative where as consciousness is in the realm of the qualitative

    This seems to be a matter of dogma for you. How can I argue a science-based approach to consciousness if you place it outside of the scientific realm by definition?

    How would you recognise something non-human to have consciousness?

  609. mumadaddon 03 Jun 2014 at 11:42 am

    Ian,

    We’ve covered this in some depth over the course of this thread. I don’t want to spend time trying to repeat what others have said more eloquently already, but I will add a couple of points under question 2.

    Firstly, you’ve actively sought out the argument; it’s not like us nasty skeptics are bashing down your door and trying to force you to convert to materialism. You’re here on a skeptical blog telling scientists they’re wrong about science, and then not properly engaging with their responses.

    Secondly, and speaking for myself here, part of my frustration is that I so badly want you to be right – I want to be convinced, but I simply can’t be convinced by obviously faulty logic or shoddy evidence.

  610. Ian Wardellon 03 Jun 2014 at 11:45 am

    steve12
    “Many of us have worked very hard to reach the level of understanding that we have”.

    None of you seem to be even cognisant of the mind/body problem. Everyone on here gives every impression that it’s a “mere” scientific problem which advancing science will eventually solve.

    So this claim that you’ve worked very hard is just laughable.

  611. Ian Wardellon 03 Jun 2014 at 11:57 am

    Bruce
    “Unless you can provide evidence that stands up to scrutiny, you are not going to convince a skeptic”.

    I want some positive evidence we are annihilated. We cannot see consciousness. We only infer it from one’s bodily behaviour. Once the body’s stopped functioning then with what justification is there to assume consciousness is not still existing?

    It seems as far as far as I can see that it’s the mind body correlations — nothing else.

  612. The Other John Mcon 03 Jun 2014 at 12:05 pm

    Ian, you are still hung up on your ASSUMPTION that consciousness is a non-material “thing” that needs some magical explanation as opposed to a pattern of information processing carried out by a physical object, the brain. What are we supposed to do with your assumption when it conflicts with that of current scientific knowledge and understanding? What kind of explanation would satisfy you?

  613. mumadaddon 03 Jun 2014 at 12:15 pm

    Ian,

    You’re playing that like it’s some kind of all powerful trump card. Sure, it’s difficult to intuitively grasp that matter can have subjectivity. Have you ever considered that our cognitive abilities have a limited capacity, and that some things may be eternally beyond our ability to intuitively grasp?

    I’ll ask you again – how would you distinguish an idealistic world from a material world? What predictions stem from this hypothesis? How do you test them? What explanatory power does it give us?

    Please at least have a stab at answering these questions.

    I’m not willing to believe in unfalsifiable magic because just because qualia are weird.

  614. steve12on 03 Jun 2014 at 12:17 pm

    “None of you seem to be even cognisant of the mind/body problem. ”

    Everyone here has explained why we don’t think the problem exists. YOu just don’t like the answers.

    “Everyone on here gives every impression that it’s a “mere” scientific problem which advancing science will eventually solve.”

    Another case of SPRS. Me, Steve Novella and several others have told you why we don’t think there is such a thing as a mind/ body “problem”. Like Dennett, I don’t buy that there is a hard problem. I know these issues quite well, and it’s all above or in the other 600 post thread. But you selectively read. That’s not my problem.We don’t agree on them, but the idea that I’m not familiar with them is absurd.

    “So this claim that you’ve worked very hard is just laughable.”

    So you wanna know why people are annoyed with you (beside the fact that you want to rehash the same discussion w/o anything new to add?) I busted my ass for the understanding I have at a 70 hr/week clip for 10 years now. You’ve spent very little time really trying to familiarize yourself with any brain science. Your blog posts on vision and the brain (which I unfortunately tried to read) are proof positive of that. They’re silly nonsense written by a person with too much time on their hands who is too lazy to go to school or read a book, and so armchair supposes-it-out himself. Trust me: it’s much less work to sit in your bedroom writing whatever comes to mind footloose and fancy free than study science.

    So when people like you who are unwilling to put in the work call me lazy – yeah, that annoys me.

  615. Ian Wardellon 03 Jun 2014 at 12:32 pm

    I came back here in a forlorn hope that somebody could provide a link to some good arguments. OK, you can’t. I’ve already discussed this with you guys and no one has said anything interesting.

    So sorry to have bothered you. Bye.

  616. steve12on 03 Jun 2014 at 12:39 pm

    OK Ian,

    Maybe you can find a site with experts to help you figure out how the brain works instead of one filled with neurologists and neuroscientists.

    Good Luck!

    Steve

  617. The Street Epistemologiston 03 Jun 2014 at 12:59 pm

    Ian: “Once the body’s stopped functioning then with what justification is there to assume consciousness is not still existing?”

    Your statement confirms your supremely misguided protocol for justified belief. Your default position is to ASSUME things exist until proven otherwise. This protocol necessarily generates acceptance of multiple mutually exclusive claims. Knowledge is added incrementally, not subtracted from an all encompassing assumption that everything must be true unless it can proven otherwise. I, for one, thank you for continuing to post here, so thousands of other readers can objectively weigh these arguments, enjoy and learn how to accumulate true knowledge.

    For others, there is but ONLY ONE default assumption of science – that there is no magical or supernatural hand of interference (for lack of a better term) – for that would negate the abilty to confirm experimental results through repeatibility, among other problems. Yes this is materialism/naturalism – supported by mountains of evidence. Other than that, science assumes nothing (not to be confused with hypotheses) – thats the beauty. We can stop here if you disagree that the scientific method has proven to be the most reliable way to gather knowledge (esp. vs. thought experiments which are not self-correcting). You can also stop using computers, cell phone, airplanes, MRIs, vaccines, etc if you disagree – since you would then agree that knowledge is not valuable (which for some it is not).

  618. leo100on 03 Jun 2014 at 1:02 pm

    @Mumadadd

    Admit it the reason why you don’t consider it at least is because of a ideological commitment to naturalism. Your turning it around here I said that paranormal proponents have thousands upon thousands of testimonies as well as camera footage from different angles as well just like an physical event happens with the same level of evidence. But, you the skeptics except the physical event with the same level evidence but discount genuine paranormal phenomenon with thousands upon thousand of testimonies as well as camera footage from different angles.

    Also, I should point out its been claimed that on this blog that skeptics never used the logical fallacy- the argument of authority well awhile back Steven Novella did when he said that Daniel Dennett agrees with him that their is no hard problem of consciousness. It pretty convenient of materialists to sweep away the hard problem realizing deep down its a unsolvable problem for them. So why not just call consciousness an grand illusion that’s what your doing when you say there is no hard problem.

  619. Bronze Dogon 03 Jun 2014 at 1:16 pm

    The closest thing I see to a double standard is a justified one: The higher the stakes are, and the more comforting the belief is, the more evidence we need to change our worldview. We don’t want to make important decisions on hunches and ambiguous evidence. The issue gets compounded for alternative worldviews that are seductive, since we know we’re prone to bias from wishful thinking. We don’t want to make a mistake and live in comfortable stagnation or denial, so we raise the bar and distrust our gut.

    “A funny (but plausible) thing happened to me the other day” from a trusted friend typically has very low stakes, so we can usually take their word for it without being significantly harmed or opening ourselves up to future harmful deceptions base on that assertion. Believing in the afterlife often has much more profound effects many peoples’ decision-making process. I’ve seen a lot of suffering justified in part by afterlife beliefs.

    Science works on falsification. Tear into new hypotheses, especially your own, as if you expect positive results to be the product of cheating. Or at least assume that you’ll be publicly embarrassed from making an obvious mistake if you don’t put in the required effort. Bone up on all the known methods of deception, including self-deception. Learn about human nature and the numerous ways we’ve rationalized our irrational beliefs throughout history. Design an experimental protocol that eliminates these possibilities as best you can while allowing your hypothesis to still get results. Submit the experiment to peer review so others have a chance to catch things you’ve missed. If several people with differing agendas can still get positive results when they replicate the experiment, despite all the protocols to tear them down, then we can be confident and pleasantly surprised the hypothesis is true. This isn’t something extraordinary, this is the everyday routine of science. It’s hard work being on the bleeding edge of human knowledge.

    All this is done to falsify the null hypothesis, which is the hypothesis that X doesn’t exist, doesn’t have effects, is random, doesn’t make a difference between otherwise identical circumstances, and such. Science assumes the null hypothesis by default to keep things as simple as possible and handle things in individually justified steps, rather than make haphazard blind leaps. The opposite approach would have us at the mercy of whoever has the wildest imagination and/or an ulterior motive to posit new entities. The more rigorous the experiment, the more meaning the results have because it narrows the possible interpretations. If they come out negative, the Modus Tollens exception applies and we have a study in favor of the null hypothesis. If we have repeated positive results no matter who performs the experiment, then we have reason to reject the null and accept the implications of X on our worldview.

    Because of this standard, science has been making enormous progress and we’ve earned great confidence in our theories because they didn’t need dodgy rationalizations to deliver accurate predictions and useful explanations that we can apply as technology.

    Make your worldview too easy to change, and we’d ping-pong back and forth whenever the news publishes a routine “everything you know is wrong” article that misrepresents the scope of some small, incremental discovery. Make your worldview impossible to change by making it unfalsifiable or vague enough to ad hoc into unfalsifiability, and it’ll be impossible to disprove it if it’s wrong and impossible to understand and apply it in any meaningful way even if it’s right. Hence, skeptics often refer to unfalsifiability as “not even wrong.” Clearly wrong ideas are more easily dealt with by preponderance of evidence. Unfalsifiable ideas spawn long threads trying to nail popular gelatin deserts to a wall.

    This is why “extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence.” I hate that slogan these days because it’s all too easy to perpetuate the misunderstanding of “extraordinary” as “supernatural” or “paranormal” when the real issue is the assertion of new entities and forces, even material ones, that necessitate changing our decision-making process.

    Ian:

    “2. Why do some of them get so emotional about it? I mean if it’s so obvious why not just view unenlightened people with amused indifference?”

    1. Because a lot of people are happy to make political decisions that negatively affect society based on irrational notions. They’re also happy to discriminate against minorities. That makes me mad.

    2. Because I want to be surrounded with thoughtful people and safely carry an intellectual conversation with a larger portion of the populace, rather than view the social world as a field of landmines. It’s also why I support public education.

    3. Because I get zero jollies out of thinking I’m somehow superior and entitled to remain superior. I look at irrational people, and I see how I could have turned out if my circumstances weren’t so favorable. I used to believe silly things until I started having meaningful conversations with skeptics.

    4. Sometimes, displaying emotion is how you can get people to pay attention. I also think it’s a stupid notion that a person can never be both emotional and rational at the same time. If they’re being irrational, you focus on their bad logic or bad premises to expose it. It’s also possible to be both apathetic and irrational.

  620. Ekkoon 03 Jun 2014 at 1:16 pm

    leo,
    Do you also believe in Bigfoot? The chupacabra? These also are supported by thousands of anecdotal testimonials and camera footage.

  621. Bruceon 03 Jun 2014 at 1:25 pm

    Ian:

    “I want some positive evidence we are annihilated.”

    Ok, you want evidence that something no longer exists?

    How about no way to measure it, no way to see it, no way to smell it, no way feel it, no way to hear it? Would that suffice enough for you? If not then there is no reaching you, if it does then I would point you towards all the verified evidence we have of an afterlife:

    Oh, sorry… there is none!

    The onus is on you to provide evidence that it does exist, because otherwise all you have is a heatless, soundless, massless, smell-less dragon in your garage and a bunch of philosophical conjecture.

  622. mumadaddon 03 Jun 2014 at 1:31 pm

    Leo,

    If you have camera footage of souls leaving the body please share it.

    Jesus Leo, stating that you agree with somebody or that they agree with you is not the same as saying that you are right because that person agrees with you.

  623. The Street Epistemologiston 03 Jun 2014 at 1:37 pm

    Mumadad – I agree with most of your comments, but you may have misspoken above. If we have learned anything from this thread (and Ali) it is that ‘thousands of eyewitnesses’ is meaningless under the lens of science. Thousands of eyewitnesses have seen ghosts, aliens, NDE’s etc, but we know that does not constitute uncontrovertable evidence. HD photographs and video are much better of course :] and have more weight depending on their nature.

    Leo – Science is dependent on naturalism (as we define it, see my above post). If we do not assume cause and effect, then we cannot conduct, and subsequently repeat, experiments. We could not gain knowledge, and we could not invent computers, technology, radio telescopes, fMRI machines, modern medicene, electron microscopes, telecommunication satellites and your fully charged cell phone. Please stop using these since science/naturalism has failed you and humanity. Otherwise, unfortunately I can’t stop you from slapping the faces of countless people throughout history who have dedicated thier lives to advancing our knowledge of the universe by observing, hypothesising, testing, verifying, publishing, and finally adding to our understanding of our place all within the framework of the scientific method.

    Science has not overlooked your scources, and there is a reason they are on the fringe (I would also argue that the fringe today is different and more marginalized than the fringe of 100 years ago since we can share, reivew and critisize information at the speed of light today). If there is truly something there, it will be tested, teased out and accepted over time. Unfortunatley for PSI, these tests have been done and the results are in…not good.

  624. mumadaddon 03 Jun 2014 at 1:44 pm

    Street epistomologist,

    In this case though, even without the addition of camera footage, I’d say that thousands of eyewitness testimonies of the same event, at the same time, positing no forces or phenomena previously unknown to science, gives us a pretty solid evidence based.

    Bronze dog : amen sir, nicely put.

  625. Ian Wardellon 03 Jun 2014 at 2:19 pm

    Bruce
    “Ok, you want evidence that something no longer exists?

    How about no way to measure it, no way to see it, no way to smell it, no way feel it, no way to hear it? Would that suffice enough for you?”

    Obviously not since since before death there’s also no way to perceptually perceive consciousness.

    If it were then consciousness would be a material phenomenon.

  626. mumadaddon 03 Jun 2014 at 2:32 pm

    Ian,

    I don’t get it. We can observe conscious behaviour, and observe the corresponding brain activity. What else is there?

    I’m trying to follow your logic and extrapolating a bit, so I might be wrong here, but are you headed towards not being able to observe qualia in other consciousnesses? If so, why is this a problem for materialism?

  627. leo100on 03 Jun 2014 at 2:53 pm

    @The Street Epistemologist

    I would disagree, in fact the cross correspondences a test on mediums a century ago showed that mediums could communicated with the dead. Of course, at that time the age of reason came in so anything that smacked of superstition would be ignored and would send us back in the dark ages of superstition. Videos have been produced numerous time sure there uncontroversial on what they really are. Sure naturalism has been very successful and I am not denying that but my point its runned into a big road block when it comes to consciousness. Science doesn’t like dealing with the subjective but that is what we have with consciousness.

    @Bronzedog

    I agree its easy to throw paranormal into extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence but what is wrong with introducing new entities into nature when the evidence really shows that we have too?.

  628. Bruceon 03 Jun 2014 at 2:53 pm

    Ian,

    So, you want us to prove that something that only exists in our head when we are alive continues to exist when all mechanisms for what makes those things in our head work stop working?

    You need to prove it exists outside of our own head (ie brain) before you can get us to even start to think about it existing after we die.

    Do you not see how many logical jumps you are making and shortcuts you are taking?

  629. Ekkoon 03 Jun 2014 at 2:57 pm

    “what is wrong with introducing new entities into nature when the evidence really shows that we have too?.”

    “When the evidence really shows that we have to?”

    “When the evidence really shows….”

    “…the evidence…”

    That’s what’s wrong Leo. There is no quality evidence that shows anything. Again, do you also believe in bigfoot?
    It’s about the quality of evidence that one will accept. Poor quality evidence does not show anything other than the gullibility of true believers.

  630. midnightrunner2014on 03 Jun 2014 at 3:44 pm

    Leo100 writes:

    “I would disagree, in fact the cross correspondences a test on mediums a century ago showed that mediums could communicated with the dead.”

    No, this is not true. The spiritualist hypothesis was never demonstrated for the cross correspondences – most psychical researchers believe the explanation was telepathy (see Frank Podmore’s book “The Newer Spiritualism” for an example). But even this magical explanation is not needed. Skeptics who have studied this case have suggested chance coincidence, cognitive biases and apophenia (looking for meaningful patterns that do not really exist) explains the data. There is also evidence that fraud may have been involved as two of the mediums knew each other and communicated – Mrs Willet and Mrs Verrall (The skeptic Edward Clodd covers this in his book “The Question” (1917)). Also See Amy Tanner’s book “Studies in Spiritism” (1911) for a psychological take on the case.

    More recently in 2003 Professor Christopher Moreman analysed the the original writings from the cross correspondences and found they could best be explained by chance coincidence.

    Christopher Moreman (2003). A Re-examination of The Possibility of Chance Coincidence as an Alternative Explanation for Mediumistic Communication in the Cross-Correspondences. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research 67: 225-242.

    You should be able to find this paper or extracts of it online. The paper was published by the Society for Psychical Research – a psychical organization. You seem to dismiss skeptical papers without reading them but this was a paper published in a psychical journal. What do you have to say about this paper? Please only reply to this if you have anything worthwhile to say about the paper, don’t bother replying with ad-hominem attacks or the usual copy and paste jobs that you have done in many of your previous posts. Cheers.

  631. Bronze Dogon 03 Jun 2014 at 3:45 pm

    It’s the quality of the evidence that’s the question, Leo.

    Psi experiments usually don’t take the human capacity for deception and self-deception into account. It’s one reason why some of them were fooled by admitted fakers. The results also show the pattern of being strong when the controls are weak and shrinking into statistical insignificance when they’re tightened, suggesting the rigorous controls remove the real causes. The question of how they can distinguish different types of psi without experimental protocols to make that determination is reason to question their ability to grasp the philosophy of science and the whole point of conducting experiments.

    Unusual experiences like NDEs and OBEs generally already have the person’s brain under some form of abnormal state, so we’d already expect someone in that state to have various non-standard experiences and a compromised ability to self-evaluate. People can alter their perceptions and memories without consciously being aware of it, too, so there’s plenty of fertile ground for stories to emerge after the fact.

    Additionally, the excuses you’ve provided for the lack of unexpected results are ad hoc hypotheses that effectively strip souls of useful features in order to fit them to the data and our expectations and thus get trimmed off by Occam’s Razor. You seem to prefer doing this, rather than make predictions that contradict the model of the mind as brain function. Ironically, it also makes the idea of souls less comforting. In the end, what’s left of the hypothesis to salvage?

  632. leo100on 03 Jun 2014 at 4:17 pm

    @midnightrunner2014

    You got the nerve man, I actually do the skeptical sources I just don’t find them convincing. I have read it however most studies that have been done on the cross correspondences seem to indicate that chance is not an altogether coherent explanations for the scripts. I am sure you won’t read this interesting rebuttal on the possibly of chance coincidences in the cross correspondences by the late Montague Keen.

    http://www.montaguekeen.com/page59.html

    @Ekko

    No I don’t believe in bigfoot because there is no good reason to justify that belief.

    Bronzedog

    They do in fact as much as they possibly can that why there has very tight controls in psi experiments.

  633. Bill Openthalton 03 Jun 2014 at 5:41 pm

    Leo100 –

    Sure naturalism has been very successful and I am not denying that but my point its runned into a big road block when it comes to consciousness.

    We haven’t made conscious machines yet. Conscious as talking about themselves as “I”, and experiencing a red rose in such a way they can share that information with us. Ian never came back to me with his definition of consciousness, other than saying we cannot perceive it, but know we have it. If one assumes the existence of an immaterial something called “consciousness”, it remains an entity, and such amenable to being modeled using the tangible objects of our everyday experience. The human mind searches for known analogies to understand concepts and phenomena outside of its experience (cf. EM waves and waves on a pond).

    The way you and Ian look at consciousness is by modeling it as an object. Of course you know it is not a ectoplasm, and it must be outside the scope of our senses, but like an ectoplasm, you feel it has to exist as an entity. This is, I am sorry to say, a rather primitive way to describe a process.

