Aug 14 2017

Tribal Epistemology

Tribalism550In the early days of my skeptical career I spent time investigating and deconstructing classic pseudosciences, like belief in Bigfoot, astrology, UFOs, and ghosts. I was often challenged as to why I even bothered – these are all silly but harmless beliefs. Is it really worth the time to dissect exactly why they are nonsense?

But my fellow skeptics and I knew the answer. We were interested not so much in the beliefs themselves but the believers. How does someone get to the point that they believe that the relative position of the stars at the moment of their birth could influence the wiring in their brain and even their destiny? At the time I think the answer most activist skeptics, including myself, would give was scientific illiteracy. People simply lack knowledge of science and fills the gaps with entertaining fantasy.

Lack of scientific knowledge definitely plays a role, and is an important problem to address, but it was naive to think it was the main cause. Such explanations do not survive long with contact with actual believers. It becomes rapidly clear that the primary malfunction of true believers is not a lack of information or scientific savvy. It’s something else entirely.

My explanations for why people believe nonsense then evolved into stage 2 – a lack of critical thinking skills. Scientific knowledge needs to be coupled with an understanding of epistemology (how we know what we know), logic, cognitive biases and heuristics. This view, that belief in nonsense is mainly a failure of critical thinking, is a lot closer to the truth. Our strategy for fighting against belief in pseudoscience and magic evolved into promoting not only scientific literacy but critical thinking skills.

The topics on which we focused also shifted, I think partly reflecting this changing view of what, exactly, we were combating. At this time we were experiencing the rise of alternative medicine, and anti-vaccine views, 9/11 and other conspiracy theories. These were topics with more meat, and more cultural significance. We still got frequent questions about why we bother, but mostly from true believers who were annoyed that we were calling them out of their bad arguments and false facts.

Then social media happened. I don’t think this fundamentally changed people, the nature of belief, or even the topics we dealt with. What it did do, combined with other social forces I will also discuss, is dramatically increase the echochamber effect. It became increasingly easy for people to hunker down in ideologically pure corners of the internet to cultivate their narrative and insulate themselves from any dissent.

At the same time we saw the rise of ideological media. David Roberts wrote a great summary of this a few months ago, and what he called “tribal epistemology.” He was writing from a political point of view, but the phenomenon extends also to conspiracy thinking, alternative medicine, food fanatics, natural-is-best warriors, vaccine deniers, and even flat-earthers. This, I think, is stage 3 – the primary cause of belief in nonsense is narrative or tribal thinking, which is only facilitated by scientific illiteracy and lack of critical thinking skills.

People tend to make sense of the world through stories, or narrative thinking. There is nothing inherently wrong with this, and it seems to be a core way in which our brains work. We are storytelling animals. But the narrative should be only a tool, subservient to facts and logic, and flexible and adaptable to change. What happens too often, however, is that the narrative takes control. It is no longer determined by facts – it determines what facts we believe.

I have written about narrative thinking in terms of alternative medicine, organic farming, and other issues. I do think understanding the role of narratives is critical to understanding why we believe what we believe and in combating harmful nonsense.

What Roberts is talking about is what happens when the narrative becomes a part of someone’s tribal identity. That is tribal epistemology – something is true if it supports my tribe, and it is fake if it is inconvenient or antagonistic to my tribe.

I agree with his basic premise, because not only do people rely upon this simple rule to determine what to believe, they may even do so explicitly to replace traditional institutions of knowledge and rules of evidence. Proponents of alternative medicine want to literally change or even abolish the methods by which we determine what is safe and effective in medicine. They want to change the rules of science, or abandon science entirely, and disconnect regulations from scientific evidence, and even to eliminate the standard of care. The changes they are attempting to impose on the institutions of medicine are more important than any one snake oil treatment they happen to be promoting.

We are now seeing the same thing in the political arena. The institutions of information – academia, the media, experts – have been attacked as illegitimate in order to fend off their pesky standards of facts, transparency, and fairness because their conclusions were ideologically inconvenient. That, primarily, is what is meant by a “post-truth” world. We no longer share common institutions or standards when it comes to information. Every ideological group can have their own media, their own experts, and their own information. Everything else is fake, or part of some conspiracy, or hopelessly compromised by conflicts of interest.