    Processes are very difficult to grasp because they are unlike anything we can observe through our senses. What we can observe is the result of a process, but the process itself lies beyond our senses. When a computer runs a program, we can describe every state of the processor and memory, but by doing so we do not describe the process. In actual fact, analysing a process more often than not modifies it to the point it is no longer recognisable (something computer programmers are acutely aware of).

    Consciousness is a process, and we can only sense it through its effects. Without the processing units the process does not exist, and at no time can one dissociate the process from the processing units. These units are physical entities, fully understandable and reproducible. The steps of the process can be identified and described (though this is no mean task even for a simple process), but mean nothing unless they are performed by the processing units. Think of the relationship between a musical score and the music. The score describes the music, but only performing the process on the processing units (the musicians) produces the actual music — a process.

    Consciousness is the music of the brain.

  634. leo100on 03 Jun 2014 at 5:44 pm

    @Bill Openhault

    But how is consciousness a process when its subjective?. We have a lot of things that are processes but they don’t have any subjectiveness to them.

  635. Bill Openthalton 03 Jun 2014 at 6:09 pm

    leo100 –

    What do you mean by subjective? This is a genuine question.

  636. Ekkoon 03 Jun 2014 at 6:31 pm

    Bill,
    “Consciousness is the music of the brain.”
    Love it – very well put.

    leo,
    “No I don’t believe in bigfoot because there is no good reason to justify that belief.”

    Do you understand my point and maybe why people here also feel the same re: an afterlife/a self-consciousness without a brain?

  637. midnightrunner2014on 03 Jun 2014 at 6:37 pm

    Leo100 writes:

    ” I have read it however most studies that have been done on the cross correspondences seem to indicate that chance is not an altogether coherent explanations for the scripts.”

    If you have read Moreman’s 2003 paper which is 17 pages long tell me the first line to his paper (not the abstract) and the last line of the paper. You won’t be able to because I don’t believe you have read it Leo. You had never heard of Moreman’s paper until I just mentioned it, what you have done is a quick Google search to try and find any criticisms of the paper without reading it, you will cite anything published by anyone no matter how crazy to reinforce your belief and it was an easy find considering Keen’s is the only one online. I debated Keen over his investigation with the Scole experiment. He was a devout spiritualist. But I am not interested in other peoples criticisms right now I am interested in your own take on this case. Explain in your own words why you believe the cross correspondences are evidence for an afterlife and why chance coincidence is not an adequate explanation.

    “I am sure you won’t read this interesting rebuttal on the possibly of chance coincidences in the cross correspondences by the late Montague Keen.”

    I have already read it. It was published 10 years ago in a 2004 issue for the Journal of the Society for Psychical Research and contrary to that website it was co-written with Archie Roy. I can easily shoot down many of their silly points (i.e. Mina Crandon) but you need to demonstrate that you know this subject, I am not typing out huge replies to you like I have done before with information just for it to be ignored.

  638. leo100on 03 Jun 2014 at 7:44 pm

    Midnightrunner

    I don’t believe anyone I make up my own mind thank you. The only thing I found on the paper was here, it is a small abstract of the paper. But I do have enough information to go on with Montague Keen’s response of where Moreman was coming from with his paper. My opinion is that Moreman is wrong that the evidence is far too strong to be caused by coincidence.

    It looks like I might add that Moreman wants to have his cake and eat it too. I quote

    “As the first author wrote to Moreman in 2001, “You really cannot have it both ways: you cannot draw a conclusion based entirely on chance, while finding yourself obliged to postulate a no-chance explanation”.

    http://psycnet.apa.org/psycinfo/2003-11005-001

    Ekko

    But bigfoot and life after death evidence are nowhere near the same level.

  639. leo100on 03 Jun 2014 at 9:56 pm

    I found another person rebutting the view that the cross correspondences are just a chance coincidence. This is probably not convincing to Midnightrunner who’s mind is already made up on the skeptic side.

    http://books.google.ca/books?id=7FlnAwAAQBAJ&pg=PT202&lpg=PT202&dq=cross+correspondences+chance+coincidence&source=bl&ots=uhbSrZI4hf&sig=iJ7eO6x1NIFGQk7rUiige4sxcws&hl=en&sa=X&ei=W3eOU8ChIInn8AHquYCgDQ&ved=0CDIQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=cross%20correspondences%20chance%20coincidence&f=false

  640. the devils gummy bearon 03 Jun 2014 at 11:30 pm

    midnight, you nailed it.

    Bronze Dog, <a href="midnight, you nailed it;

    You won’t be able to because I don’t believe you have read it Leo. You had never heard of Moreman’s paper until I just mentioned it, what you have done is a quick Google search to try and find any criticisms of the paper without reading it, you will cite anything published by anyone no matter how crazy to reinforce your belief and it was an easy find considering Keen’s is the only one online

    It’s just a hole. A bottomless hole. Is there anyone up”>you made me want to kiss my computer screen on the mouth (but not in a weird way). That was exceedingly well put.

  641. the devils gummy bearon 03 Jun 2014 at 11:32 pm

    Wow, Well, i screwed that up… Better call it a night :P What I mean to say; What Bronze Dog said.

  642. Ekkoon 03 Jun 2014 at 11:33 pm

    http://www.animalplanet.com/tv-shows/finding-bigfoot/lists/bigfoot-evidence.htm

    “Researchers eventually come to realize that if there are indeed so many credible eyewitnesses across the land, then the species they so consistently and emphatically describe probably exists also.”

  643. grabulaon 04 Jun 2014 at 12:39 am

    @Ian

    There’s no evidence for consciousness before or after death. Naturalism/scientific method can be used to provide evidence for this yet no one has. You continue to build ridiculous arguments based on a total lack of understanding on the world around you, or the scientific method.

    ““Does anyone have a link(s) to what they consider to be the best arguments opposing an afterlife?”

    Yes, let’s kick start the whole argument over again. You were provided plenty of information. You want a single link? Get real, AlSina can link you to youtube all the evidence he wants but that’s not how real evidence is supported. Real evidence comes from all kinds of sources investing something from several angles. The more you guys visit this thread the more ridiculous you get. Literally. Leo’s special pleading for lack of experimental evidence. You completely blowing off almost 1000 posts spread over two different discussions on the same topics.

    “. What makes skeptics so absolutely certain that consciousness doesn’t continue?”

    We’re certain there’s no evidence for it. why can’t you udnerstand the difference here?

    “Why do some of them get so emotional about it? I mean if it’s so obvious why not just view unenlightened people with amused indifference?”

    People are people. You in particular get me pretty angry Ian. Your insistance on knowing the truth, your insulting manner and your ridiculous arguments strictly from a philisophical direction, all add up to making you particular annoying. You can’t have a real discussion because you’re too busy fluffing your own ego. I’m not as patient as these other guys with ignorance. As an example you clown:

    “None of you seem to be even cognisant of the mind/body problem. Everyone on here gives every impression that it’s a “mere” scientific problem which advancing science will eventually solve.
    So this claim that you’ve worked very hard is just laughable.”

    The clown clowns but wants to be taken seriously.

    Listen guys, stop feeding Ian. Where Leo is just hopelessly lost, Ian is convinced of his own superiority. All his questions when he ‘came back for honest discourse’ were all the questions that have been addressed to him ad nauseum and he instantly fell into the same patterns.

  644. grabulaon 04 Jun 2014 at 12:54 am

    @mumadadd

    “I’m trying to follow your logic and extrapolating a bit,”

    We already established Ian has no interest in the science. His arguments lie purely in the philosophical, he just confuses that for science. There is not real logic involved.

  645. grabulaon 04 Jun 2014 at 1:11 am

    @Leo

    “All I want is the truth I could actually care less if there is an afterlife”

    I’m having a hard time believing this Leo. After your arguments for an afterlife have been dismantled pretty handily on here you have yet to sway even a little bit on the possibility that you could be wrong. That presents itself as dogmatic and entrenched.

    “Admit it the reason why you don’t consider it at least is because of a ideological commitment to naturalism”

    You guys are ridiculous attached to this war on naturalism/materialism. I’m going to let you in on something Leo, while’d I’d heard it referred to before, the concept had never crossed my mind much and doesn’t dictate the direction I move. I move strictly with the evidence and I’m pretty sure thats’ the way these guys move as well. It’s easy to demonize something once you give it a name right?

    “I agree its easy to throw paranormal into extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence but what is wrong with introducing new entities into nature when the evidence really shows that we have too?”

    Nothing wrong with it if the evidence bares this out. Right now there’s no evidence to support your claims.

    “The only thing I found on the paper was here, it is a small abstract of the paper”

    So as midnight called it, you’ve never read his paper, only dug around in your woo circle of belief for a ‘refutation’ of the paper. You see why you’re way out of your league here Leo?

    “But bigfoot and life after death evidence are nowhere near the same level.”

    They’re at exactly the same level – no evidence for either yet people still cling to their beliefs.

  646. Mlemaon 04 Jun 2014 at 2:42 am

    Ian Wardell ,
    “A reality existing independently of consciousness is a superfluous hypothesis. Nor could we ever know it exists anyway.”

    I accept that we can’t prove that a reality independent of consciousness exists. But because it can explain why we are conscious OF something, I wouldn’t characterize it as a superfluous hypothesis. If by superfluous you mean unnecessary, then we’re back to the question: what comprises experience?

    “There are selves and their conscious experiences. The physical laws can be used to predict the patterns in our perceptual experiences.”

    Why do you differentiate between self and conscious experience? If I’ve never had any experience, that is, if I’ve never been conscious of anything, what is my self? It’s probably difficult to imagine what it would be like to have no sensory experience – but – what would your self be if separate from the content of your mind? If you had no sensory organs, what would your mind consist of? If there’s no physical world, and only conscious experience, why would we need to learn how to predict pattern in our perception? What would we be perceiving?

    me: If there’s no objective world, from whence the sensory data?

    “From God? A collective creation of all minds? Or why couldn’t they just be a brute fact…Even if we have a mind independent reality we can ask the same question. What are physical laws? Do they actually coerce reality to behave in a certain way? Where do they come from if so?”

    I would say: Physical laws exist in our minds as reflections of our observations of conditions and inter-relations in the physical world. They’re representations of our understanding. Of course they don’t coerce reality. I would say that reality is the brute fact, and physical laws are mental, symbolic representations of consistent order and relationships that we’ve observed in the natural world. They “come from” our imaginations and insight inspired by the objective world, and are honed to be useful in understanding and expanding the scope of our experience. If we say that sensory data comes from God, of course that answers everything. Except how would that happen? That really isn’t different than saying that it comes from an objective world, but at least with the objective world we can build consensus about what it is. Is God in this case the same as the objective world? It has been postulated thusly. I guess it’s a matter of taste: is it God I’m experiencing, or an objective world? It’s an interesting proposition, because there could possibly be a different character of interaction. But, in that case, the unknowability does in fact make the hypothesis superfluous. And of course a collective creation of all minds is a theory which creates many problems. How would that happen? If I’m not conscious of creating this reality, it becomes a baseless assertion. In fact, Bernardo makes this assertion and bases it on abnormal psychology. He says it’s like split personalities, and what appears to be the objective world is actually an “unconscious” collective creation. Frankly, I don’t see how it can be supported. If it’s something we can’t be aware of, how are we creating it? Unwittingly? There would be no predictability if it’s really like the subconscious mind. All that construction just to avoid the possibility of an objective world? How is this “new” idea valuable?

    “I didn’t say only consciousness exists. I denied the existence of a mind-independent reality. The mind perceives things which exist, it’s just they don’t exist when not perceived.”

    I had somehow missed that you didn’t say only consciousness exists. But if there’s no mind-independent reality, isn’t that saying the same thing? What are these things which exist when perceived, but don’t exist when not perceived? Are they ideas? Mental creations? What is the relationship between the mind and the things perceived in the statement: “The mind perceives things which exist, it’s just they don’t exist when not perceived.”?

    For me there are unanswered questions here. But I also find unanswered questions in other philosophical viewpoints too. I’m not committed to a philosophical viewpoint at this point :)

  647. mumadaddon 04 Jun 2014 at 3:14 am

    missed this:

    Ian: “From God? A collective creation of all minds?

    Now that, my friend, is a superfluous hypothesis.

  648. Bill Openthalton 04 Jun 2014 at 7:34 am

    Ian Wardell –

    Obviously not since since before death there’s also no way to perceptually perceive consciousness.
    If it were then consciousness would be a material phenomenon.

    There is also no way to “perceptually perceive” a computer program. There is no way to “perceptually perceive” radio waves. The best we can do is perceive (some of) their effects. Still both are very real, and quite amenable to inquiry. There is far more to the material world than humans can “perceptually perceive”.

    Leo100 –

    But how is consciousness a process when its subjective?. We have a lot of things that are processes but they don’t have any subjectiveness to them.

    One definition of subjective is based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or opinions.
    Personal feelings, tastes and opinions are part of human consciousness. Subjectivity is brought on by consciousness, which in itself is not subjective.

  649. The Other John Mcon 04 Jun 2014 at 8:29 am

    People perceptually perceive real reality, just like clockwork clocks, just as Ian suggested.

  650. Ian Wardellon 04 Jun 2014 at 9:02 am

    Wow this guy — Dr. Michael Graziano — doesn’t believe in the existence of consciousness! :O

    http://www.skeptiko.com/246-michael-graziano-near-death-experience-astrology/

  651. mumadaddon 04 Jun 2014 at 9:19 am

    Ian,

    He’s on the interview circuit at the moment because he has a book out. I listened to an interview with him recently on ‘Brain Science Podcast’, and I’m pretty confident that that is absolutely not his position. What specifically did he say that brings you to such a sweeping statement?

  652. The Other John Mcon 04 Jun 2014 at 9:37 am

    Yay, Ian posted a link that wasn’t to his own blog…so I read it…and Graziano doesn’t say that. Ian what the hell is with the selective cherry-picking of quotes, as if that is supposed to support your whack-ass views? That is an intellectually-dishonest bullshit move.

    Graziano CLEARLY states he didn’t like the framing of the phrase “brains creating consciousness” but instead preferring describing it as a process, and information process involving mental constructions….which coincidentally is exactly what dozens of people have been patiently trying to explain to you.

  653. Ian Wardellon 04 Jun 2014 at 10:00 am

    It’s very simple. He uses an analogy. This guy thought he had a squirrel in his brain. Absolutely nothing could shake his conviction no matter how persuasive the counter-arguments.

    He’s saying that we likewise are convinced we are conscious. But we’re not really conscious anymore than that guy had a squirrel in his brain.

  654. leo100on 04 Jun 2014 at 10:05 am

    # grabulaon 04 Jun 2014 at 1:11 am

    @Leo

    “All I want is the truth I could actually care less if there is an afterlife”

    “I’m having a hard time believing this Leo. After your arguments for an afterlife have been dismantled pretty handily on here you have yet to sway even a little bit on the possibility that you could be wrong. That presents itself as dogmatic and entrenched”.

    I have mentioned before I am open to the possibility that death could be the end. As from as the arguments been dismantled pretty handily as you say I would disagree no where near that.

    “You guys are ridiculous attached to this war on naturalism/materialism. I’m going to let you in on something Leo, while’d I’d heard it referred to before, the concept had never crossed my mind much and doesn’t dictate the direction I move. I move strictly with the evidence and I’m pretty sure thats’ the way these guys move as well. It’s easy to demonize something once you give it a name right?”

    Well the name is justified and I agree with you I also move where the evidence takes me.

    “I agree its easy to throw paranormal into extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence but what is wrong with introducing new entities into nature when the evidence really shows that we have too?”

    “Nothing wrong with it if the evidence bares this out. Right now there’s no evidence to support your claims.”

    I disagree

    “The only thing I found on the paper was here, it is a small abstract of the paper”

    “So as midnight called it, you’ve never read his paper, only dug around in your woo circle of belief for a ‘refutation’ of the paper. You see why you’re way out of your league here Leo?”

    Unlike Midnight I tend to analyze both sides carefully he doesn’t. Even though he claims too.

    “They’re at exactly the same level – no evidence for either yet people still cling to their beliefs”.

    No there not there is experiments done with mediums etc there isn’t with big foot. Plus I should add if a big foot exist it would be a natural phenomenon.

  655. Nomen Nescioon 04 Jun 2014 at 10:43 am

    So, seeing that Steve quoted from Incognito, David Eagleman has actually at the end of a longer Interview (8:44) for closertotruth (http://www.closertotruth.com/series/what-consciousness-part-1#video-3935) said that the ‘radio theory’ is exactly as consistent with the evidence from neuroscience as the materialist hypothesis.

    IMO, a neuroscientist should know better.

  656. Bruceon 04 Jun 2014 at 11:20 am

    … the monkey chased the weasel…

  657. mumadaddon 04 Jun 2014 at 11:53 am

    We sailed past this point long ago, but what the hell:

    Dr. Michael Graziano:

    Right, I think what you’re doing is making the assumption that the thought is a separate kind of metaphysical thing that when it happens it causes a change in the brain as opposed to there is a computer and it processes information and in the act of processing information it changes its own states.

  658. Bronze Dogon 04 Jun 2014 at 12:03 pm

    Admit it the reason why you don’t consider it at least is because of a ideological commitment to naturalism

    I reject the things that ended up in the “non-material” category on a case-by-case basis, not a categorical one. I’m a “materialist” because I lack an ideological need to acknowledge a “non-material” category. I’d rather categorize things by meaningful and useful criteria.

  659. Ian Wardellon 04 Jun 2014 at 12:08 pm

    @mumadadd

    What Graziano says there is just reductive materialism. A denial of the existence of consciousness goes beyond that.

    Of course Graziano wouldn’t say that he’s denying consciousness. This is because he has a different definition of this word. Hence he thinks puppets are conscious. Not because they experience greenness, pain and fall in love, but because neither puppets or we humans actually have any qualia.

    http://philosophyandpsychology.wordpress.com/2013/11/08/quote-for-the-day-michael-graziano-thinks-puppets-can-be-conscious/

  660. The Other John Mcon 04 Jun 2014 at 12:27 pm

    Ian: “Of course Graziano wouldn’t say that he’s denying consciousness”…exactly, so you are admittedly putting words in his mouth.

    “This is because he has a different definition of this word”…different implies there is another, which you have yet to provide beyond saying ‘perceptual perceptions’, ‘real reality’, and ‘clockwork clocks’, you trolly troll.

  661. mumadaddon 04 Jun 2014 at 12:32 pm

    Ian,

    I haven’t read his book so I can’t say how representative that quote is of his position; but anyway, I think he’s actually using a metaphor to illustrate this point:

    To say that I myself am conscious is to say, ‘My own brain has constructed an informational model of awareness and attributed it to my body.’ These are all similar Acts. They all involve a brain attributing awareness to an object.”

    He’s coming at consciousness from a different position and in doing so is redefining his terms. But even if your interpretation of his position is correct, what’s your point?

  662. the devils gummy bearon 04 Jun 2014 at 1:01 pm

    Leo, midnight nailed it. You didn’t read the paper, whether or not you got through the abstract is questionable. You instead relied on Keen, and only Keen for your information.

    Thus BS:

    Unlike Midnight I tend to analyze both sides carefully he doesn’t. Even though he claims too.

    Cut the crap. You will scroll up and read midnight’s previous INFORMATIVE posts on these matters. This is tiresome. I don’t think there’s any point to any more. Unless somebody wants to take the bigfoot analogy on, or his previous whopper about there being some sort of photographic or video “multiple angles” statement head on, and all the cornmazes he’s led himself down with that kind of thinking. I simply don’t have what it takes.

    Midnight called it. Whatever we say, no matter how laboriously we discuss these things, no matter how much we boil it down for the guy, he’s just gonna google-fu up a link to one of his fanboy sites, and pay us no mind. I don’t know, should we put it to a vote, ayes and nays about responding to him anymore? Or do you guys find a utility in the exercise of trying to explain things? Or do you think there is a benefit of this exercise for people reading along?

  663. The Other John Mcon 04 Jun 2014 at 1:05 pm

    I’m frankly ready to jump off a cliff, I guess we could vote on that instead.

  664. the devils gummy bearon 04 Jun 2014 at 1:06 pm

    I’m in. Let’s Thelma and Louise this thang…

  665. mumadaddon 04 Jun 2014 at 1:18 pm

    Count me in. Let’s take our collective responding out into the woods and put two in the back of its head.

    Okay, I had to torture that metaphor but you get the idea…

  666. midnightrunner2014on 04 Jun 2014 at 1:34 pm

    the devils gummy bear,

    Leo100 (Leo MacDonald) has just exposed himself.

    See his comment on Michael Prescott’s spiritualist blog published less than 24 hours ago:

    http://michaelprescott.typepad.com/michael_prescotts_blog/2014/05/calling-all-minions.html?cid=6a00d83451574c69e201a3fd16d3c8970b#comment-6a00d83451574c69e201a3fd16d3c8970b

    “I can’t find this suppose paper but a man by the name of Christopher Moreman came up with an alternative explanation for the cross correspondences. He called it chance coincidence. I found this. If anyone can get access to this paper and do a rebuttal to it would be appreciated. I would myself but I can’t get access to it.”

    As you can see Leo is asking other paranormal believers to do his “debunking” for him. He has no real interest in these cases, has never even read the material on it, he only cites it because he believes it’s evidence for life after death, he will just believe no matter the evidence and give any old thing he can get hold of that reinforces his belief. It’s lazy. This person is not worth engaging. Don’t waste time on this, I spend ages doing huge replies to him and he ignored most of what I said about various cases. He usually copies and pastes other peoples materials. I have seen no evidence he has read any of the books on this subject. In short he has no idea what he is talking about.

    http://www.debunkingskeptics.com/committee.php

    Please also see the above link, Leo is a committee member of the famous “Debunking skeptics” SCEPCOP website. This website does not have a good reputation. The owner Winston Wu is an admitted schizophrenic who has a history of abusing skeptics and spamming skeptic websites.

    http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/SCEPCOP

  667. Ian Wardellon 04 Jun 2014 at 1:34 pm

    I certainly haven’t read his book. I’d never heard of him earlier today. I’ve only read that interview, realised he was denying the existence of consciousness, and then posted on here.

    I only found the link where he asserts puppets are conscious afterwards.

    My point is that it is transparently obvious that we are conscious in Nagel’s sense i.e X is conscious if it is like something to be X People like Graziano are simply off their trolley.

  668. mumadaddon 04 Jun 2014 at 1:37 pm

    “winston wu”. Ha, a very fitting name.

  669. Ian Wardellon 04 Jun 2014 at 1:39 pm

    The Other John Mc
    “different implies there is another, which you have yet to provide beyond saying ‘perceptual perceptions’, ‘real reality’, and ‘clockwork clocks’, you trolly troll”.

    We can’t define consciousness apart from what Nagel says.

    One things for sure though. Consciousness means that we experience things like greenness, pains, fall in love etc. Graziano’s definition is simply not consciousness.

    It’s utterly pathetic that none of you guys are able to bring yourselves to condemn someone who denies the existence of consciousness. This demonstrates that none of you can be taken remotely seriously on this subject.

  670. mumadaddon 04 Jun 2014 at 1:41 pm

    good God, one of their committee members is “indigo child”.

  671. the devils gummy bearon 04 Jun 2014 at 1:48 pm

    midnightrunner, yeah… The other week, I dug up our dear Leo Mac’s posts on SKEPCOP (ebunkingskeptics dot guh) going all the way back to 2007, in which he was soliciting help from that anti-skeptic community, in order to argue with our ilk… All the way back then, too, he’s been at this for quite some time. He even posted (over in the SKEPCOP forums) some revealing statements, in which he seemed to take particular delight in reeking some amount of havoc in comments sections/forums, gloating about frustrating the “pseudoskeptics”.

    But we we’re long passed disingenuous here, anyway.

  672. steve12on 04 Jun 2014 at 2:25 pm

    Drink every time time Ian types “reductive materialism”.

  673. steve12on 04 Jun 2014 at 2:26 pm

    We can get this nonsense train to 1000 posts! We can do this!

  674. The Other John Mcon 04 Jun 2014 at 2:27 pm

    But i’m just so tired, can barely go on….consciousness… getting hazy….clockwork…..clock…..

  675. mumadaddon 04 Jun 2014 at 2:35 pm

    Ian,

    My point is that it is transparently obvious that we are conscious in Nagel’s sense i.e X is conscious if it is like something to be X People like Graziano are simply off their trolley.

    Based on that interview, he simply isn’t saying what you think he is saying. Consciousness is a model the brain constructs of itself selectively processing information about it’s internal model of reality. This is not in contradiction with what anyone (well, except leo, Alisina and you) have been saying here.

    This is the reason nobody immediately jumped to condemn the guy.

    This demonstrates that none of you can be taken remotely seriously on this subject.

    I’ll let the neuroscientists respond directly to that. Should make for entertaining reading.

  676. leo100on 04 Jun 2014 at 2:37 pm

    The devil’s gummy bear if Midnightrunner would kindly send me a link to the actual paper that is 17 pages long I will read it. But, I ain’t going to pay money for something that appears to not have much substance too it at all. Midnightrunner if you really read any material on the evidence for life after death why don’t you a actually prove to me you have?. Just saying you have means squat.

    I will admit I do copy and past links a lot, unlike you you doesn’t admit to

    Midnightrunner is the same clown that posted a rant on Michael Prescott here

    http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Michael_Prescott

    Where he was destroyed here

    http://michaelprescott.typepad.com/michael_prescotts_blog/2012/12/irrationalwiki.html

    There are numerous things me and Winston Wu do not agree on but I do agree that there is pseudoskeptics.

    Now this is what we call Lazy Midnightrunner

    As Michael Prescott nicely puts it

    Are all these RW articles written by the same person? This passage about Chris Carter is very similar to the ones about me and Michael Tymn that I quoted in the main post:

    “Carter ignores any evidence contrary to his beliefs, he chooses to ignore ectoplasm becuase it was discovered in seance rooms to be the result of fraud made of butter, muslin, plastic dolls or newspaper clippings. He also rejects the psychological evidence for mediumship.”

    Whoever is posting these articles seems to have just two or three all-purpose criticisms, which he rearranges in arbitrary fashion. Very slipshod work.

  677. leo100on 04 Jun 2014 at 2:38 pm

    This is so awesome from the same person Midnightrunner

    “Global warming flapIn a notable case of a skeptic being unskeptical, Randi caused a tempest in a teacup by mouthing off about global warming on his blog. His sins included citing the Oregon Petition and pulling the “science was wrong before” gambit.[8][9] Randi retracted his earlier comments and included a link to eSkeptic’s debunking of the Petition.[10]

    [edit] Personal lifeRandi is gay,[11] thus demonstrating the inherently superior rationality of Homo sapiens homo and proving that atheism, skepticism and joined-up thinking is part of the gay agenda in particular and the liberal conspiracy in general.[12] ”

    No one is safe!

  678. midnightrunner2014on 04 Jun 2014 at 3:40 pm

    “The devil’s gummy bear if Midnightrunner would kindly send me a link to the actual paper that is 17 pages long I will read it.”

    I will post it online or email it to you, I am thinking of joining the academia website and so can post free. I will be posting a refutation to Chris Carter’s book on the afterlife as well.

    “Midnightrunner if you really read any material on the evidence for life after death why don’t you a actually prove to me you have?”

    I don’t need to prove anything to you, but you can see the evidence here that I have read hundreds of books on the topic http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?t=258077 . This is the most detailed refutation of D. D. Home’s mediumship on the web. Even Home’s biographer Peter Lamont and the parapsychologist (who you have cited) Stephen E. Braude were fascinated by all the sources I dug up after I sent them my research.

    “Midnightrunner is the same clown that posted a rant on Michael Prescott here”

    What proof have you got of this Leo? I told you before I have never edited on rationalwiki. I know Michael Prescott though for two years or so and even he congratulated me on my research in debunking various mediums over email discussion last year. Note – because of me Prescott no longer endorses the views of most physical mediums. It was me who sent him all the material of fraud in the séance room.

    “Where he was destroyed here”

    Michael Prescott still believes ectoplasm is real and he has claimed there is scientific evidence for levitations and spirits in the seance room on his blog, i.e. from the fraudulent medium Eusapia Palladino. He did not “destroy” anything. The rationalwiki piece represents what his beliefs are.
    “Are all these RW articles written by the same person?”

    This is easy to check Leo, check the edit history of the article and you will see which users have edited it. It seems more than one person has created many of those articles, nothing to do with me.

    “This is so awesome from the same person Midnightrunner”

    You have lost it Leo and I have no idea what you are pasting in. You said early you have special needs. You are not thinking rationally and are just being stupid here. Think through what you are typing. You are talking nonsense.

  679. the devils gummy bearon 04 Jun 2014 at 4:01 pm

    My vote is aye. Personally, I’m done with this deceitful/disingenuous, bottomless, impossibly dense black hole. There’s no point, midnight… No point.

  680. steve12on 04 Jun 2014 at 4:12 pm

    “But i’m just so tired, can barely go on….consciousness… getting hazy….clockwork…..clock…..”

    No! We can do this! We’ll post on like Clockwork Clocks!

    Though seriously, don’t drink every time Ian says “reductive materialism” – you could end up in the hospital.

  681. leo100on 04 Jun 2014 at 4:41 pm

    Midnightrunner

    Not really easy to check because you have been known to change your usernames numerous times before. Greg Taylor has some knowledge of tracking ip addresses however and said before that it was you who came up with that rant on Michael Prescott. All you have to do is create a free blog on blogger that is where you can post your rants at. It’s a lot easier than flooding many sites up with your rants. Like you did to dailygrail and Michael Prescott. For example when I was reading the comments you made on dailygrail you commented 8 times in a straight row. No comments in between those comments either. That is what we call spamming. You should educate yourself about what spamming is. If your going to send me a copy I would suggest don’t spam me or I will block you.

    Go ahead and attack me with an emotional attack I don’t care I prefer if you don’t speak to me again. Because I got the feeling you will spam me next.

  682. the devils gummy bearon 04 Jun 2014 at 4:53 pm

    From midnight’s link (to Prescott’s blog), in the comments on June 03, 2014 at 04:28 PM, Leo wrote:

    I can’t find this suppose paper but a man by the name of Christopher Moreman came up with an alternative explanation for the cross correspondences. He called it chance coincidence. I found this.If anyone can get access to this paper and do a rebuttal to it would be appreciated. I would myself but I can’t get access to it.
    However, shortly before posting this over there, Leo posted this bit of shit over here (03 Jun 2014 at 4:17 pm):

    I have read it however most studies that have been done on the cross correspondences seem to indicate that chance is not an altogether coherent explanations for the scripts.

    Further, let’s then put the following bullshit (later that night, in these comments, at 1:11 AM) into its proper context:

    Well the name is justified and I agree with you I also move where the evidence takes me.

    This is of course complete bullshit. No interest in evidence (and no idea what that word even means anyway). This clown will move wherever he can get crowdsourcing for his bullshit.

    You’re full of shit, man. Good riddance.

  683. leo100on 04 Jun 2014 at 5:14 pm

    Now now Devil’s gummy bear unless your also midnightrunner lol. Well that is all Moreman is making here is a argument with no substance whatsoever.

  684. midnightrunner2014on 04 Jun 2014 at 5:16 pm

    “example when I was reading the comments you made on dailygrail you commented 8 times in a straight row. No comments in between those comments either. That is what we call spamming.”

    This is more dishonesty from you Leo. The definition of spam is sending “the same message indiscriminately to (a large numbers of Internet users).”

    You can see here in the comment section that none of my messages were the same.

    http://www.dailygrail.com/Essays/2013/12/Top-Five-Phenomena-Offer-Evidence-Afterlife

    I take the case seriously as I have researched the medium Leonora Piper for over twenty years and have spent a fortune in acquiring rare materials about this case. I was invited to Greg Taylor’s paranormal website by a spiritualist to debate Greg on the subject. I had previously already debated Greg. I showed Greg all the evidence Piper was a fraud but like yourself he is a convinced believer in anything paranormal and is not interested in any evidence against his beliefs. His book filters out anything negative against Piper.

    As shown by the post above you have also been lying about other things for example you posted on this blog that you have read the Christopher Moreman paper on the cross correspondences but at the same time elsewhere on Michael Prescott’s blog said you have not read it. I also noticed in your post on Prescott’s blog you said “I found this”, which is not true either.

  685. the devils gummy bearon 04 Jun 2014 at 5:43 pm

    Ugh, I’m really butchering the tags. Sorry guys. Better lay off the html for a while.

  686. leo100on 04 Jun 2014 at 5:55 pm

    It doesn’t matter than none of the messages were the same. One of the users caught you not actually read all the primary material of Piper his or her username was Kaviraj. I quote

    honestskeptic wrote:

    I have not come across any evidence for “stringent conditions”,

    If you actually read all of the primary Piper material, then yes you have. That’s just for starters… but, with no offense intended, I must insist that I don’t think I’m going to get much further with you given that I’ve already said many things that you’ve been unwilling or unable to actually address via argument.

    http://www.dailygrail.com/Essays/2013/12/Top-Five-Phenomena-Offer-Evidence-Afterlife?page=1

    This is my favorite showing that you are indeed a spammer. Spamming is not just simple what you stated above its also copy and pasting links without even giving credit. When I said I found this I was searching through google and found the link.

    Posted by jfly
    Nice – an attempt at a “rebuttal” supported by Wikipedia citations. Without taking any sides on this debate, your argument immediately loses all of its credibility as soon as you copy-and-paste the web addresses to wikipedia entries on controversial topics to back up your position. Every grade school kid can do it without having to do any research or exercising a shred of critical thinking on his or her own.

    You’re not being skeptical – your doing no more than making an appeal to authority.

    Are you not aware that wikipedia is edited by any sundry, uneducated joe-blow who can operate a keyboard? And that several universities have banned the use of wikipedia, because so many of its entries are rife with factual errors? How about the fact that Larry Sanger, co-creator of wikipedia, severed his affiliations with site because he got fed up having to deal with biased editor trolls and trying to make amends to all the misinformation abounding on the wiki?

    And this gem: “Jon Donnis and Harry Price both legends.” Yeah, in your mind. Sounds like hero aggrandizement. Biased? You? No way.

    Now, I don’t want to hear anymore from you. Go back under that slump wherever you came from.

  687. the devils gummy bearon 04 Jun 2014 at 5:56 pm

    Grrr… Must…. Resist… tags… must fight…html… willpower… abating… grrr..

    Let me try that one more time, corrected, for the hell of it:

    From midnight’s link (to Prescott’s blog), in the comments on June 03, 2014 at 04:28 PM, Leo wrote:

    I can’t find this suppose paper but a man by the name of Christopher Moreman came up with an alternative explanation for the cross correspondences. He called it chance coincidence. I found this.If anyone can get access to this paper and do a rebuttal to it would be appreciated. I would myself but I can’t get access to it.

    However, shortly before posting this over there, Leo posted this bit of shit over here (03 Jun 2014 at 4:17 pm):

    I have read it however most studies that have been done on the cross correspondences seem to indicate that chance is not an altogether coherent explanations for the scripts.

    Further, let’s then put the following bullshit (later that night, in these comments, at 1:11 AM) into its proper context:

    Well the name is justified and I agree with you I also move where the evidence takes me.

    This is of course complete bullshit. No interest in evidence (and no idea what that word even means anyway). This assclown will move wherever he can get crowdsourcing for his bullshit.

    Full of it, etc.

  688. leo100on 04 Jun 2014 at 5:56 pm

    I will admit I never actually read Moreman’s paper I really don’t have the money to purchase it.

  689. the devils gummy bearon 04 Jun 2014 at 5:57 pm

    Booyah! Better quit now (leaps into a bush).

  690. the devils gummy bearon 04 Jun 2014 at 6:01 pm

    (Booyah to getting the markup fixed)

  691. tmac57on 04 Jun 2014 at 6:05 pm

    691…that is all Wait! The brain still is not a receiver.

  692. the devils gummy bearon 04 Jun 2014 at 11:48 pm

    Minor correction: “…I also move where the evidence takes me.” was from this morning (04 Jun 2014 at 10:05 am), and not from 1:11 AM. My bad.

  693. grabulaon 05 Jun 2014 at 12:37 am

    @Bronzedog

    “I reject the things that ended up in the “non-material” category on a case-by-case basis, not a categorical one. I’m a “materialist” because I lack an ideological need to acknowledge a “non-material” category. I’d rather categorize things by meaningful and useful criteria.”

    This is well put bronzedog. It seems when you’re attached to dogma it’s ok to also assign others to a dogma, whether they are or not. I’ve never considered myself anything but curious and requiring evidence. That’s it.

  694. grabulaon 05 Jun 2014 at 12:42 am

    @midnight

    “As you can see Leo is asking other paranormal believers to do his “debunking” for him”

    Nice! Leo, caught again unable to form his own opinions but claiming he has it all figured out. Atleast Ian did his foot work – albeit completely in the wrong direction and only dealing with it philosophically.

  695. grabulaon 05 Jun 2014 at 12:57 am

    @Leo

    “But, I ain’t going to pay money for something that appears to not have much substance too it at all. Midnightrunner if you really read any material on the evidence for life after death why don’t you a actually prove to me you have?”

    You’re on a committe to ‘debunk’ the debunkers but you can’t take the time o rmoney to understand the arguments? It’s rpetty clear you don’t take this stuff very seriously, as Ian pointed out Leo. You’ve spent the vast majority of your time parroting what others give you. When confronted on what YOU believe in YOUR own words, you get caught cutting and pasting, or begging for help to refute arguments. How do you expect us to take al lthis seriously Leo?

    “As Michael Prescott nicely puts it ”

    Cause why say it yourself when someone else can say it for you right Leo?

    “Now, I don’t want to hear anymore from you. Go back under that slump wherever you came from.”

    Leo, midnghtrunner has done nothing here but build cogent arguments refuting your own. Your only ‘case’ against him is that some of your true believer buddies don’t like him. Meanwhile YOU have continually abused your credibility over and over again. Maybe, just maybe you need to take your own advice.

  696. grabulaon 05 Jun 2014 at 12:59 am

    Aight fellow skeptics (and Ian and Leo I guess), I’m going to try to stay done with this thread. Leo and Ian and a handful of others have failed miserably to make their cases, promised to quit more than once and have kept coming back to repeat the same old tired arguments (or repeat others same old tired arguments).

    It’s obvious they aren’t here to learn anything and this thread has gone around in circles so much it’s violently wretching in the corner hoping no one is watching. It’s been like a bad car accident, hard to look away from but imam do my best to move on to something worth my time.

  697. BillyJoe7on 05 Jun 2014 at 7:34 am

    …and please stop responding to leo.
    Talk ABOUT him if you must, but please resist the urge to argue with him. He is a liar and a copypasting cheat. Not only is he intellectually deficient, as he has admitted himself and as is obvious from the construction and content of his posts, but he is morally deficient as well. Any half decent person would have slithered back into the undergrowth with the exposure of his lying and cheating. But not this little rattle snake.
    Enough…

  698. The Other John Mcon 05 Jun 2014 at 8:32 am

    Discussion by Michio Kaku over at Nautilus about consciousness: http://nautil.us/issue/14/mutation/michio-kaku-explains-consciousness-for-you

    I don’t *love* Kaku, he tends to greatly and needlessly oversimplify (e.g., the triune brain model is quite dated and simplistic), but gives pretty good descritpions of what we’ve been talking about as consciousness re: feed-back loops, awareness, memory, sense of time, etc.

    I also agree with his take on the question “what is qualia”, he argues basically this question will probably get pushed aside over time as we realize it might be a meaningless, silly, unanswerable, and/or just-too-complex question, and we should still be able to make progress without it, similar to the way biology has pushed aside the question “what is life”…very good discussion.

  699. leo100on 05 Jun 2014 at 10:28 am

    @BillyJoe7

    I admitted that I copy and pasta before then I started to give the links at least where the source came from.