Of course, the world is messy, and there is often a kernel of truth to the excuses people use to dismiss information they don’t like. Media outlets are biased. Scientists do make mistakes and disagree with each other at times. There is uncertainty about everything. There are serious quality control issues in every institution.

However, ditching common institutions and standards was not motivated by these flaws. The flaws were simply used to justify opposing them, which was primarily for ideological reasons. The end result is an historic level of polarization, with different tribes lacking any common ground. We can’t even agree on basic facts, or how to determine what a fact is.

Many of us have probably experienced this first hand with people we know well. I have. If not, then you only need to spend a little time in social media to see its effects.

The narrative has won. Institutions of knowledge and legitimacy are failing. No one knows the path forward, but we better figure it out. Meanwhile, I will continue to be a stage 3 skeptic – fighting for science, and critical thinking, and against tribal epistemology.

640 responses so far

640 Responses to “Tribal Epistemology”

  1. goldmund52on 14 Aug 2017 at 10:24 am

    “The end result is an historic level of polarization, with different tribes lacking any common ground.”

    I wonder if there is any empirical evidence of that. It reminds me of Steven Pinker’s book The Better Angels of our Nature, where he notes that people generally believe that violence is increasing, while statistically all kinds of violence have been decreasing (albeit unevenly) for centuries, including recent decades.

    One counter example is the Mormon Church, which is about as tribal as it gets. “Pew Research [is] showing a retention rate of Mormon millennials at 64 percent, compared to the 1970s and ’80s when retention was at 90 percent for born-and-raised Mormons.” KUTV news April 14, 2016.

    It seems plausible that highly networked communication might be a force for decreasing tribalism if you could actually measure it broadly.

  2. Bill Openthalton 14 Aug 2017 at 10:52 am

    Steven —

    hat, primarily, is what is meant by a “post-truth” world. We no longer share common institutions or standards when it comes to information.

    Apart from the fact there never was a “truth” world — there simply weren’t as many tribes. The religious people always believed in their bigfoot, but it was a bigfoot polished and made acceptable through centuries of common beliefs. When science begot technology, and effective medical treatments, it became –for a while– the near universal consensus religion had been through the belief science would solve all our problems. Then, people discovered science had no absolute answers, technology couldn’t solve everything, and medical treatments had side-effects, and the same mental mechanisms that enabled the escape from religion enabled people to escape from science.

    The narrative has won. Institutions of knowledge and legitimacy are failing.

    Human belief systems and ideologies cannot be based in unassailable facts. One cannot start a religion based on a belief in gravity — it’s too obvious. Deities have always filled the gaps in knowledge, and religions have constantly adapted their gods to the ever shrinking gaps in human knowledge (the god of the old testament is not the god from the new testament, and the god from 50 CE wasn’t as evanescent as today’s christian god).

    Given that humans seem to be needing common beliefs (call it religion, ideology or even a social contract), and given that (at least in my analysis) these beliefs cannot be based on facts, there is not much one can do.

  3. DisplayGeekon 14 Aug 2017 at 11:32 am

    “Escape from science”??!?!? WTF? Seriously. WTF?!

  4. Steven Novellaon 14 Aug 2017 at 12:16 pm

    There is objective evidence we are getting more partisan, at least in the last 25 years: http://www.people-press.org/2016/06/22/partisanship-and-political-animosity-in-2016/

    Sure, there are many complex social and psychological factors at stake. People have not fundamentally changed. But I am pointing to one specific difference that I think is real and is having an effect. Essentially there has been an attack against norms and institutions that should be playing a moderating role specifically to have unfettered promotion of partisan views.

    This is a self-reinforcing effect, because the more partisan people become the more they are willing to dismiss sources of information they disagree with as biased, flawed, compromised, or downright dishonest, which makes them even more partisan, etc.

    Social media has many positive effects, but perhaps the worst negative effect is that it makes is really easy to cultivate sources of information that are ideologically in line with your views, and to find justifications for dismissing everything else. This is not new – but the magnitude of this effect is dramatically greater.

  5. David Twitchon 14 Aug 2017 at 3:18 pm

    If lack of scientific knowledge was stage 1, and stage 2 is critical thinking, does stage 3 add in other factors such as genetics, psychology, evolutionary psychology and perhaps even our political systems? Don’t we need to learn a lot more about why some people are more strongly disposed to fear, paranoia, magical thinking etc.? Critical thinking seems like one small part of the equation, and just as much an effect as a cause?