    @Grabula

    They refuted Midnightrunner’s weak arguments very well. I agree with you it’s time to move on.

  700. steve12on 05 Jun 2014 at 11:22 am

    700!!!!!

  701. steve12on 05 Jun 2014 at 11:24 am

    And the ghost hunter’s arguments have not evolved at all…

  702. mumadaddon 05 Jun 2014 at 11:30 am

    Dammit, Steve12! I wanted to swoop in on post 700…

  703. steve12on 05 Jun 2014 at 11:39 am

    mumadadd:

    You can grab the big 1000

  704. mumadaddon 05 Jun 2014 at 11:56 am

    Thing is, the engine that drives 600 plus comment threads is cranks like leo – but I totally agree with others that he isn’t worth responding to any more. Maybe Ian will come back and try to educate us on philosophy.

  705. the devils gummy bearon 05 Jun 2014 at 12:14 pm

    Michio Kaku has always rubbed me the wrong way. He’s like a merchandising machine, a brand stretched too far, he’ll show up in anything if the check clears… I have a good friend who is something of a Michio groupie, and I inevitably end up having to sit through all this Michio stuff that gets churned out every other day. For the life of me, I can’t see the appeal.

  706. leo100on 05 Jun 2014 at 12:23 pm

    @Mumadadd

    Educate you on the evidence for life after death and psi.

  707. leo100on 05 Jun 2014 at 12:27 pm

    Just to show you skeptics how well read up I am on you guys I have been numerous sites of yours. Such as crank dot net, jref forum, rationalwiki, skeptico blog, this blog neurologica, skeptic articles against near death experiences/out of body experiences. Your view that I don’t read up on any skeptical material is bogus.

  708. leo100on 05 Jun 2014 at 12:28 pm

    Picking on my grammar and spelling and you guys are not any better. I happen to type very fast and I lot of times skip putting in the comma’s.

  709. Ian Wardellon 05 Jun 2014 at 12:45 pm

    Another blog entry by me I’ve just published:

    http://ian-wardell.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/self-driving-cars.html

  710. mumadaddon 05 Jun 2014 at 12:46 pm

    It’s nice to have a bit of constancy in one’s life, I suppose….

  711. Bruceon 05 Jun 2014 at 1:21 pm

    Ian,

    Why would I want to click something that appears to have nothign whatsoever to do with the topic we are discussing.

    Quite disgusting self promotion.

  712. The Other John Mcon 05 Jun 2014 at 1:23 pm

    Gummy bear: “Michio Kaku has always rubbed me the wrong way. He’s like a merchandising machine, a brand stretched too far, he’ll show up in anything if the check clears”

    I feel the exact same way, and when I saw a link to him on Nautilus talking about consciousness, I thought, Oh god here we go, more quantum+consciousness nonsense….but was refreshingly surprised by his take on this. His thinking is fairly sophisiticated yet he successfully dumbs it down (sometimes too much) for a general audience. Not sure if I’ll be able to bring myself to buy and read his new book about this…

  713. the devils gummy bearon 05 Jun 2014 at 1:36 pm

    I just got to the qualla bit. Considering the nonsense that’s frothed up since the Afterlife Debate, Kaku, in this, is having an antidote-like effect on this gummy’s bear brain, after a bad acid trip through the madder comments from the fringe.

    And now I can send my Kaku-nut buddy a link (I hope this doesn’t encourage him). Hmm… I like that, nuts for Kaku: “Kakunuts”. Not in a derogatory way. Not yet anyway.

  714. midnightrunner2014on 05 Jun 2014 at 1:40 pm

    Leo100 writes:

    “It doesn’t matter than none of the messages were the same. One of the users caught you not actually read all the primary material of Piper his or her username was Kaviraj.”

    I have read everything on the Piper case. Kaviraj did not catch me out at all. He believes the original Piper séance sittings with William James, Richard Hodgson, Oliver Lodge and James Hyslop in the late 19th century were done in the most “stringent conditions”. I disagree with this view for a number of reasons. For a start Mrs Piper knew most of these séance sitters, she communicated with them out of the séance room, she even was staying at Oliver Lodge’s house. The location of some of the séances were also unsuitable not in a controlled environment. Hyslop, Hodgson and Lodge were all convinced spiritualists before investigating Piper, no skeptic was present. This is utter bias and not suitable investigators for such a case. Similar to Martin Gardner I believe a blindfold or mask should have been used on Piper at all times so she could not see her séance sitters but this was never done and a magician (or at least trained observer in fraud) should have been present during all her séances, this was never ever done. Piper would also hold the hand of most of her séance sitters, this should have been ruled out but it wasn’t. If you know anything about mentalism then you will know about muscle reading.

    During Piper’s séances sometimes the sitters would sit outside the door whilst waiting, Piper could have easily picked up information and there are at least four cases on record that suggest this is what happened. Also note that Piper’s daughter was present at some of the séances or at least in the same building, this is another possibility of sensory leakage. Lastly William James maid was a friend with Mrs Piper maid and there was a strong link between the two households. Piper had stayed at many of these psychical researcher houses. Basically there are a tonne of ways Piper could have found information about her sitters. Her séances are not evidence for spirits.

    James Hyslop put on a mask when he entered the séance room in an attempt to conceal his identity but took it off 5 or 10 minutes into the séance when he believed Piper had fallen into a genuine trance, the problem here was that Piper’s eyes were open during various periods of the séance… it doesn’t take a genius to figure out what she was doing. In short Leo the conditions were totally un-scientific with little if any controls. There were possibilities for all kinds of clues from the sitters.

    As for the rest of your post Leo again is just a copy and paste job from other people, in this case from convinced spiritualists on Greg Taylor’s paranormal website. Perhaps for a change you can offer your own opinion on this subject.

    As for Kaviraj I have debated this person a number of times, he doesn’t like Wikipedia because he was banned on it for promoting fringe pseudoscience beliefs over and over into articles which is against Wikipedia policy, his profile can be found here:

    https://www.blogger.com/profile/05165517217688742598

    As you can see he describes himself “Homoeopath, Writer, Spiritualist” he also says medical evidence is a “sham”. Basically every person you have cited in this thread Leo is a pseudoscience proponent or quite frankly nuts. Like I said above if you want to continue this little discussion about Lenora Piper, then offer your own opinion about it or cite some of your own research. Are you saying you believe Piper communicated with spirits? If so what is your evidence for this claim? Cheers.

  715. the devils gummy bearon 05 Jun 2014 at 2:19 pm

    Please don’t give him any more. It will never end.

  716. leo100on 05 Jun 2014 at 2:29 pm

    @Midnightrunner

    I read the comment section you are nice to him and now you like to invalidate everything you said to you by saying he is a nutcase. Will you admit that you said that Jon Donnis and Harry Price are legends in your view?. Even Moreman that you mentioned earlier mentioned that not just coincidence could explain the cross correspondences but also some psi as well. Need to ask you do you think near death experiences are good evidence for an afterlife?. Go back to the second page of the comments on the dailygrail and actually read what Kaviraj its an good rebuttal to your arguments against Piper. Hodgson is skeptical of mediums I don’t know how you can say that.

    My opinion on this is neither me or you were there at the time this happened so its your arguments against ours. I have to lean towards the evidence that Piper was a real medium the hits she made were remarkable. The burden is on you to show that the controls really crappy as you call them. Because the primary sources say different.

  717. the devils gummy bearon 05 Jun 2014 at 2:38 pm

    Don’t do it midnight… Break the cycle. You kin doooo eeeeeet….

  718. mumadaddon 05 Jun 2014 at 3:07 pm

    I had a quick look at scepcop, the site midnight linked to yesterday, and let’s just say it’s what orac would call “a target rich environment”. I honestly think these people are mostly children or have diagnosable mental health issues, or maybe some combination of the two.

    Anyways, in a nutshell, there’s this big conspiracy to suppress the “Truth” that all paranormal claims are real, by the evil “pseudoskeptics” , through means such as mind control (really) and policing of Wikipedia. The mind boggles.

  719. Pete Aon 05 Jun 2014 at 3:39 pm

    After reading through the hundreds of comments, I have changed my opinion on this subject. My initial opinion was in full alignment with title of this post “The Brain Is Not a Receiver”, as in: the brain is not a type of radio or TV receiver.

    The commentators who have presented their cases against this proposition have convinced me that their brains do indeed possess a type of radio receiver.

    Allow me to illustrate two types of radio receiver…

    Type 1: A state-of-the-art radio receiver. These incorporate: a phase-locked loop tuning mechanism to prevent them straying from the desired source of information (the transmitter); automatic gain control with muting (squelch) and a high precision channel filter (both functions serving to avoid the inadvertent reception of garbage); complex mechanisms to suppress impulsive noise and other unwanted interference. Such receivers have an outstanding information-to-noise ratio.

    Type 2: A crystal set. These radio receivers are totally wide open to receiving anything and everything, which makes the reliable reception of information impossible. Such receivers have an outstanding noise-to-information ratio.

    There’s not even one piece of solid evidence to clearly demonstrate that any human approaches being a Type 1 radio receiver.

    The comments in this thread have clearly demonstrate that some humans are exemplary Type 2 radio receivers.

  720. the devils gummy bearon 05 Jun 2014 at 4:05 pm

    mumadadd, I did what you did, and came away with the same sense.

    Way up at the top of these comments, midnight figured out pretty quickly that our guy was quoting from his own blog, and from there, I went over to SKEPCOP, and then back to the blog, and read a bit…

    There are times on the interwebs, when you have to step back and think; who is this person I’m speaking with… Because it matters… If it’s a kid (or a younger adult), you know, step waaayyyy back and be helpful and edu-mi-cational, and there are limits… I don’t know how to deal with serious mental health stuff, or learning disabilities. If it’s a jerk or a fundamentalist on the other end; chose your own adventures I guess.

    It certainly is a target rich environment over at SKEPCOP.

  721. the devils gummy bearon 05 Jun 2014 at 4:10 pm

    (here we go again)

    Hi Pete A, you’ll forgive me if I doubt all of what you’ve said.

  722. midnightrunner2014on 05 Jun 2014 at 4:26 pm

    Leo100 writes:

    “I read the comment section you are nice to him and now you like to invalidate everything you said to you by saying he is a nutcase.”

    I have no problem with calling kaviraj a nutcase, I believe this comment is justified if you read what’s on his blog and he is dangerous one, he wants people to stop using conventional medicine and replace it with homeopathy. He also claims the moon landing was a hoax.

    http://kaviraj-howabouttellingthetruth.blogspot.co.uk/

    “Go back to the second page of the comments on the dailygrail and actually read what Kaviraj its an good rebuttal to your arguments against Piper.”

    I have read it and did respond to him elsewhere but I never got a reply, he gave no references for his claims. You already copied and pasted his reply to me in this thread earlier on, I will take it line by line in another post later.

    “Will you admit that you said that Jon Donnis and Harry Price are legends in your view?”

    Dam right they are legends. They are two men who have spent a heck of lot of time debunking fraudulent mediums.

    “Need to ask you do you think near death experiences are good evidence for an afterlife?”

    No. The exact same imagery that appears in the NDE appears in use of drugs, patients who have suffered from brain damage or cases of sleep paralysis etc. I recommend the paper “Life after Death” by Ronald K. Siegel in the book “Science and the Paranormal: Probing the Existence of the Supernatural” edited by George Abell and Barry Singer. Siegel describes the NDE as a “dissociative hallucinatory activity of the brain”.

    “Hodgson is skeptical of mediums I don’t know how you can say that.”

    I have already addressed this in two long posts on this blog. Richard Hodgson was only skeptical of physical mediums, i.e. mediums who claimed to use ectoplasm or “levitate” tables. Hodgson was a believer in mental mediums and claimed to be a medium himself and communicate with spirits. Whilst his work in debunking some physical mediums should be respected he was not skeptical of paranormal phenomena, he claimed to have observed the spirit of his lover after she died, he was very eager to believe.

    “I have to lean towards the evidence that Piper was a real medium the hits she made were remarkable.”

    What hits? You need to be more specific. Site examples and/or references if possible.

    “The burden is on you to show that the controls really crappy as you call them. Because the primary sources say different.”

    Incorrect. The burden is always on the paranormal believer by default because it is you who is making the magical claim. Can you please define what the “primary” sources are. I take it you are referring to early Society For Psychical Research papers published by spiritualists such as Hodgson, Hyslop or Lodge. I already listed about ten examples above why the controls were unsatisfactory.

  723. the devils gummy bearon 05 Jun 2014 at 4:32 pm

    Damn it.

  724. steve12on 05 Jun 2014 at 4:48 pm

    It’s OK TDGB! You are a but a cog in the machine that will take this thread to 1000!

  725. Pete Aon 05 Jun 2014 at 4:49 pm

    @the devils gummy bear
    Apologies for my engineering-based satire being less than blatantly obvious.

  726. steve12on 05 Jun 2014 at 4:49 pm

    I think Pete A is making fun of the ghost hunters via the noise:info vs. info:noise ratio comment

  727. steve12on 05 Jun 2014 at 4:50 pm

    Leo, do you think you could write a little about the value of an open mind?

  728. steve12on 05 Jun 2014 at 4:50 pm

    Sorry Pete – didn’t see that you had responded…

  729. Bruceon 05 Jun 2014 at 4:52 pm

    PeteA

    “Apologies for my engineering-based satire being less than blatantly obvious.”

    My first read through I didn’t pick it up, but second time through it twigged. Nice one.

  730. the devils gummy bearon 05 Jun 2014 at 5:02 pm

    Ah, you got me… Nice.

  731. leo100on 05 Jun 2014 at 5:16 pm

    Midnightrunner

    In my own words Piper came out with information she could not have possibly known such as people she never met before and others she knew nothing about.

    Here is an interesting link by the way discussing Leonora Piper a neutral look

    http://www.prairieghosts.com/piper.html

    It also has a neutral look on DD Homes and the cross correspondences

    http://www.prairieghosts.com/ddhome.html
    http://www.prairieghosts.com/cross_corr.html

    Incorrect. The burden is always on the paranormal believer by default because it is you who is making the magical claim. Can you please define what the “primary” sources are. I take it you are referring to early Society For Psychical Research papers published by spiritualists such as Hodgson, Hyslop or Lodge. I already listed about ten examples above why the controls were unsatisfactory.

    Yes from there well I don’t find your examples compelling. In fact Martin’s Gardner’s attack on Piper and its similar to what you are bringing up.

    http://michaelprescott.typepad.com/michael_prescotts_blog/2007/08/how-martin-gard.html

    Well your a liar again when you said near death experiences can be explained by drugs etc when in fact you said in the comments section on the daily grail that you liked that part of his book. Harry Price was also controversial.

    http://www.prairieghosts.com/harryprice.html

    Kaviraj believes that that is his opinion. My point is his objections against your arguments are valid.

  732. leo100on 05 Jun 2014 at 5:19 pm

    @Steve12

    Leo, do you think you could write a little about the value of an open mind?

    It’s to look at both sides of an topic which I have done and there is a lot of value in that. Have I looked at both sides of the arguments from mediumship? no I haven’t but like I said I don’t find midnightrunner’s arguments convincing.

  733. leo100on 05 Jun 2014 at 5:24 pm

    I have already addressed this in two long posts on this blog. Richard Hodgson was only skeptical of physical mediums, i.e. mediums who claimed to use ectoplasm or “levitate” tables. Hodgson was a believer in mental mediums and claimed to be a medium himself and communicate with spirits. Whilst his work in debunking some physical mediums should be respected he was not skeptical of paranormal phenomena, he claimed to have observed the spirit of his lover after she died, he was very eager to believe.

    Your wrong as I quote here

    After Mrs. Piper’s return to America Dr. Hodgson took charge again. His first report was published in 1892 in Vol. VIII of the SPR Proceedings. In an excess of caution he refused to consider, on the available evidence, the acceptance of the spirit hypothesis as justified. Yet his inner self was wavering. He was torn with doubts. But not for long. In 1892 a notable evolution was witnessed in the Piper phenomena in the quality of trance communications by the development of automatic writing and by the advent of Pelham as control. Hodgson’s second report, which appeared in SPR Proceedings, Vol. XIII, in 1897, ended with the adoption of the spirit hypothesis. His statement was very firm:

    “I cannot profess to have any doubt but that the ‘chief communicators ‘… are veritably the personalities that they claim to be; that they have survived the change we call death, and that they have directly communicated with us whom we call living through Mrs. Piper’s entranced organism. Having tried the hypothesis of telepathy from the living for several years, and the ‘spirit’ hypothesis also for several years, I have no hesitation in affirming with the most absolute assurance that the ‘spirit’ hypothesis is justified by its fruits and the other hypothesis is not.”

    The source: http://web.archive.org/web/20080102071706/http://www.survivalafterdeath.org/mediums/piper.htm

    As you can read at first he was not accepting of the spirit hypothesis when he looked at the evidence at the first conference.

  734. BillyJoe7on 05 Jun 2014 at 5:53 pm

    steve,

    “Leo, do you think you could write a little about the value of an open mind?”

    Now look what you’ve done.
    Now we have more indecipherable nonsense from leo!

    “It’s to look at both sides of an topic which I have done”
    So, he has looked at both sides of the topic.
    But, hold on…no he hasn’t:

    “Have I looked at both sides of the arguments from mediumship? no I haven’t”
    No, he hasn’t.
    Yes he has. No he hasn’t.
    Is that his final word? No it isn’t:

    “but like I said I don’t find midnightrunner’s arguments convincing”
    So, yes he has!
    Yes he has. No he hasn’t. Yes he has.
    YesNoYes sheit hasn’thashasn’t.

    “I happen to type very fast and I lot of times skip putting in the comma’s.”

    If only his only problem was missed commas.
    Sorry, “comma’s”.
    COMMA’S!
    This guy is hilarious.
    …but he happens to type very fast!

  735. the devils gummy bearon 05 Jun 2014 at 6:09 pm

    midnightrunner2014…

    As you can see Leo is asking other paranormal believers to do his “debunking” for him. He has no real interest in these cases, has never even read the material on it, he only cites it because he believes it’s evidence for life after death, he will just believe no matter the evidence and give any old thing he can get hold of that reinforces his belief. It’s lazy. This person is not worth engaging. Don’t waste time on this, I spend ages doing huge replies to him and he ignored most of what I said about various cases. He usually copies and pastes other peoples materials. I have seen no evidence he has read any of the books on this subject. In short he has no idea what he is talking about.

    He is a black hole, he feeds on the spaghettification he causes. He gets off on deorbiting people’s time and energy down, down, down, into his impossibly dense core. No thought can escape.

  736. leo100on 05 Jun 2014 at 6:34 pm

    BillyJoe7

    I didn’t read the suppose arguments against mediumship. I got enough clues from other proponents such as me who know how to rebut that Moreman’s argument for example, have no real substance. The same goes with the Leonora Piper they have no real substance at all.

  737. Pete Aon 05 Jun 2014 at 7:06 pm

    This isn’t satire, it is epistemology (the very foundation of knowledge, and consequently science)…

    Internalized faith: belief without evidence.

    Externalising one’s faith: pretending to know things that you don’t know. Example: wielding the word quantum in an attempt to justify absurd metaphysics.

  738. Ian Wardellon 05 Jun 2014 at 7:10 pm

    I think this nicely illustrates one of the profound counter-intuitive consequences of supposing that brains produce and determine mental states.

    http://existentialcomics.com/comic/1

  739. Ian Wardellon 05 Jun 2014 at 7:26 pm

    The hero undergoes existential (not alterational) change every night. Of course in reality he would undergo existential change every infinitesimal fraction of a second.

  740. Bronze Dogon 05 Jun 2014 at 8:05 pm

    @BillyJoe7: Welcome to Moonside!
    If you stay here too long, you’ll fry your brain.
    No, you won’t.
    Yes, you will… not.
    Yesno, you willwon’t.

  741. midnightrunner2014on 05 Jun 2014 at 8:16 pm

    Leo100 writes:

    “Your wrong as I quote here”

    Again you are not doing any deep research here or citing any proper references but just citing the first thing you can find that you think reinforces the idea of spirits. You are citing a spiritualist website. Some of the information is incorrect. But you did not even find this website yourself – you copied it from Michael Prescott’s blog. The reason I know this is because the source you gave is taken from web archive, but if you look from last year the link has been updated and is no longer dead. Survival after death.org has moved to http://www.survivalafterdeath.info/ but you wouldn’t know this. You just copy and paste from any old blog you can find.

    Lazy Leo, real Lazy.

    But let’s look at your copied quote. Firstly it was written by Nandor Fodor and taken directly from his book Encyclopedia of Psychic Science (1934). Fodor was originally a spiritualist but later became mostly skeptical. By the 1950s Fodor was heavily interested in the ideas of Sigmund Freud and retracted many of his previous claims about mediums. He no longer believed in spirits, instead believing medium’s controls could be explained in psychological terms. Of course you have not even checked who you are quoting from. But you are quoting from Fodor.

    As for Fodor’s Encyclopedia it is filled with false and inaccurate information. Let’s look at his quote:

    “His first report was published in 1892 in Vol. VIII of the SPR Proceedings.”

    Nothing wrong with this but a full cite to the paper would be nice, here it is:

    Richard Hodgson. (1892). A record of certain phenomena of trance. Proceedings: Society for Psychical Research. 8: 1-167.

    You have not read this paper Leo. Don’t pretend you have, not many people really have read it – it’s 167 pages long. It’s quite hard to locate. Only some of it’s content has been uploaded online.

    What needs to be pointed out about this paper is that full stenographic records were not used so many of the reports used in the actual over-all report were unreliable relying on memory. This refutes the early comment you quoted from the spiritualist kaviraj who claims all Piper’s séances used stenographic data and your own claim that the séances were performed in excellent conditions.

    “In an excess of caution he refused to consider, on the available evidence, the acceptance of the spirit hypothesis as justified.”

    This isn’t true. Whilst Hodgson does not openly endorse the spiritualist hypothesis in his 1892 report he thinks there’s a paranormal element to some of Piper’s mediumship. He claimed her mediumship could not be explained by fraud. As I already told you, Hodgson was already a believer in spirits. Consult Hodgon’s biography Alex Baird. (1949). The Life of Richard Hodgson if you want to see his own claims about communicating with spirits. Hodgson claimed to be a medium himself! He was not an “arch skeptic” like you or other spiritualists like to claim. Skeptical of some mediums yes, but very much a believer in the paranormal.

    “Hodgson’s second report, which appeared in SPR Proceedings, Vol. XIII, in 1897, ended with the adoption of the spirit hypothesis.”

    This is incorrect information from Fodor, firstly Hodgson was already a proponent of the spirit hypothesis before this date and there was no report in 1897, the report was a year later in 1898. Here is the full citation to the paper:

    Richard Hodgson. (1898). A further record of observations of certain phenomena of trance. Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research. 13: 284-582.

    This is a huge paper hundreds of pages long, I am not expecting you to have read it Leo. If I can remember correctly even your spiritualist friend Michael Prescott admitted he has not read all of it.

    “Having tried the hypothesis of telepathy from the living for several years, and the ‘spirit’ hypothesis also for several years, I have no hesitation in affirming with the most absolute assurance that the ‘spirit’ hypothesis is justified by its fruits and the other hypothesis is not.”

    Even this quote contradicts what Fodor previously says. Note Hodgson says he tried the “spirit” hypothesis for several years previously, he is referring to before 1898. But even this isn’t the full truth. He was very eager to believe and a proponent of the spirit hypothesis before these dates. That aside this is one view from one psychical researcher. Most psychical researchers (including some who sat with Piper) did not believe she communicated with spirits, it’s not just skeptics who have criticised Piper. Even William James admitted she fished for information.

    “As you can read at first he was not accepting of the spirit hypothesis when he looked at the evidence at the first conference.”

    There was no conference Leo. It was a psychical report published in a paranormal journal (the SPR). No scientific journal would publish such a thing. We have already established that stenographic data was hardly used for any of the séances so Hodgson was relying on memory not just from himself but from other séance sitters. As I have already written on this blog (and you can find this on the internet and in books) Hodgson was later caught fabricating data, i.e. lying about information in the séance room about séances that Professor Fiske attended with Piper. He is not a reliable source. I have evidence he lied about other things as well. It shows how he desperately wanted to believe he ended up deceiving others.

    Here’s what the skeptic Joseph McCabe has written about it:

    “”A cousin of Pellew’s wrote to Mr. Clodd to tell him that, if he cared to ask the family, he would learn that all the relatives of the dead man regarded Mrs. Piper’s impersonation of him as “beneath contempt”. Mr Clodd wrote to Professor Pellew, George’s brother, and found that this was the case. The family has been pestered for fifteen years with reports of the proceedings and requests to authenticate them and join the S.P.R. They said that they knew George, and they could not believe that, when freed from the burden of the flesh, he would talk such “utter drivel and inanity.” As to “intimate friends,” one of these was Professor Fiske, who had been described by Dr. Hodgson as “absolutely convinced” of the identity of “G. P.” When Professor Pellew told Professor Fiske of this, he replied, roundly, that it was “a lie”. Mrs. Piper had, he said, been “silent or entirely wrong” on all his test questions.”

    Joseph McCabe. (1920). Is Spiritualism Based On Fraud? The Evidence Given By Sir A. C. Doyle and Others Drastically Examined. London Watts & Co. p. 103

    I am not expecting you to reply to any of this Leo. You have never studied this case and probably don’t know any of this stuff. I will take the devils gummy bear advice and what other’s including myself earlier said on here, just leave this discussion because we are wasting our time doing long replies to you whilst you just ignore it all. I am not expecting a detailed reply to you and I probably won’t bother replying you back. But if you really have to go on believing after this there really is something that should at least give you some doubts about the spirit hypothesis, look at Piper and the Dean Connor case, if she was really in communication with spirits then why did she make such a mistake like that? Think about it. Regards.

  742. leo100on 05 Jun 2014 at 9:06 pm

    I am sure Martin Gardner is your hero too Midnightrunner. Did you help edit rationalwiki about Leonora Piper?. Because you sound like that person on there. Never do you show any knowledge that you actually read any pro spiritualist literature on this but instead keep bringing up the skeptical literature on Piper. You seem fond in omitting information that doesn’t fit your conclusion that you came too on this manner.

    You got to see this to all skeptics here and I quote from the source. Amos Oliver Doyle wrote.

    To Whom It May Concern: ( HonestSkeptic, Ivy, Forrest, Trees etc. etc.)

    I don’t want to encourage you by responding to your comments. Although I may like to discuss topics of mutual interest with you I cannot, because of your inclusion of personal libelous attacks on me and any other person who has an opinion differing from yours. Since you do not personally know me or any of those other persons you malign, your attacks are specious as are most of your other comments and any intelligent person will not get into a pissing match with you over illogical, incomplete and blatantly false comments. Apparently if you can’t convince them with logic you just try to dazzle them with verbiage. If you have so much to say, why not pay for and maintain a web site as others have done and expound upon your hypotheses concerning parapsychology. Perhaps you will attain a large following as Michael Tymn, Michael Prescott, Robert McLuhan, Greg and others have done.

    Unfortunately, I must respond to your comments about me as you not only demean my character on this site but on the internet at large.

    1. I respect other bloggers and blog sites enough that I don’t bog them down with my own egotistical verbiage; I have my own website. As you will note above, I gave a link to a web site with information supposedly written by Houdini that anyone could read if they were so interested. I respect Greg’s site enough not to quote the entire content of the link. Anyone may link to it and read it. They are free to form their own opinions. I have my opinion—you have yours. I believe that Houdini had a vested interest to prove that Mina Crandon was a fake as he implies in his own words. I do not “accuse” him of anything but I believe that his own words speak for themselves. Anyone with a little worldly experience can read between the lines. What is your source for Walter Franklin Prince’s comment about Mina Crandon? Then I will be able to respond to your request.

    2. You label me as a “devout spiritualist” but that is news to me. If anything, I would label myself as a skeptic in the true sense of the word. Do I believe that there might be “spirits”? Well yes, there might be, but that is not enough to label me as a “devout spiritualist” as you claim. You don’t know me. How could you know what I think or believe in? You have made this claim several times on other sites. Frankly I am getting tired of it and request that you stop it! You have included it in your defamation of Michael Tymn on Rational Wiki. Please take out any reference to me on that page.

    3. I have not claimed that “all kinds of mediums communicated with spirits” as you report. (What kind of a puerile statement is that? Please provide the source of your information about me.)

    4. You allude to my anger and say of me that “you get angry and accuse people of being “biased” or “pseudoskeptics” and then you state that “you will still go on believing, like you have done in very blatant cases of fraud like Helen Duncan. None of that is true. I am not angry nor am I an accusatory person and I have little or no interest in the Helen Duncan case although I might have commented about it somewhere at sometime on the internet. The Helen Duncan case is only one among hundreds of cases that suggest a spiritualistic source of information. My only real interest in spirits is the Patience Worth case which I discuss at http://www.patienceworth.com

    5. And, I have to say that at least two of your often-quoted resources for information; Joseph Jastrow and Joe Nickell, provide, in my opinion, the most superficial, opinionated, biased, undocumented drivel of any writer who tries to debunk the paranormal. These two men are writers of opinion unsupported by evidence.

    So there! Put that in your pipe and smoke it! – AOD

    As we can see you have had a long history of personal attacks on people who have a different opinion. After he or she told you off you continued your personal attack on him or her.

  743. leo100on 05 Jun 2014 at 9:30 pm

    We are getting there folks keep your popcorn and pop on standby.

  744. leo100on 05 Jun 2014 at 11:15 pm

    I used also point out that some of the books that Midnightrunner mentions are from Prometheus books they are a publishing company founded by Paul Kurtz who also founded CSICOP. There main objective prometheus books is to debunk and they don’t care what the opposing side has to say.

    By the way I was able to dig up some links that Midnightrunner would like me to read. So I will read them. Here they are. I am going to copy them into my notepad and save them and read them soon.

    “Is Spiritualism Based on Fraud?” by Joseph McCabe, text online at:

    http://archive.org/stream/isspiritualismba00mccarich#page/n3/mode/2up

    An anti-Leonora Piper essay by Ivor Lloyd Tuckett:

    http://archive.org/stream/evidenceforsuper00tuckrich#page/320/mode/2up

    “Trick Methods of Eusapia Paladino”:

    http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=wu.89090346453#page/333/mode/1up

    “Spiritualism and Sir Oliver Lodge”:

    http://archive.org/stream/spiritualismsiro00mercuoft#page/n3/mode/2up

    I found these links on a older comment that Michael Prescott made on one his blog post on “Seth again”.

  745. The Street Epistemologiston 06 Jun 2014 at 12:26 am

    PeteA – exactly. I had to double check you weren’t Pete B.

    “Faith taints or at worst removes our curiosity about the world, what we should value, and what type of life we should lead. Faith replaces wonder with epistemological arrogance disguised as false humility. Faith immutably alters the starting conditions for inquiry by uprooting a hunger to know and sowing a warrantless confidence.”
    ― Peter Boghossian

    Unfortunately, I do not think posters like Leo and Ian have ‘faith’ in their claims, they truly believe the evidence is on their side and that their beliefs are justified. I have maintained the value of blogs such as this will not be in changing their minds, but rather the many other readers who will benefit from learning how to evaluate and judge evidence that is most likely to support a claim.

    Aside from the obvious absurdity of faith, we should think about the term “belief” – as it implies a firmly entrenched point of view unlikely to evolve easily. Rather, I “accept” a claim but am ready to reject it when following the evidence.

    When is the last time anyone here changed their mind?

  746. grabulaon 06 Jun 2014 at 12:27 am

    @devils gummy

    Pete’s being ironic, I thought it was pretty funny.

  747. grabulaon 06 Jun 2014 at 12:32 am

    This was my favorite bit of craziness:

    http://www.debunkingskeptics.com/hijackingterms.php

  748. The Street Epistemologiston 06 Jun 2014 at 12:54 am

    I will reiterate to those readers who follow this blog but who do not typically post:

    With regard to those in defense of fantastic claims (PSI, souls, OBEs, NDEs). Notice how decades of rigorously controlled, double-blinded studies with negative results are dismissed. Notice the lack of understanding on who the burden of proof should fall upon. Notice how anecdotes and thought experiments are mistaken for unequivocal evidence in support of the claim. Notice how powerful the motivation to believe is (in their minds and your own). -To paraphrase an interview with Sam Harris, “The Tiger Woods of PSI would have no problem performing successfully and to the satisfaction of skeptics worldwide, where is he?” I would add the $1M JREF prize would pale in comparison.

    Are these phenomena in the realm of possibilities? They would have you believe that if the answer is yes, then it must be true somehow, somewhere. That is not the most effective strategy for accumulating knowledge.

  749. mumadaddon 06 Jun 2014 at 4:14 am

    Street,

    “Faith taints or at worst removes our curiosity about the world, what we should value, and what type of life we should lead. Faith replaces wonder with epistemological arrogance disguised as false humility. Faith immutably alters the starting conditions for inquiry by uprooting a hunger to know and sowing a warrantless confidence.”
    ― Peter Boghossian

    GodDAMN, that is a beautiful quote. Thanks.

  750. the devils gummy bearon 06 Jun 2014 at 6:27 am

    Streets ahead, Street. And for Pete’s sake grabula, I was late getting there… Even after Bruce, Steve, and Pete clued in, it was (and still is) a little too dead on. Eerily dead on. Right up to that uncanny/perfect fine line of satire, Pete A.

  751. Pete Aon 06 Jun 2014 at 6:36 am

    @The Street Epistemologist
    Thanks for your reply and for quoting Peter Boghossian (I have the paperback version). I’m interested in your thoughts on the following…

    Faith = justified belief. (I think this is equivalent to your term “truly believe” because belief without justification is simply a personal opinion.)

    Knowledge = justified, true, belief.

    E.g. I believe 2×2=4; it is true (a fact); and my justification for holding this belief is that it can be independently validated (at any time). Therefore, this belief is an item of knowledge.

    A subtle, but mandatory, element of the justification is: If it comes to light that the item is false then the believer(s) must relinquish their belief, relegate the item to history, and openly admit that they were wrong. This element enables science to be a self-correcting accumulation of knowledge.

    Now, let’s look at an item of faith. There is no requirement for it be true therefore the strength of the item depends solely on the strength of its justification; it never depends on the number of people who believe it.

    What about those who believe that the mind is more than the brain, perhaps some kind of radio receiver? The comments in this thread demonstrate that there are sources providing some justification, which means this belief is an item of faith rather than simply being opinion.

    As so frequently happens with faith, the justification boils down to little more than: We already know this is true; we continue collecting anecdotes, pseudoscience, antiscience, and rhetoric to thrust at every non-believer who dares to question our faith. This is, of course, the antithesis of the scientific method and it is the fundamental reason why faith and science are totally incompatible.

    Perhaps the real question we need to ask the believers, and have fully answered, is: “What if you are wrong?”

  752. BillyJoe7on 06 Jun 2014 at 7:14 am

    Ian: “…in reality he would undergo existential change every infinitesimal fraction of a second”

    I don’t suppose you could offer an actual explanation this time.
    (Please don’t just post a link to your blog)

  753. grabulaon 06 Jun 2014 at 7:15 am

    @PeteA

    I’d agree with most of what you’re saying. Once you lose your justification you can no longer be honest in your belief in a fact to statement that appeared true. I also believe the ‘truth’ can change as we expand our knowledge on a particular subject.

    I think what’s most interesting in this thread is we’ve seen essentially 2 distinct paths. In Leo’s case he’s come to his conclusion generally through his desire to believe ‘justified’ by any source he feels sufficiently backs up his belief. He’s shown an inability to consider an argument against but can’t form a cogent argument for and so relies on the ‘evidence’ provided by others.

    Ian Wardell on the other hand has come to his belief I believe on his own. This has led him to a sort of delusional belief that he alone has figured it out. This isn’t an attack per se, but an observation. He relies mostly on his own evidence to support his arguments – which strictly speaking are philosophical and not based in science or as he refers to it naturalism/materialism (The apparent bogeyman of woo).

    In both cases they’ve girded their beliefs so thoroughly, whether through a strong desire to believe (Leo) or through intellectual narcissism (Ian) that they can’t be shifted with actual evidence. One believes he has an answer through the application of outside sources while the other believes he’s reached the answer on his own and being superior, only has to educate the dirty masses.

    What’s also of interest to me is while the true believers come at their belief from all sorts of different angles, skeptics appear to follow the same basic arguments against. I think more than anything else it’s telling which community is attempting to be more intellectual honest.

  754. grabulaon 06 Jun 2014 at 7:17 am

    @BJ7

    “I don’t suppose you could offer an actual explanation this time.”

    Doh, you fell for his trap again. I’m seeing snide remarks to the affect of your stupid, it’s too easy to figure out, and/or blog links! When you have a pattern you have a pattern!

  755. mumadaddon 06 Jun 2014 at 7:34 am

    Grabula,

    “In Leo’s case he’s come to his conclusion generally through his desire to believe ‘justified’ by any source he feels sufficiently backs up his belief”

    I’d even go further and remove ‘sufficiently’ from that sentence. Leo will latch on to anything or anyone at all that disagrees with skeptics; doesn’t matter if the ideas are mutually exclusive. This is why I called him a denier in the other thread; it’s all about denying that death is the end, once that criterion is met he doesn’t care what he’s spouting.

    I’ve been following this thread from the beginning, and now I don’t even bother to read leo’s posts, because he’s obviously not going to contribute anything beyond what he’s been doing all along, and it’s just a complete waste of time. Trying to engage him is like trying to teach algebra to a dog; he’s just not capable of understanding.

    “He relies mostly on his own evidence to support his arguments – which strictly speaking are philosophical and not based in science”

    Re Ian – aside from the philosophical masturbation, Ian believes that NDEs are evidence of souls and seems to believe firmly in the afterlife. So I think he’s also guilty of reasoning backwards from a cherished conclusion, although focuses mainly on bastardising logic to fit this conclusion and bolster his belief.

  756. grabulaon 06 Jun 2014 at 7:40 am

    @Mumadadd

    Good points. In Leo’s case knowing now his affiliation with Scepcop and having done some reading on that site he’s most likely here to fight ‘pseudoskeptics’ as they so affectionately refer to anyone who isn’t a true believer. Perusing that site was an eye opener into Leo’s motivations.

    Ironically the Scepcop site does a pretty good job of describing what a skeptic should be here: http://www.debunkingskeptics.com/characteristics.php but as usual is misguided as to who is actually following the proper parameters.

  757. mumadaddon 06 Jun 2014 at 7:40 am

    In case I was unclear, my point was that at root they’re both the same – desperate to reinforce a cherished belief. One clings to anecdotes and the other to philosophy in doing so, but both start with this belief and work backwards from there.

  758. grabulaon 06 Jun 2014 at 7:42 am

    @mumadadd

    “desperate to reinforce a cherished belief.”

    I agree, I just feel they approach it from completely different angles

  759. mumadaddon 06 Jun 2014 at 9:13 am

    Oh man, this is priceless. It’s from SCEPCOP, leo’s site. These are some of the characteristics of ‘pseudoskeptics’ (http://www.debunkingskeptics.com/characteristics.php

    -Are not interested in truth, evidence or facts, only in defending their views.
    -Are willing to lie and deceive to discredit their opponents.
    -Are judgmental and quick to draw conclusions about things they know little or nothing about.
    -When faced with evidence or facts they can’t refute, uses semantics, word games and denial to try to obfuscate the issue. (this one leo isn’t capable of)
    -Will never admit that they are wrong no matter what, regardless of evidence.

    Hypocrite much?

  760. Bill Openthalton 06 Jun 2014 at 9:40 am

    Pete A –

    Faith = justified belief. (I think this is equivalent to your term “truly believe” because belief without justification is simply a personal opinion.)
    Knowledge = justified, true, belief.

    What about this:

    Opinion = unverified belief

    Faith = unverifiable belief shared by one’s group

    Hypothesis = verifiable belief

    Knowledge = verified belief

  761. Bill Openthalton 06 Jun 2014 at 9:42 am

    mumadadd –

    Hypocrite much?