    For example, don’t fear and paranoia make it that much harder to learn to think critically?

    I’m curious if any studies have been done to show how political systems impact critical thinking skills on a country by country basis?

  6. Ian Wardellon 14 Aug 2017 at 3:24 pm

    It would be better to actually read arguments from skeptics as to why they believe that “ghosts” don’t exist rather than them simply *assuming* that such notions are nonsense.

    What do you mean by a “ghost” for example? An apparition whose existence is not wholly a creation of the percipient’s mind? We need to bear in mind that most apparitions seen are of living people. So would they be “ghosts”? And then there’s different types of apparitions e.g. the apparitions of hauntings do not appear to be the same type as something like crisis apparitions — the former seem to be more akin to a type of recording in the environment and do not seem to me to provide compelling evidence for a “life after death”.

    Of course, try discussing this with a skeptic and one will get precisely nowhere. They simply typically have a complete lack of knowledge of this subject. Yet they confidently assert that “ghosts” don’t exist even though they know absolutely nothing about the subject, or even know what they mean by the word “ghost”.

    “Critical thinkers”? Strange how people twist and warp the meanings of words until the acquired meaning bears little relationship to the original meaning.

  7. bachfiendon 14 Aug 2017 at 4:16 pm

    I take it Ian (‘read my blog’) Wardell hasn’t written on ‘ghosts’ previously, since he hasn’t referred to his website.

    We know what ‘ghosts’ are. We’ve all seen and read (and loved) Harry Potter.

  8. TheGorillaon 14 Aug 2017 at 4:26 pm

    Implying facts and narratives are separate things

  9. David Twitchon 14 Aug 2017 at 5:26 pm

    “skeptic…typically have a complete lack of knowledge of…“ghosts”…they know absolutely nothing about the subject.”

    You’ve made me want to learn a lot more about ghosts. I’ll get right on that….right after I learn all about flat earth theory.

  10. mumadaddon 14 Aug 2017 at 5:37 pm

    “And then there’s different types of apparitions e.g. the apparitions of hauntings do not appear to be the same type as something like crisis apparitions — the former seem to be more akin to a type of recording in the environment and do not seem to me to provide compelling evidence for a “life after death”.”

    I love this! That guy who doesn’t believe in magic doesn’t even know the difference between these various kinds of magic! And yet he has the temerity to dismiss magic!

  11. BillyJoe7on 14 Aug 2017 at 5:41 pm

    Ian,

    Well of course ghosts don’t exist.
    The very idea is preposterous!

    On the other hand….

    http://images4.fanpop.com/image/photos/19800000/Beautiful-Fairies-peterslover-19878559-390-400.jpg

    “And who comes here to wish me well?
    A sweetly-scented angel fell.
    She laid her head upon my disbelief
    and bathed me with her ever-smile”

    (“A Passion Play”, Jethro Tull)

  12. hardnoseon 14 Aug 2017 at 7:25 pm

    “Meanwhile, I will continue to be a stage 3 skeptic – fighting for science, and critical thinking, and against tribal epistemology.”

    Your narrative is that you have transcended narrative. You have found the ONE TRUE PATH to knowledge.

    Sorry there is no escape from human nature., and no you ARE NOT GOD.

  13. hardnoseon 14 Aug 2017 at 7:29 pm

    Most of the things Steve N lists as impossible nonsense are actually just things that don’t fit with the atheist/materialist narrative.

    All the NESS guys are deeply rooted in their tribal narrative — that materialism adequately describes and explains the world.

  14. Enfant Terribleon 14 Aug 2017 at 8:02 pm

    Scientific evidence for ghosts:

    a) https://med.virginia.edu/perceptual-studies/wp-content/uploads/sites/360/2015/11/KEL12-SomeDirectionsforMediumshipResearch.pdf (2010)

    b) https://med.virginia.edu/perceptual-studies/wp-content/uploads/sites/360/2016/12/KEL13JNMD-2011-Mediumship-Paper.pdf (2011)

    c) https://www.academia.edu/12269961/Anomalous_information_reception_by_research_mediums_demonstrated_using_a_novel_triple-blind_protocol (2015)

    d) http://www.acampbell.org.uk/bookreviews/r/gauld-2.html

  15. Johnnyon 14 Aug 2017 at 8:17 pm

    @hardnose: “Most of the things Steve N lists as impossible nonsense are actually just things that don’t fit with the atheist/materialist narrative.”