    No, just different definitions for “evidence” and “fact”.

    :-)

  762. Ian Wardellon 06 Jun 2014 at 11:26 am

    @Billyjoe

    Your position on teleporting is *precisely* the same as mine! You might put it a different way, but our actual positions *do not differ one iota*. And we both agree with *Win*. He persuaded both of us at the same time!

    You do however disagree with most of your materialist friends on here. So why the bloody hell are you asking me questions??

  763. Ian Wardellon 06 Jun 2014 at 11:43 am

    mumadadd
    “NDEs are evidence of souls and seems to believe firmly in the afterlife. So I think he’s also guilty of reasoning backwards from a cherished conclusion, although focuses mainly on bastardising logic to fit this conclusion and bolster his belief”.

    Evidence but not compelling evidence. The existence of void like and hell-like NDEs considerably reduces the evidential value.

  764. steve12on 06 Jun 2014 at 11:48 am

    Ian,

    Can you tell me in your own words what you mean by reductive materialism?

  765. mumadaddon 06 Jun 2014 at 12:03 pm

    Ian,

    I know you’ve just been asked several question but I’m going to throw some more at you, and I implore you to answer as I’ve asked a couple of times already and you didn’t respond.

    -How can we tell the difference between a materialistic reality and your proposed idealistic one?
    -What testable predictions can you generate from it?
    -How can we test those predictions?

    I’m honestly not trying to trip you up but it seems to me that there would be no way to tell the difference, and that being the case, doesn’t idealism become unfalsifiable, with no possible evidence to find?

  766. leo100on 06 Jun 2014 at 12:37 pm

    @Grabula

    I am sorry but you are dead wrong I don’t have a mission to change people’s mind’s on here. Also, when I joined that site I didn’t think it would be loaded with that conspiracy garbage but it was. But they are right about this when it comes to pseudoskeptics.

    PseudoSkeptics / Closed-Minded Skeptics

    Does not question anything from established non-religious institutions, but takes whatever they say on faith and demands that others do the same.
    Does not ask questions to try to understand new things, but judges them by whether they fit into orthodoxy.
    Applies “critical thinking” only to that which opposes orthodoxy or materialism, but never to the status quo itself. Skeptics such as (Grabula, Mumadadd, Devil’s gummy bear, Steve12 etc)
    Immediately judges as false and debunks anything that contradicts their paradigm.
    Are not interested in truth, evidence or facts, only in defending their views. (Grabula, Mumadadd, Devil’s gummy bear, Steve12 etc)
    Cannot think in terms of possibilities, but sees their paradigms as fixed and constant. (Grabula, Mumadadd, Devil’s gummy bear, Steve12 etc)
    Are willing to lie and deceive to discredit their opponents.
    Automatically dismisses and denies all data that contradicts materialism and orthodoxy. (Grabula, Mumadadd, Devil’s gummy bear, Steve12 etc)
    Are judgmental and quick to draw conclusions about things they know little or nothing about.
    Scoffs and ridicules what they oppose instead of using objective analysis and examination.
    When faced with evidence or facts they can’t refute, uses semantics, word games and denial to try to obfuscate the issue. (Grabula, Mumadadd, Devil’s gummy bear, Steve12 etc)
    Unable to adapt their paradigms to new evidence, and denies data which doesn’t fit into them. (Grabula, Mumadadd, Devil’s gummy bear, Steve12 etc)
    When all conventional explanations for an unexplainable phenomenon are ruled out, are still not able to accept paranormal ones. (Grabula, Mumadadd, Devil’s gummy bear, Steve12 etc)
    Dislikes mystery and uncertainty, and insist that all unknown phenomena must have a mundane explanation. (Grabula, Mumadadd, Devil’s gummy bear, Steve12 etc)
    Views the scientific establishment as a religion and authority to be taken on faith and never questioned or challenged. Does not understand the difference between the scientific process/methodology and the scientific establishment institution.
    Assumes that the scientific establishment is objective and unbiased, and free of politics, corruption, control, censorship and suppression for no other reason than blind faith in authority. (Grabula, Mumadadd, Devil’s gummy bear, Steve12 etc)
    Will never admit that they are wrong no matter what, regardless of evidence. (Grabula, Mumadadd, Devil’s gummy bear, Steve12 etc)

    Source: http://www.debunkingskeptics.com/characteristics.php

  767. leo100on 06 Jun 2014 at 12:41 pm

    By the way Midnightrunner was confronted with Greg when Greg Taylor told him that there is a bigger criticism of Piper than Ivor Tuskett’s criticism and that was of Trevor and Hall . I quote Greg Taylor here.

    “Well if it’s page counts you’re deciding it on, I’d say Hall and Tanner’s “Studies in Spiritism” would be the ‘big one’. Not to mention the fact that they actually sat with Piper. Not sure how it doesn’t make your list of “long refutations”, considering it’s 408 pages long (although admittedly with a couple of chapters on Mrs. Verrall and general chat on mediumship)?”.

  768. steve12on 06 Jun 2014 at 12:46 pm

    Leo:

    Why do you think it is that the formal scientific community are the ones who “Are not interested in truth, evidence or facts”, while you actually are interested in these things?

    Do you think that the formal scientific community is just BS, and in fact, you and Ian are the REAL scientific community?

  769. Pete Aon 06 Jun 2014 at 1:42 pm

    @Grabula — Many thanks, you’ve enabled me to comprehend what’s been going on. The strikingly different levels of intellectual honesty had not escaped me (it inspired me to concoct my radio receiver satire).

    @Bill Openthalt — I like your definitions because they are more intuitive than my offerings. My definition of knowledge is based on Plato’s definition, not because it’s correct, but because the justification component serves as an audit trail for aggregated knowledge and it is a useful aid to constructing and analysing arguments. Practical example:

    If one reads through lines of a mathematical proof and comes across the use of an approximation, we should immediately ask: “What is the justification for this approximation?” The justification given must include very sound reasons and state the range of values over which it is valid. This minimizes the chance of creating silly errors in practical usage of the proof, such as a divide by zero error.

  770. leo100on 06 Jun 2014 at 2:09 pm

    @Steve12

    In my own words I think the scientific community ignores any evidence that points towards against a naturalistic worldview. Because you know and I know that naturalism has been extremely successful it has given us computers, cell phones, televisions and so on. It also has shown that a lot of supernatural phenomenon was false such as Zeus throwing thunderbolts from the sky when in fact we understand how lightening works naturally. However, there are numerous things that don’t fit into a naturalistic picture of the world such as the evidence I mentioned about such as life after death and psi phenomenon.

  771. steve12on 06 Jun 2014 at 2:16 pm

    But Leo – you said that members of the scientific community:

    Are not interested in truth, evidence or facts
    Unable to adapt their paradigms to new evidence
    Views the scientific establishment as a religion

    On and on it goes.

    So I ask you:
    1. How are we successful with these kinds of attitudes?
    2. If we hold these attitudes but you don’t, aren’t you the proper scientific community and not us?

    If not, why not?

  772. Ekkoon 06 Jun 2014 at 2:25 pm

    “However, there are numerous things that don’t fit into a naturalistic picture of the world such as the evidence I mentioned about such as life after death and psi phenomenon.”

    Don’t forget Bigfoot Leo. I find you incredibly closed-minded that you don’t believe in Bigfoot. It still fits within the naturalistic paradigm even! Come on – all those eye witnesses can’t be wrong!

  773. leo100on 06 Jun 2014 at 2:53 pm

    @Ekko

    A lot of the eyewitness reports just said they saw a large animal and attached a label to it calling it a sasquatch. The same goes with the Locus Monster, orbs as well. May I ask do you believe in Bigfoot?.

    @Steve

    I ain’t the scientific community either because science is a method not a position.Skeptic like to push it as a position not a method. Not all skeptics as some really want to find out the truth no matter even if its not want they want it to be.

  774. steve12on 06 Jun 2014 at 3:09 pm

    “I ain’t the scientific community either because science is a method not a position.”

    I understand that science is a method. But the people who employ the method form a community for the purpose of meaningfully reviewing one another’s work. Peer review is part of the process, and your peers are the scientific community.

    Do you think that you are a truer scientist – a truer utilizer of the scientific method – than those currently in the scientific community? And by scientific community, I mean people in each discipline that are asked to review scientific papers?

    It’s a simple question, why are you dodging?

  775. Ekkoon 06 Jun 2014 at 3:53 pm

    leo,
    Maybe you are unfamiliar with the full depth of the Bigfoot/Sasquatch phenomenon. It is much more than just eye witness reports saying they saw a large animal. There are thousands of tracks and imprints of footprints as well as video evidence and photographs dating back many decades – physical evidence. Many scientists and profesional trackers have been involved. The Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization (BFRO) is a group of scientists, researchers, journalists, and specialists from around the world that collaborate to investigate and document this creature. But no, I do not believe in Bigfoot. Many reports have turned out to be hoaxes or frauds. It relies on stories and notoriously unreliable eye witnesses. Most people feel the evidence is supremely lacking so far and too much conflicts with what is known about large apes and their habitat and survival. Sound familiar? It’s quite similar to the evidence you refer to with mediums and reports from NDEs and how it relates to what is known from neuroscience. Yes, Bigfoot and Life after Death could be real – but right now, the evidence does not support that conclusion – the opposite is far more likely. Sorry. Life is still grand though – so don’t waste it chasing after illusions and phantoms!

  776. leo100on 06 Jun 2014 at 4:39 pm

    There is no double or triple blind experiments done on Bigfoot sure there is video evidence and photographs I am well aware of that of there not convincing at all. Compare that to life after death evidence where it is convincing as well as consistent and not going away unlike Big Foot. That organization isn’t open to the possibility as far as I know that there isn’t a Bigfoot only that there is. Where in psychical research they were open that there wasn’t an afterlife that all mediums are frauds but that is not what they found.

  777. leo100on 06 Jun 2014 at 4:41 pm

    @Steve12

    No I don’t but I do think scientists like Rupert Sheldrake, Julie Beischel and others deserve not to be ridicule because there evidence simply conflicts with a naturalist worldview.

  778. Ekkoon 06 Jun 2014 at 4:53 pm

    There are triple blinded experiments proving life after death? Who knew? Who is the third party that is blinded? Is it the researcher, medium, and ghost?

  779. steve12on 06 Jun 2014 at 5:15 pm

    “There is no double or triple blind experiments done on Bigfoot…”

    This is not true I believe that JLU (Jack Link’s University) had triple-blind Sasquatch trials in the NEJM last issue.

    Leo, I’m not sure you know what blinding is. Or for that matter, what experiments are.

    You do sound more knowledgable when you copy/paste your replies.

  780. steve12on 06 Jun 2014 at 5:17 pm

    But for now, we have an uneasy alliance until we get to the elusive ‘Land of 1000 Comments’ ….

  781. leo100on 06 Jun 2014 at 5:52 pm

    @Ekko

    The newest experiments on mental mediumship are done here

    http://www.windbridge.org/

    @Steve

    A blind experiment is is a way in which the information of a test that may lead to bias itself in the results is concealed from the the subject. Yeah they could do trials on Bigfoot that are triple blind but its the evidence itself would not be convincing. Based on the fact that first we don’t even have good reliable eyewitness accounts.

    As experiment is a procedure that seeks out to verify, establish or refute a hypothesis.

  782. BillyJoe7on 06 Jun 2014 at 6:16 pm

    Ian,

    Okay, let me rephrase the question:
    How does my materialist interpretation of the teleportation experiment lead to your conclusion that there must be existential change every instant for materialism to be true?

  783. Ian Wardellon 06 Jun 2014 at 6:48 pm

    @Billyjoe

    I suggest you read up on your own comments that you made a year ago on here.

    One thing’s for sure. I’m not going to argue with you for a position you fully agree with. You must think I’m utterly daft. Argue with your materialist friends that you disagree with you on this issue i.e seemingly everyone on here.

  784. steve12on 06 Jun 2014 at 7:01 pm

    “A blind experiment is is a way in which the information of a test that may lead to bias itself in the results is concealed from the the subject.”

    Only half right. Maybe a little less, actually.

    “Yeah they could do trials on Bigfoot that are triple blind but its the evidence itself would not be convincing.”

    Briefly describe how your trials would be conducted.

    “As experiment is a procedure that seeks out to verify, establish or refute a hypothesis.”

    Too vague to be marked correct sir.

  785. steve12on 06 Jun 2014 at 7:02 pm

    Ian, I’ll ask again:

    Can you tell me in your own words what you mean by reductive materialism?

  786. leo100on 06 Jun 2014 at 7:03 pm

    @Steve12

    I am not a scientist, just look at the work from the Windbridge Institute, Dr. Julie BiescheL is doing experiments on mental mediums there.

  787. Ekkoon 06 Jun 2014 at 7:13 pm

    “The newest experiments on mental mediumship are done here”

    http://www.windbridge.org/

    So leo, reading these sorts of studies has convinced you there is an after life and our consciousness survives death?

    These are studies where a medium speaks over the telephone with someone who has recently lost a relative and produces statements like:
    The discarnate is female.
    She is a mother.
    She is about 5’4″
    The discarnate was English.

    They also intentionally select people to speak with the medium who are highly motivated to hear news of their deceased relative, believe in mediumship, and believe in an afterlife. These same highly motivated people then score the medium how well they did based on responses like the above. They do not choose people to speak with the medium who do not fit this belief system.
    I think this speaks for itself as to the quality of evidence we are talking about here.
    P.S. I want to say something obvious about blinding and Bigfoot research but I also don’t want to spoil steve12′s fun.

  788. leo100on 06 Jun 2014 at 7:34 pm

    @Ekko

    They are not as general as that as that would be cold reading or fishing for information. There is specific information that only would come from discarnate entity. That is why there is double and triple blind experiments being done to control for things and to rule out cold reading, hot reading and warm reading.

  789. mumadaddon 06 Jun 2014 at 8:45 pm

    Ian,

    As you’ve ducked all the pointed questions I’ll try a different tack.

    What is your opinion on the scientific method?

    -Observation
    -hypothesis
    -design a test
    -confirmation of prediction/
    -disconfirmation of prediction/
    -neither
    -try to replicate the result/
    - design

  790. mumadaddon 06 Jun 2014 at 9:01 pm

    It’s difficult to do this on a phone. Bloody pressed submit accidentally.

    Ian,

    As you’ve ducked all the pointed questions I’ll try a different tack.

    What is your opinion on the scientific method?

    -Observation
    -hypothesis
    -design a test
    -test
    -confirmation of prediction/
    -replicate results
    -disconfirmation of prediction/
    -design a different test/
    -reject previous hypothesis
    -make more predictions and test them
    -gradually endorse hypothesis in proportion with positive confirmation of predictions

    I don’t know why you consistently ignore my questions. You have responded to me directly several times, so I don’t think it’s because you are skipping my posts. In fact you selectively ignore all of the questions that your ideology is not equipped to deal with. It’s time to put up or shut up…

  791. mumadaddon 06 Jun 2014 at 9:36 pm

    Ian,

    Evidence but not compelling evidence. The existence of void like and hell-like NDEs considerably reduces the evidential value.

    Why? Because the afterlife has to be nice and fluffy?

  792. mumadaddon 06 Jun 2014 at 9:58 pm

    -Observation: Ian has weak argument
    -Hypothesis: Ian can’t answer questions his ideology isn’t equipped to answer
    -Test: ask Ian questions that I think his ideology isn’t equipped to answer
    (contol: ask Ian other questions. Result: Ian posts links to his blog)
    -Replicate results: ask said questions repeatedly, same lack of response
    -Hypothesis: approaching scientifically verified theory

  793. steve12on 06 Jun 2014 at 10:01 pm

    “I am not a scientist, just look at the work from the Windbridge Institute, Dr. Julie BiescheL is doing experiments on mental mediums there.”

    So you talk a lot of shit, and then when you’re asked to defend what you say you cop out.

    Maybe the problem is that you have no idea what you’re talking about.

    Actually, let me remove the maybe: you have no idea what you’re talking about.

  794. mumadaddon 06 Jun 2014 at 10:06 pm

    Steve12,

    Leo is not worth your time. Why bother trying?

  795. mumadaddon 06 Jun 2014 at 10:12 pm

    Also, are you one of the Steves of project Steve? Perhaps the twelve?

  796. mumadaddon 06 Jun 2014 at 10:15 pm

    Twelfth even.

  797. leo100on 06 Jun 2014 at 10:29 pm

    @Steve12

    I am have no problem defending what I say I got the definitions of experiment and what blinded is from wikipedia but I put it in my own words. But still not good enough eh?. Like I said I am not a scientist I have never conducted any experiments before.

  798. steve12on 06 Jun 2014 at 11:02 pm

    “But still not good enough eh?”

    Not really. That you only sort-of-get-it should give you pause before lecturing scientists on how science works. That’s just self evidently true to everyone but cranks.

    Still waiting on how the bigfoot trials would go down…..

  799. steve12on 06 Jun 2014 at 11:04 pm

    “Leo is not worth your time. Why bother trying?”

    No. But 1000 posts is!

  800. steve12on 06 Jun 2014 at 11:04 pm

    800!

  801. steve12on 06 Jun 2014 at 11:05 pm

    “Also, are you one of the Steves of project Steve? Perhaps the twelve?”

    No – I don’t know what that is, but I’ll check it out now.

  802. leo100on 06 Jun 2014 at 11:17 pm

    @Steve12

    Well I am sorry but I have a dislike for materialist scientists who aren’t open to changing their minds when confronted with massive amounts of evidence that doesn’t fit into their closed boxed worldview.

    Materialists assumed that reality was all there was that solar system was all there was. That changed when Quantum Mechanics came along showing that reality is far more expansive that we don’t live in a universe that is casually closed.

  803. leo100on 06 Jun 2014 at 11:19 pm

    Heading off to bed now.

  804. steve12on 06 Jun 2014 at 11:19 pm

    So no you’re not bothered that you know very (VERY) little about science?

  805. the devils gummy bearon 06 Jun 2014 at 11:48 pm

    mumadadd, I take issue:

    Trying to engage him is like trying to teach algebra to a dog; he’s just not capable of understanding.

    -Dogs are not ideologically obsessed with the denial of algebra
    -Dogs are not inherently reality challenged
    -Are capable of rudimentary communication
    -Don’t believe in ghosts, magic, or other things that don’t exist

    Okay, so it’s not algebra. But it’s also not a short deck of cards, as far as dog stuff goes.

    The sad fact is; We’re not talking to a 3rd grader who is coming to terms with reality (or english composition) for the first time. We’re talking to a grown man who believes in ghosts and magic, a man who has made it his prime directive to engage in fits and tantrums about his Santa Claus crap in forums and comments sections full of people who are basically experts in his belief system. This last bit is something he doesn’t have the intellectual capacity to cope with (midnight inspired some fantastic bouts of anger, probably because Leo can’t tolerate a “pseudo-skeptic” knowing an order of magnitude more about his dumb shit than anyone else he’s ever heard of before).

    Don’t go to a ghost fight with “scientismists”, psi experts, or “pseudoskeptics” expecting “because ghost stories” and “you’re blinded by your faith in materialism” to get you very far.

    I mean, we’re nearly at 800, but how far have we come? We’re back to him ripping wikipedia for things a grade school student knows. It’s just gonna keep going round and round. The guy believes in weird things… Fundamentally believes in very silly things. And he gets off on trolling. We probably should have given up amusing him in the Afterlife After Debate thread. He wants to believe in bullshit, and he will never be convinced that the materialist/naturalist/scientismist cult in his head is just as imaginary as the ghosts in there too. I mean, he’s lacking a grade school education in science, and he’s hellbound and determined as fuck not to acquire one.

    So, yeah… TLDR: Teaching a dog algebra… Which is kind of a slight to dogs.

  806. BillyJoe7on 07 Jun 2014 at 1:53 am

    Ian,

    “I suggest you read up on your own comments that you made a year ago on here”

    I don’t need to.
    The concepts on which those comments were based are all still here right in my head.
    In fact, I did read them again a few weeks ago when someone linked to that thread.

    “I’m not going to argue with you for a position you fully agree with”

    I do not agree with your position.
    Your position is that materialism implies existential change every instant.
    I do not agree with this and you haven’t shown me any reasons to do so.

    “You must think I’m utterly daft”

    No, I know that is the case.
    Just look at your assessment of the checkerboard illusion!
    You don’t understand what causes the 2D illusion and you deny that a 3D version would be an illusion.

    “Argue with your materialist friends that you disagree with on this issue i.e seemingly everyone on here”

    I’ve not seen anyone disagree with me that materialism does not imply existential change every instant.
    The truth is you cannot explain how you came to that conclusion that from the teleporter experiment.
    Otherwise you would have done so by now.

  807. grabulaon 07 Jun 2014 at 3:26 am

    @leo

    “I am sorry but you are dead wrong I don’t have a mission to change people’s mind’s on here”

    You’re not changing minds here without evidence Leo, why haven’t you figured that out yet? I spent some time on the scepcop forums, it’s mostly ridiculous. You guys are completely delusional about what true skepticism is.

    What you should consider Leo, is possibly examining the ACTUAL evidence and changing your mind.

  808. grabulaon 07 Jun 2014 at 3:28 am

    @Leo

    “In my own words I think the scientific community ignores any evidence that points towards against a naturalistic worldview. ”

    How do you and the Wu gang explain the success of “naturalist” science over paranormal true believers?

  809. grabulaon 07 Jun 2014 at 3:38 am

    A little insight into Leo and his gang and their bizarre way of thinking:

    http://www.debunkingskeptics.com/forum/index.php

    I read through a bunch of threads, it’s a collection of mostly crazy.

  810. grabulaon 07 Jun 2014 at 3:48 am

    “As you’ve ducked all the pointed questions I’ll try a different tack.”

    Guys, Ian is only interested in preaching, not discussing. It should have become obvious a while ago.

  811. Ian Wardellon 07 Jun 2014 at 8:06 am

    @Billyjoe.

    You’re a waste of space . .

    mumadadd
    “Why? Because the afterlife has to be nice and fluffy?”

    No, but it has to make sense. Either the purpose of life is love or it is not. Pleasant NDEs and Hell-like NDEs give precisely opposite messages. Which one is telling the truth?

    No don’t answer that. Suffice to say I think NDEs only provide weak evidence for an afterlife. This is in contrast for the evidence for reincarnation in the form of young children seemingly remembering previous lives.

  812. swiffer01on 07 Jun 2014 at 8:10 am

    As a newcomer to this site I notice another heated debate between believers and skeptics. I also notice endless reptitions of the same tired old “saws” enlessly reiterated by believers in what they call the “transmission theory” of the mind, or the reality of the soul, or whatever sort of immaterial controller of the brain people believing in this theory propose. This is the old-fashioned cartesian dualism. This is an old idea, and ancient even before the philosphers Rene Descarte and Willam James proposed them many years ago.

    Unfortunately for believers, the brain is the generator of all aspects of what we understand as a conscious mind. The “transmission theory” is easily proven to be totally bankrupt as a model for the functioning of the brain. Midazolam is a drug used to manage multiple millions of patients all over the world, and its effects conclusively prove the ridiculous nature of this idea.

    interested readers can read this at: http://anesthesiaweb.org/anesthesia-and-the-soul.php

    From this website:

    •The mind-model of dualism states that the physically conscious body of a person is a sort of mindless robot under the control of the soul.
    •Midazolam administered at doses sufficient to cause amnesia does not induce loss of consciousness. After such doses of midazolam, most people are somewhat sedated, yet perceive and react appropriately to their surroundings. They are cooperative, talk normally, answer questions appropriately, and otherwise react appropriately with speech and movements.
    •According to the logic of dualism, the physical body transmits perceptions of speech, sight, touch, and surroundings in some way to the soul, which then controls the body to speak, move, and act appropriately in response to others and the situation.
    •Believers in the mind-model of dualism claim that the soul is the indelible repository of all memories.
    •The mind-model of dualism states that the soul is unaffected by drugs affecting the physical brain.
    •Therefore, according to the mind-model of dualism, memories of thoughts, speech, actions, deeds, and perceptions made while sedated with midazolam, but physically conscious and cooperative, are all indelibly stored within the soul.
    •All physical brain functions return to normal after the body eliminates all the administered midazolam.
    •Memories of the perceptions, speech, sounds, and events occurring around the conscious physical body while under the influence of sedative doses of midazolam, are public memories. They are memories much like hearing and remembering a conversation, hearing a sound, or remembering a snippet of news from a newspaper. They are public memories—not memories of anything secret, intended only for the use of immaterial beings or souls.
    •Therefore there is no conceivable reason why people cannot recall conscious actions and speech during procedures performed under midazolam sedation.
    •So if the soul is the indelible repository of all memories, then all people should be able to remember all that occurred while sedated, but physically conscious and cooperative.
    •But most people remember nothing of what they thought, said, did, or perceived during the period their physical brains were affected by midazolam.

    The only logical conclusion is that the brain is the repository of all memories.

    But then believers come with the objectsion that the soul, separable conscious mind, or whatever is subordinate to the physical brain when inside the body. This idea is also a load of nonsense, as is proven by their own logic.

    Near death experiences (NDEs), and out-of-body experiences (OBEs) are proof of the silly nature of this concept.
    - After repturning to their bodies, many people reporting their NDEs tell of undergoing a change of personality and living a more spritual life because of what they “learned in the NDE afterlife”. This means their souls were once agin within their bodies, and controlling their bodies to live a “better” life. – ergo the embodied soul controls the body, and is not subservient to it.
    - Subsequent to returing to the body after an OBE, people relate the content of their OBE(s) to others by means of speech and writing. These memories are within what was once a disembodied soul. – ergo the embodied soul controls the physical body to relate these memories, and is therefore not subordinate to the body.

    All these things prove the foolishness of belief in a separable consciousness, whereby the brain is simply a sort of biological receiver.

  813. midnightrunner2014on 07 Jun 2014 at 8:13 am

    Ian,

    Since you mention purpose, you may be interested in this paper:

    Cognitive biases explain religious belief, paranormal belief, and belief in life’s purpose

    Abstract

    “Cognitive theories of religion have postulated several cognitive biases that predispose human minds towards religious belief. However, to date, these hypotheses have not been tested simultaneously and in relation to each other, using an individual difference approach. We used a path model to assess the extent to which several interacting cognitive tendencies, namely mentalizing, mind body dualism, teleological thinking, and anthropomorphism, as well as cultural exposure to religion, predict belief in God, paranormal beliefs and belief in life’s purpose. Our model, based on two independent samples (N = 492 and N = 920) found that the previously known relationship between mentalizing and belief is mediated by individual differences in dualism, and to a lesser extent by teleological thinking. Anthropomorphism was unrelated to religious belief, but was related to paranormal belief. Cultural exposure to religion (mostly Christianity) was negatively related to anthropomorphism, and was unrelated to any of the other cognitive tendencies. These patterns were robust for both men and women, and across at least two ethnic identifications. The data were most consistent with a path model suggesting that mentalizing comes first, which leads to dualism and teleology, which in turn lead to religious, paranormal, and life’s-purpose beliefs. Alternative theoretical models were tested but did not find empirical support.”

    Online: http://www2.psych.ubc.ca/~ara/Manuscripts/Willard_Norenzayan_Cognitive_Biases.pdf

  814. Ian Wardellon 07 Jun 2014 at 8:48 am

    @midnightrunner

    I would find it vastly more interesting if there were research which attempted to uncover the reasons why reductive materialists believe what they do. After all, in the history of our world, it’s the beliefs of “educated” people in our modern western culture which are an aberration.

    What we have here is the pre-supposition by reductive materialists that their position is the more reasonable one, and moreover that it is obviously true. Hence the need to explain why everyone does not recognise this obvious truth.

    Unfortunately not only is it *not* the case that their position is obviously true, it is in fact obviously false.

    Take teleology for example. It’s just a transparent obvious fact it exists. I am writing this post for example for the express purpose of conveying a message. The letters appearing on the screen are not random which would be expected if teleology didn’t exist. They are arranged in a specific order with the end goal of conveying a message.

  815. leo100on 07 Jun 2014 at 9:58 am

    @Steve12

    So no you’re not bothered that you know very (VERY) little about science?

    I know more than you think I know.

    @Grabula

    I no longer post on there its been a long time since I did. There is quite a few things I don’t agree on with Winston Wu such as that 9/11 was a inside job. I think the evidence shows that 9/11 was not an inside job.

  816. Niche Geekon 07 Jun 2014 at 10:06 am

    Ian,

    “It’s just a transparent obvious fact it exists.”

    Wait, do you think that the materialist/naturalist position is that teleology doesn’t exist at all?

  817. BillyJoe7on 07 Jun 2014 at 10:10 am

    Ian,

    “You’re a waste of space . .”

    Well, that’s one way to not answer impossible questions.
    Well done, Ian.
    Here is your prize:

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=z9Sen1HTu5o

    ;)

  818. steve12on 07 Jun 2014 at 10:33 am

    Leo:

    “I know more than you think I know.”

    OK, well, let’s try an example so that you can strut your stuff.

    Describe to me how triple-blinded bigfoot experiment is gonna work Just a brief explanation of how you would do the experiment would be fine – don’t feel like you have to fill in every detail.

  819. steve12on 07 Jun 2014 at 10:38 am

    Ian,

    CAn you please, please, please define reductive materialism in your own words?

    You use this phrase a lot, so are you saying that you don’t know what it means? That can’t be the case, I hope!

  820. steve12on 07 Jun 2014 at 10:47 am

    OMG BJ7!!!!

    That link is the greatest thing ever. I’ve used that illusion 1000x – but I never realized there was a live action version!

    I’m geeking out here over this. Wonder if someone’s put it on at VSS….

  821. leo100on 07 Jun 2014 at 11:07 am

    @Steve12

    I guess your not understanding me I read up on numerous science articles in the past and I know the literature pretty well. As far, as experiments go I don’t know how to do an experiment I am not a scientist. Knowing that you are one please tell me how you would go about a triple blind experiment on Bigfoot.

  822. leo100on 07 Jun 2014 at 11:12 am

    @Steve12

    I can tell you what I think reductive materialism means its a part of identity theory it supposes that mental states are in fact physical states of the brain. That all types of mental states are numerically identical with ( is one of the very same thing as) some type of physical states or process within the physical brain or nervous system.

  823. leo100on 07 Jun 2014 at 11:21 am

    @The Devil’s Gummy Bear

    Just noticed your comment above. You state:

    – This last bit is something he doesn’t have the intellectual capacity to cope with (midnight inspired some fantastic bouts of anger, probably because Leo can’t tolerate a “pseudo-skeptic” knowing an order of magnitude more about his dumb shit than anyone else he’s ever heard of before).

    Anger because he is a troll that has used multiple usernames and has an agenda to make everyone think the same way he does. He was called on his crap when Greg Taylor told him that Trevor and Hall’s criticism of Piper was longer than that criticism that he claimed by Ivor Tuskett was actually the longest. Trevor and Hall actually were at the sittings with Piper so they know what they are talking about. Where Ivor Tuskett doesn’t he just throws out accusations without any evidence to back them up. Midnightrunner’s claim that spirtualist’s don’t read the skeptical literature is a load of bs.

  824. midnightrunner2014on 07 Jun 2014 at 11:36 am

    Leo100 writes:

    “Anger because he is a troll that has used multiple usernames and has an agenda to make everyone think the same way he does.”

    You have no evidence I am a troll, just more ad-hominem. You have trolled this blog with dishonesty and nonsense not me so I think the definition would you actually fit you better.

    “He was called on his crap when Greg Taylor told him that Trevor and Hall’s criticism of Piper was longer than that criticism that he claimed by Ivor Tuskett was actually the longest.”

    Who is Trevor and Hall, Leo? You don’t even know the names of who you are talking about! Lol you are a funny guy. It is Amy Tanner and G. Stanley Hall, and their book was called Studies in Spiritism (1911). They were two early psychologists who did indeed sit with Piper.

    As for “Ivor Tuskett” is it Ivor Lloyd Tuckett, at least spell their names correctly. You have never read his book.

    “Trevor and Hall actually were at the sittings with Piper so they know what they are talking about.”

    It’s not Trevor and Hall – It’s Amy Tanner and Hall but if you are claiming they know what they are talking about then you accept Piper was not in contact with spirits. Because that is what they concluded Leo.

    “Where Ivor Tuskett doesn’t he just throws out accusations without any evidence to back them up.”

    Hmmm… this is real dishonest Leo, you have never read his long chapter on Leonora Piper – it is the most detailed refutation of Piper’s mediumship on record. I am not interested in “length”, I am interested in detail. The majority of the Hall and Tanner’s book was not a criticism of Piper – it was a psychological look at the subject, interesting yes but Ivor Lloyd Tuckett covered examples suggestive of fraud – Hall and Tanner never did this.

    “Midnightrunner’s claim that spirtualist’s don’t read the skeptical literature is a load of bs.”

    No it’s the truth. Greg Taylor for example had never heard of Ivor Lloyd Tuckett before I mentioned his criticism of Piper. Taylor spiritualist book “Stop Worrying! There Probably is an Afterlife” does not cite hardly any of the skeptical literature, not even in the bibliography. He does not mention Tuckett’s criticisms.

    Tuckett’s book can be found online here:

    https://archive.org/stream/evidenceforsuper00tuckrich#page/n5/mode/2up

    Go to page 321 to see his chapter on Piper. Trying actually researching this subject before talking nonsense Leo. You are embarrassing yourself.

  825. leo100on 07 Jun 2014 at 12:15 pm

    @Midnightrunner

    I am sorry I got the name wrong it is Amy that is correct. He mentioned he covered examples key word here is suggestive not proven but suggestive. Also, that would be the best he could do knowing he never actually sat with Piper. Amy Tanner and Hall were rebutted by Greg Taylor, Michael Prescott. Lol, lets see here you have gone by usernames such as Trees, Midnightrunner, Honestskeptic, Ivy, Forrest etc. etc) as I have shown in a earlier post.

    You were caught here for example

    Honestskeptic wrote:

    Just found this reference from a website someone quoted:

    Leonore Piper lived in the United States around the turn of the century. Through her, a number of “spirits” related stories of persons and events concerning which Leonora Piper denied any knowledge. However, a number of incidents cast doubt on her ability to contact the dead. For example, she gained some degree of fame with a “spirit” revelation about the circumstances of the death of a man called Dean Connor. However, when the revelation was finally checked out, it turned out to be grossly unreliable. In another incident, the family of George Pellew-whose departed spirit supposedly conveyed much of the news of the “other world” to Leonore- was shown the information furnished by “Pellew” about himself; they judged it to be highly inaccurate. On another occasion, Leonore claimed to have contacted the spirit of Bessie Beals, who was a fictitious person invented on the spur of the moment by the psychologist G. Stanley Hall. Later in her life, Leonore Piper made the following statement: I cannot see but that it must have been an unconscious expression of my subliminal self… it seems to me that there is no evidence of sufficient scientific value to warrant acceptance of the spiritualist hypothesis.”

    The reference is one you posted yourself to RationalWiki a month ago. Please do not lie to readers of this website. I am allowing you to continue posting, as I encourage debate, but your continued deceptions and sock puppetry will not be tolerated any further than this point – clean up your act please, or you will be blocked.

    Greg Taylor

  826. Ian Wardellon 07 Jun 2014 at 12:19 pm

    swiffer01

    “Therefore there is no conceivable reason why people cannot recall conscious actions and speech during procedures performed under midazolam sedation.

    So if the soul is the indelible repository of all memories, then all people should be able to remember all that occurred while sedated, but physically conscious and cooperative”.

    I agree it is strange but I can’t see how it’s helped by supposing the brain stores memories. Why is it not problematic under that hypothesis?

    Do these memories not exist at all? Or merely that we don’t have access to them?

  827. leo100on 07 Jun 2014 at 12:25 pm

    @Midnightrunner

    That is because Greg Taylor is only interested in the serious accusations such as Amy Tanner and Hall. Ivor Tuskett’s accusations are unfounded he was never there at the sittings.

  828. Ian Wardellon 07 Jun 2014 at 12:44 pm

    swiffer01
    “But then believers come with the objectsion that the soul, separable conscious mind, or whatever is subordinate to the physical brain when inside the body. This idea is also a load of nonsense, as is proven by their own logic.

    Near death experiences (NDEs), and out-of-body experiences (OBEs) are proof of the silly nature of this concept.
    - After repturning to their bodies, many people reporting their NDEs tell of undergoing a change of personality and living a more spritual life because of what they “learned in the NDE afterlife”. This means their souls were once agin within their bodies, and controlling their bodies to live a “better” life. – ergo the embodied soul controls the body, and is not subservient to it.
    - Subsequent to returing to the body after an OBE, people relate the content of their OBE(s) to others by means of speech and writing. These memories are within what was once a disembodied soul. – ergo the embodied soul controls the physical body to relate these memories, and is therefore not subordinate to the body.

    All these things prove the foolishness of belief in a separable consciousness, whereby the brain is simply a sort of biological receiver”.
    —————————————————————————————————-
    Dualists who subscribe to survival believe that the self and brain interact. How can the self be subordinate to the brain if it has the power to affect it? How can the brain be subordinate to the self if it has the power to affect it?

  829. leo100on 07 Jun 2014 at 12:51 pm

    I should also add from what I read of Ivor Tuskett’s attack on Leonora Piper about “muscle reading”

    There is an excellent rebuttal to that objection. I am going to type this here. Now it is true that formely Mrs. Piper because entranced while holding both hands, or at least one hand of the sitter. She often dropped the sitter’s hands and lost contact with them for half an hour at a time.

    More can be found here

    http://books.google.ca/books?id=JDmPxlZorSoC&pg=PT3&lpg=PT3&dq=mrs.+piper+muscle+reading&source=bl&ots=ASVfQVBwk8&sig=WBgzKkRdLeaXaovHwxWzFLrr0Ac&hl=en&sa=X&ei=iDyTU_jeCsaR8AHvq4D4AQ&ved=0CDIQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=mrs.%20piper%20muscle%20reading&f=false

  830. midnightrunner2014on 07 Jun 2014 at 1:04 pm

    “Also, that would be the best he could do knowing he never actually sat with Piper. Amy Tanner and Hall were rebutted by Greg Taylor, Michael Prescott.”

    Leo,

    You seem to be saying that you won’t read any skeptical material on Piper by skeptics or scientists that were not present at Piper’s sittings. This is silly because you are citing Michael Prescott and Greg Taylor two spiritualists who were not present at Piper’s séance sittings. By your own logic you should not be reading their books either then.

    G. Stanley Hall was famous for much research in psychology that he actually pioneered. He knew what he was talking about – he had demonstrated in various trance sessions with Piper that her controls were not spirits. He used various psychological tests to catch Piper out. Instead you will ignore this work of Hall a professional psychologist and go with Michael Prescott a science fiction author and Greg Taylor a conspiracy theorist who runs the Dailygrail pseudoscience website that endorses everything from aliens to fairies. Neither Prescott or Taylor have any education in psychology or science. You are choosing to believe woo-believers over proper scientists. It’s real silly. But anything that reinforces your belief I guess, no matter how nutty.

    I would appreciate it if you would also stop copying and pasting Greg Taylor’s messages word to word onto this blog, firstly what has this got to do with anything? I have already addressed Taylor’s rationalwiki claims in two long posts on this blog. Taylor is wrong. End of story. BTW Taylor doesn’t exactly have a good reputation either he regularly posts libel about skeptics on his twitter and has had to delete some of his comments.

    As for your other comment:

    “That is because Greg Taylor is only interested in the serious accusations such as Amy Tanner and Hall. Ivor Tuskett’s accusations are unfounded he was never there at the sittings.”