    I think you overlook the fact that skepticism is, at least primarily, a method and not a set of beliefs. The things listed could turn out to be correct, and skepticism would still be valid. It’s just that they don’t happen to be correct as far as the evidence is concerned. We use skepticism to help determine what is most likely valid, and what is most likely not valid.

    Also, conspiracy theories such as 9/11 are perfectly compatible with atheism/naturalism as they typically don’t involve anything supernatural.

  16. hardnoseon 14 Aug 2017 at 8:33 pm

    “… they don’t happen to be correct as far as the evidence is concerned.”

    For a lot of the things he listed as nonsense, there is no conclusive evidence either way. He just doesn’t like them, because they are at odds with materialism/atheism.

    Conspiracy theories like 9/11 are a different category. There is evidence against the 9/11 conspiracy theory, and it has been pretty well debunked. The believers are motivated by their political narrative.

    The organized “skeptics” are highly motivated by their atheist ideology, and they will not accept any evidence that contradicts it. They are not skeptics at all.

  17. Bill Openthalton 14 Aug 2017 at 8:49 pm

    DisplayGeek —
    In our Western countries, many people are no longer religious, something no-one in the 14th Century would have believed possible. The popular belief that science, rather than religion, could solve our problems made the shift away from religion possible. However, compared to religion, science doesn’t offer certainty or peace of mind, which is what people need, and can find in a religion or ideology. As I said, one cannot base a religion on facts. At the core of a religion one needs unverifiable dogma. To the non-believer, these dogmas are ridiculous but to the believer they are evident (think immaculate conception or an archangel conveying the word of god).
    People abandoned religion not for the uncertainties of scientific knowledge, but for the certainty of the belief that science would solve humanity’s problems. Because this belief is not tenable — science does correct itself rather publicly — people in need of certainty abandon science for unscientific dogma (like vaccines cause autism).
    Does that make more sense?

  18. bachfiendon 14 Aug 2017 at 8:59 pm

    Hardnose,

    ‘For a lot of things he listed as nonsense, there is no conclusive evidence either way.’

    The important point is that for the things Steve Novella listed (Bigfoot, astrology, UFOs, and ghosts), there should be evidence that they’re true or exist. But there isn’t, which is overwhelmingly important.

    And as time goes on, the lack of evidence becomes increasingly damning.

  19. Robneyon 14 Aug 2017 at 11:08 pm

    Absence of evidence is not evidence for absence – but only to the extent that one hasn’t looked for evidence.

    For example, we can casually infer the Loch Ness monster doesn’t exist from the fact that it would be very improbable for a breeding population of large animals to escape detection and leave no physical evidence. If we surveyed every inch of Loch Ness and still found no evidence, then our inference would become very strong. The absence of evidence would indeed be strong evidence of absence.

    So it is fallacious to say regarding ghosts “there is no conclusive evidence either” way as if their existence is a 50/50 proposition. If ghosts exist then we would expect to find a level of confirming evidence that would at least elevate their existence above the possibility of Nessy – but we don’t. And in fact, the existence of ghosts is far less likely than Nessy, because Nessy at least fits within our current understand of physics and does not require an entire new domain of existence to be assumed to make their existence tenable aside from the complete lack of confirming evidence.

  20. bachfiendon 15 Aug 2017 at 1:49 am

    Robney,

    The existence of the Loch Ness monster is rendered impossible on the basis of physics. It’s not possible to have just one plesiosaur like animal within a small lake which somehow has managed to survive the 65 million years since the K-Pg event.

    There would have to be a reproducing population within the loch, requiring enough fish to sustain them.

    It might be possible to have missed one Loch Ness monster, despite many years of looking. It’s impossible to have missed many. Inverness isn’t exactly an out of the way Place.

  21. SteveAon 15 Aug 2017 at 7:19 am

    bachfiend

    As an ex-Londoner I can tell you that anything north of Watford is a foul, mist-shrouded wasteland in which any manner of grotesque creatures could lurk, and probably does.

  22. Steven Novellaon 15 Aug 2017 at 7:20 am

    Ian – I have done extensive investigation of ghosts and ghosthunters. That was not the topic of this article, however, and I only made a casual reference to the topic. Your assumption that I am not familiar with ghost lore is not accurate.