    This isn’t true regarding Greg. His book cites spiritualists who were not present at the Piper sittings like most spiritualist books do and he is happy to cite that material. He is happy to cite secondary spiritualist material, but when it comes to skeptic material doesn’t read it apart from this case Tanner and Hall. The claim about Tuckett’s accusations being unfounded is unfair because he was not claiming to be present at the sittings. If you read his essay it is a critical analysis of some of the reports published in the SPR. He found errors and flaws in the reports.

    You have also contradicted yourself because with many of the later Piper sittings (not the early ones) with Hodgson and other investigators the stenographic data was used, i.e. every word Piper said was written down. You can easily tell from many of the things she said that she was guessing or fishing, she never gave any specific information. No conjurer or trained magician was ever present during Piper’s séances. The burden is not on the skeptics to disprove spirits, the burden is on the spiritualists such as yourself to prove that she communicated with spirits but this has failed. There was no conclusive proof. The reason was because there was a number of ways Piper could have found information about her sitters in her séances, none of these possibilities of fraud were ruled out, the controls were terrible and none of the sittings were repeated by neutral scientists. In an earlier post I already mentioned about ten possibilities of sensory leakage in the Piper séance sittings.

  831. midnightrunner2014on 07 Jun 2014 at 1:09 pm

    “There is an excellent rebuttal to that objection. I am going to type this here. Now it is true that formely Mrs. Piper because entranced while holding both hands, or at least one hand of the sitter. She often dropped the sitter’s hands and lost contact with them for half an hour at a time.”

    Lol dropped the sitter’s hands but only after a while into the séance though. In other words she still could have practiced muscle reading as she was holding her séance sitters hands. This was already addressed in Greg’s blog. Taylor also used to put her hand on the forehead of her séance sitters, is that normal for spirit communication Leo?

  832. midnightrunner2014on 07 Jun 2014 at 1:11 pm

    I meant to say Piper instead of Taylor ignore that typo in my previous comment. Anyway here it is:

    Martin Gardner wrote “Mrs. Piper liked to hold a client’s hand throughout a sitting, or even to place the hand against her forehead. This made it easy to detect muscular reactions even when a sitter remained silent.”

    Source: Martin Gardner. (1992). On the Wild Side. Prometheus Books. p. 223

    This is muscle reading, Leo. It’s a mentalist technique not evidence for spirits.

  833. leo100on 07 Jun 2014 at 1:23 pm

    @Midnightrunner

    You seem to be saying that you won’t read any skeptical material on Piper by skeptics or scientists that were not present at Piper’s sittings. This is silly because you are citing Michael Prescott and Greg Taylor two spiritualists who were not present at Piper’s séance sittings. By your own logic you should not be reading their books either then.

    But they read the literature of Piper accept the ones who weren’t present at Piper’s Sittings. Did the ones that were not present at Piper’s sittings actually read the literature the pro literature I don’t think so. If they did they wouldn’t be coming up with silly unfounded accusations.

    Also you claim it was fishing, guessing, and muscle reading. However, a commenter on the dailygrail showed that wasn’t the case.

    Not in proxy cases where *strangers* sat in for the actual sitters and not when available transcripts (which are still publicly available) fail to show these techniques at play.

    Hodgson, Myers, et al had seen dozens of fraudulent mediums and *knew* full well what to look for. As William Newbold noted, he and Hodgson had “seen much of professional mediums, and are thoroughly familiar with the methods of ‘fishing’ upon which they generally rely” and so they “always had such possibilities in mind”. He confidently notes that “it would have been impossible for any large amount of detailed information to have been extracted from us in this way without our knowledge.” In any case, one can just look at the available transcripts in all cases where “hits” were made. It’s a good thing they often used stenographers!

    Sir Oliver Lodge wrote:
    Lodge wrote:

    I am familiar with muscle-reading and other simulated ‘thought-transference’ methods, and prefer to avoid contact whenever it is possible to get rid of it without too much fuss. Although Mrs. Piper always held somebody’s hand while preparing to go into the trance, she did not always continue to hold it when speaking as Phinuit.

    http://www.dailygrail.com/Essays/2013/12/Top-Five-Phenomena-Offer-Evidence-Afterlife

    Good copy and pasta there who said this same thing on the link above. “Martin Gardner wrote “Mrs. Piper liked to hold a client’s hand throughout a sitting, or even to place the hand against her forehead. This made it easy to detect muscular reactions even when a sitter remained silent.”

  834. leo100on 07 Jun 2014 at 1:24 pm

    Your claim that Ivor Tuskett’s criticism was like 300 pages is wrong I went through your link and there is only like 6 pages there of it.

  835. leo100on 07 Jun 2014 at 1:32 pm

    Of Piper that is.

  836. leo100on 07 Jun 2014 at 1:34 pm

    I remember awhile back how shooked up Steven Novella was when one of his friends came out and spoke out against the view that consciousness is produced by the brain.

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20527427.100-you-wont-find-consciousness-in-the-brain.html

  837. midnightrunner2014on 07 Jun 2014 at 1:34 pm

    “Your claim that Ivor Tuskett’s criticism was like 300 pages is wrong I went through your link and there is only like 6 pages there of it.”

    I never said it was 300 pages long. His chapter on Piper is pages 321-395, that’s 74 pages long.

    I will help you out, here’s the exact page it starts at:

    https://archive.org/stream/evidenceforsuper00tuckrich#page/320/mode/2up

    Definitely more than 6 pages!

    You write:

    “Did the ones that were not present at Piper’s sittings actually read the literature the pro literature I don’t think so. If they did they wouldn’t be coming up with silly unfounded accusations.”

    Please read Tuckett’s chapter – the whole thing is literally citing the SPR reports. So his accusations are definitely not silly. Like I said he found various errors and flaws in those reports. Only Walter Franklin Prince responded to Tuckett’s criticisms, no other psychical researcher has. They have never been addressed by the spiritualists.

  838. midnightrunner2014on 07 Jun 2014 at 1:39 pm

    “Lodge wrote:

    I am familiar with muscle-reading and other simulated ‘thought-transference’ methods, and prefer to avoid contact whenever it is possible to get rid of it without too much fuss. Although Mrs. Piper always held somebody’s hand while preparing to go into the trance, she did not always continue to hold it when speaking as Phinuit.”

    This has already been addressed. Lodge was a Christian spiritualist who endorsed all kinds of fraudulent mediums as genuine i.e. Eusapia Palladino and Gladys Osborne Leonard, definitely not experienced in mentalist techniques. But I don’t have a problem with the latter part of his quote. It’s true Piper did let go of some of her sitters hands but only after she held them for a while.

    You said earlyier you were going to read Spiritualism and Sir Oliver Lodge (1917) by Dr. Charles Mercier which is a criticism of Lodge’s investigation of Piper and other spiritualist claims. The book is online here: https://archive.org/stream/spiritualismsiro00mercuoft#page/n3/mode/2up

    Note that your spiritualist friends Michael Prescott, Michael E. Tymn, Victor Zammit or Greg Taylor did not refer to Mercier anywhere in their books.

  839. Niche Geekon 07 Jun 2014 at 1:52 pm

    Ian,

    I think I need to clarify my previous comment: are you using your own purposeful use of a device as evidence for purpose in nature or are you arguing that naturalists believe that nothing, including people, can have purpose?

  840. leo100on 07 Jun 2014 at 1:56 pm

    Midnightrunner

    You do realize its rather easy to get ride of muscle reading and other thought transference methods that is why she avoided contact as much as possible to get rid of it.

    Please read Tuckett’s chapter – the whole thing is literally citing the SPR reports. So his accusations are definitely not silly. Like I said he found various errors and flaws in those reports. Only Walter Franklin Prince responded to Tuckett’s criticisms, no other psychical researcher has. They have never been addressed by the spiritualists.

    Ya and twisting them to fit his agenda the first part of his book taking about what facts are was ridiculous in the extreme. I am sorry it wasn’t 300 pages but it was 74 pages either. I am sorry I was reading that other part on Piper he talked about earlier on in the book.

    As in your statement on the Daily Grail Forum states

    The physiologist Ivor Lloyd Tuckett examined Piper and her mediumship in “75″ pages and came to the conclusion it could explained by “muscle-reading, fishing, guessing, hints obtained in the sitting, knowledge surreptitiously obtained, knowledge acquired in the interval between sittings and lastly, facts already within Mrs. Piper’s knowledge”.

  841. midnightrunner2014on 07 Jun 2014 at 2:19 pm

    Leo100,

    Yes the Tuckett’s critical analysis of Piper’s mediumship it is 74 pages, not 75 that was a mistake from me but only by a page lol. If you look in the contents section of the book it says for the chapter “The Mediumship of Mrs. Piper” that it starts on page 321, the next chapter “Defects in Some Experiments on Thought-Transference” starts on page 396, as you can see it’s a simple mistake that can be made. This is silly discussing this. We have gone round in circles here.

    These are the best criticisms of Piper’s mediumship:

    1. Ivor Lloyd Tuckett. (1911). The Evidence for the Supernatural: A Critical Study Made with “Uncommon Sense”. K. Paul, Trench, Trübner. pp. 321-395

    2. Joseph Rinn. (1950). Sixty Years of Psychical Research: Houdini and I Among the Spiritualists. Truth Seeker Company. pp. 183-246

    3. Milbourne Christopher. (1979). Search For The Soul: An Insider’s Report On The Continuing Quest By Psychics & Scientists For Evidence Of Life After Death. Thomas Y. Crowell, Publishers. pp. 152-175

    4. Edward Clodd. (1917). The Question: A Brief History and Examination of Modern Spiritualism. Grant Richards, London. pp. 190-214

    The Tuckett book is online as is the book by Clodd. I am not expecting many people to have read the Rinn book, it’s about 60$ and out of print. Of course there are other books filled with criticisms of Piper mediumship (like C. E. M. Hansel but they are not as good as these. Unfortunately no spiritualist has addressed the criticisms of Tuckett, Rinn, Christopher or Clodd. Two years ago I put all the criticisms from these books online i.e. on online on various websites but there still has been no response from the spiritualists. They just ignore it deliberately.

    You own a paranormal blog Leo, and you claim to be a paranormal researcher – well why not address the criticisms or skeptical material of Piper in your post like Clodd or from Joseph McCabe who has refuted other mediums. The problem is you won’t. You won’t read the skeptical material on this subject. No matter how many times this material is sent to Greg Taylor, Michael Prescott, Victor Zammit, Michael E. Tymn or spiritualists such as yourself etc they just ignore it and spout out ad-hominems. I don’t believe these people are really interested in these cases deep down, their only interest is that it reinforces their paranormal belief. They need to believe in the paranormal I understand. It’s psychological but it would be nice if paranormal “researchers” such as yourself acknowledge what some of us skeptics have been saying about these cases for over a hundred years.

  842. leo100on 07 Jun 2014 at 2:28 pm

    You own a paranormal blog Leo, and you claim to be a paranormal researcher – well why not address the criticisms or skeptical material of Piper in your post like Clodd or from Joseph McCabe who has refuted other mediums. The problem is you won’t. You won’t read the skeptical material on this subject. No matter how many times this material is sent to Greg Taylor, Michael Prescott, Victor Zammit, Michael E. Tymn or spiritualists such as yourself etc they just ignore it and spout out ad-hominems. I don’t believe these people are really interested in these cases deep down, their only interest is that it reinforces their paranormal belief. They need to believe in the paranormal I understand. It’s psychological but it would be nice if paranormal “researchers” such as yourself acknowledge what some of us skeptics have been saying about these cases for over a hundred years.

    The problem with the works you mentioned are they are only accusations of fraud from second hand sources. By the way muscle reading and thought transference has been debunked by the link I mentioned earlier. Why should I read silly weak arguments such as these?. I am sorry life is too damn short to be wasting all my time on reading weak silly arguments such as these.

  843. leo100on 07 Jun 2014 at 2:29 pm

    If you had any shred of honesty you would admit your arguments have been debunked. But instead intend on forcing your garbage down spiritualists throats because you believe these skeptics are right.

  844. the devils gummy bearon 07 Jun 2014 at 2:58 pm

    “Leo can’t tolerate a “pseudo-skeptic” knowing an order of magnitude more about his dumb shit than anyone else he’s ever heard of before.” -Me, from the past

  845. leo100on 07 Jun 2014 at 3:01 pm

    @Devil’s Gummy Bear

    Anger because he is a troll that has used multiple usernames and has an agenda to make everyone think the same way he does. He was called on his crap when Greg Taylor told him that Trevor and Hall’s criticism of Piper was longer than that criticism that he claimed by Ivor Tuskett was actually the longest. Trevor and Hall actually were at the sittings with Piper so they know what they are talking about. Where Ivor Tuskett doesn’t he just throws out accusations without any evidence to back them up. Midnightrunner’s claim that spirtualist’s don’t read the skeptical literature is a load of bs.- Me from the past. Hush I am gummy bear I am trying to increase the post count as much as I can.

  846. midnightrunner2014on 07 Jun 2014 at 3:11 pm

    “The problem with the works you mentioned are they are only accusations of fraud from second hand sources. By the way muscle reading and thought transference has been debunked by the link I mentioned earlier. Why should I read silly weak arguments such as these?. I am sorry life is too damn short to be wasting all my time on reading weak silly arguments such as these.”

    Can you please explain in your own words how muscle reading has been debunked Leo? Even the source you quoted admitted that Piper held her séance sitters hands! You then say thought transference has been debunked? Are you now a skeptic Leo? :)

    Thought transference is an old word for telepathy. In the above post you also again mention “Trevor and Hall” but you have got confused. Trevor Hall was a skeptic nothing to do with the Piper case. What you are referring to is Amy Tanner and Stanley G. Hall’s criticisms. We all make mistakes but you are making too many, you have even admitted you have not read most of the literature on this subject. It’s lazy pal and I don’t usually criticise people but you look like a fat slob. You say life is short but that hasn’t stopped you from trolling skeptic blogs all these years has it. If you are so convinced of the spirit world why do you even bother doing this.

  847. leo100on 07 Jun 2014 at 3:22 pm

    I don’t think telepathy had nothing to do with is and if you had any knowledge of what super psi is you would know there has been a debate over survival v.s super psi. Because if you actually read the link I had up earlier it was pointed out clearly that muscle reading has been shown to be inadequate to explain Piper’s readings. Earlier I admitted it was Amy and I made the mistake by saying it was Trevor. Sorry but I am under the weather today. Because, I realize there is no such thing as facts only probabilities weighing the evidence on both sides. Well I haven’t seen your picture yet you could also be a fat slob we will never know.

  848. midnightrunner2014on 07 Jun 2014 at 3:22 pm

    “If you had any shred of honesty you would admit your arguments have been debunked. But instead intend on forcing your garbage down spiritualists throats because you believe these skeptics are right.”

    Leo, you are contracting yourself because first you say the spiritualists don’t need to acknowledge the skeptics arguments because they are silly or they were not present at the séances, now you are saying they have been debunked. The problem is that they have not been debunked, if they had then the spiritualists would be writing rebuttals. No spiritualist has ever taken on Milbourne Christopher, Edward Clodd, Joseph McCabe, Joseph Rinn or Ivor Lloyd Tuckett on the Piper case. They are ignored.

    I would like to see you debunk every criticism of Piper on this page:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonora_Piper

    Remember it was you who said the skeptical arguments have been debunked. Please show this information with references if possible. This is your chance to prove you have a shred of honesty in you.

  849. midnightrunner2014on 07 Jun 2014 at 3:24 pm

    “Well I haven’t seen your picture yet you could also be a fat slob we will never know.”

    Why don’t you use your psi abilities and find out?

  850. leo100on 07 Jun 2014 at 3:29 pm

    You misunderstood what I met Amy Tanner and Tucker criticism has been debunked, as well the muscle reading and transference of thought arguments. We spirtualist’s don’t have the time we debunked every single silly weak argument you skeptics have. As we now are in this time period debunking skeptic approaches towards near death experiences etc. If Ivor’s Tuskett is the best you got I can bet the others would be of weaker variety. I thought you guys had something better than muscle reading an accomplice argument would actually be better. Let’s not forget that is what the accusation was against Sir William Crookes with Katie King.

  851. leo100on 07 Jun 2014 at 3:32 pm

    Midnightrunner

    I don’t have to have psi abilites to at least know that your an dishonest,, troll, who pastes wiki citations from one from to another. To top that of also like to make personal attacks on how someone looks and attack people who don’t believe like you do.

  852. the devils gummy bearon 07 Jun 2014 at 3:36 pm

    This is just embarrassing.

  853. leo100on 07 Jun 2014 at 4:07 pm

    This is rather funny

    http://monkeywah.typepad.com/paranormalia/2013/12/there-probably-is-an-afterlife.html

    Some guy told him it was so and then he put it in a book so it must be true. No different then the fundamental Christians. Give me a break.

    Hmm it sounds familar?. No no no it couldn’t be could it?

    I didn’t know this but Edward Clodd was debunk in the above link in the comments section.

    Clodd first primes the reader for what follows by using an alleged ‘quote’ by one of Lodge’s ‘intimate friends’ to show that Lodge has a desire to believe almost anything. Note that he does not name this person – so he could just be making it up, or is indulging in the habit mentioned by Baloney earlier in relation to McCabe’s claims. I doubt very much that this would have been allowed in the peer – refereed journal that Clodd is quoting Lodge from.

    It is pretty clear to me that Clodd is saying that Lodge has recommended that a ‘hazy’ state of mind is better than a ‘keenly awake’ one and it is therefore implied strongly that Lodge’s testimony as to the nature of psychical phenomena is therefore not to be trusted.

    It is just as clear from Lodge’s version that he is merely speculating as to the apparent nature of the trance state – as he and others have observed it. He is not referring at all to the best attitude of mind with which to act as an observer. He is actually saying the exact opposite to what Clodd is implying. And, ironically in the present context, he uses Piper as an example. What is also hilariously obvious is that Lodge doubts that Piper’s Phinuit control is anything other than an aspect of her own personality – so much for ‘longing to believe something’ on his part.

    If that isn’t proof of a deliberate and utterly disgraceful misrepresentation, then I don’t know what is. In my opinion it amounts to a premeditated, effective ‘lie’. Are we really supposed to believe that someone of Clodd’s standing didn’t know exactly what he was doing? No wonder this approach has been carried forward in print and online since. Skeptics have been uncritically absorbing rubbish like this ever since Clodd’s day and rarely looking beyond it to see if it’s actually true. Indeed, Clodd’s material in relation to this subject has often been cited by skeptics (including McCabe).

    The two short quotes from Lodge’s ‘Address’ are from quite early in the piece. So it could be that Clodd just speed read the first bit and came to an astonishingly naive conclusion.

    The anonymous quote from Lodge’s ‘friend’ is the give away for me, though. IMO that betrays a streak of calculating cruelty in Clodd’s character. He was a far from stupid man, being (ahem) a successful banker.

    The following shows intellectual dishonesty on the part of McCabe and Rational Wiki (and also the wikipedia article on Myers, which was obviously edited by the same person who put in the info on Rational Wiki):

    Part of the Rational Wiki article on Frederic Myers is an attempt to attack him on his sexual activities, including vague allegations of sexual relations with mediums biasing his arguments. Then we come upon this misrepresentative assault (this version is from the Rational Wiki article on Myers as of November 14, 2013, 1:03 PST):
    “The skeptic Joseph McCabe discovered false information in Myers book Phantasms of the Living (1886) a book which documented anecdotal experiences of apparitions and phantasms. Myers included an alleged “personal experience” by a retired Judge Edmund Hornby involving a visitation from a spirit, however the whole thing was a hoax and Hornby admitted there was no truth in it. Myers did not do proper research on the subject.”
    The reality is quite different, and when we conduct a full investigation into this, we gain extreme doubt that the RW coverage of spiritualism or any other subject they don’t like is in any way reliable or, in the cases where they may accurately cite sources, if it is in any way objective. As follows:
    First, McCabe did repeat such insinuations, but not in the manner alleging that Myers made things up, as RW editors defamatorily insinuate. He states of Edmund Hornby that he “could only mutter that he did not understand his own mistake”: https://archive.org/stream/isspiritualismba00mccarich#page/98/mode/2up
    Doing relevant primary source research we