    Enfant – you are cherry picking. If you look at the entire ESP literature it is clear that the most parsimonious inference is that ESP does not exist. There is a lot of p-hacking in the ESP literature, and they all fail on rigorous replication.

  23. hardnoseon 15 Aug 2017 at 12:25 pm

    People have reported seeing ghosts since forever. You have to believe that most people are nuts to say there is absolutely no evidence.

  24. hardnoseon 15 Aug 2017 at 12:25 pm

    And the laws of physics have nothing to do with it.

  25. Enfant Terribleon 15 Aug 2017 at 4:03 pm

    “If you look at the entire ESP literature it is clear that the most parsimonious inference is that ESP does not exist. There is a lot of p-hacking in the ESP literature, and they all fail on rigorous replication.”

    Even skeptics replicated psi experiments. One example is Ganzfeld:

    a) Delgado-Romero, Edward A. and Howard, George S.(2005) ‘Finding and Correcting Flawed Research Literatures’, The Humanistic Psychologist, 33: 4, 293-303. [2] “After eight studies, we had an overall hit rate of 32% (which agrees with the positive meta-analyses) and, in fact, our hit rate was also statistically significant, χ2(1) = 4.03, p < .05".

    b) Smith, M. D., & Savva, L. (2008). Experimenter effects in the ganzfeld. In Proceedings of the 51st Annual Convention of the Parapsychological Association (pp. 238-249). [3] "The overall hit-rate was 34.2% (39/114 trials) and was statistically significant (p=0.02)".

    And if you look in Ganzfeld for articles which uses only artists and musicians in the population, you will find 100% of success, with scores usually above 40%. This is "rigorous replication" to me.

    I) Schlitz, M. J., & Honorton, C. (1992). Ganzfeld psi performance within an artistically gifted population. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, Vol. 86, Number 2, pp. 83-98.
    Results: 10 direct hits in 20 trials. (50%)

    II) Morris, R., Cunningham, S., McAlpine, S., & Taylor, R. (1993). Toward replication and extension of autoganzfeld results. Proceedings of Presented Papers: The Parapsychological Association 36th Annual Convention, 177–191.
    Results: 13 direct hits in 32 trials (40,6%)

    III) Morris, R. L., Dalton, K., Delanoy, D., & Watt, C. (1995). Comparison of the sender/no sender condition in the ganzfeld. In Proceedings of the 38th Annual Parapsychological Association Convention (Vol. 244).
    Results: 32 direct hits in 97 trials (33%)

    IV)Dalton, K, (1997). Exploring the links: Creativity and psi in the ganzfeld. Proceedings of Presented Papers: The Parapsychological Association 40th Annual Convention, 119-134.
    Results: 60 direct hits in 128 trials (47%)

    V) Morris, R. L., Summers, J., & Yim, S. (2003). Evidence of anomalous information transfer with a creative population in ganzfeld stimulation. Proceedings of the 46th Annual Convention of the Parapsychological Association, pp. 116–131.
    Results: 15 direct hits in 40 trials (37,5%)

  26. BillyJoe7on 15 Aug 2017 at 5:17 pm

    ET,

    I don’t care about your references.
    Particle physics has already excluded the possibility of ESP.
    You are wasting your time on this stuff.

  27. Enfant Terribleon 15 Aug 2017 at 5:54 pm

    BillyJoe7,
    could you explain to me how “particle physics has already excluded the possibility of ESP”? Or at least give me a reference?

  28. hardnoseon 15 Aug 2017 at 8:59 pm

    “Particle physics has already excluded the possibility of ESP.”

    Nonsense.

  29. CKavaon 15 Aug 2017 at 9:21 pm

    This is “rigorous replication” to me.

    The ‘to me’ part is the crucial part of this statement. If you find tiny effect sizes that barely reach statistical significance compelling then you haven’t been paying attention to the recent damning methodological critiques that have emerged in the wake of Bem’s psi-paper and the ‘replication crisis’.

  30. Nidwinon 16 Aug 2017 at 4:16 am

    Telepathy in homo sapiens sapiens is not only non-existant but completely useless as we had already a heap of ways to communicate with each other the moment our ancestors split off from the common ancestor they shared with the old-chimps. (simple and short comment on Ganzeld-ESP stuff)

    On topic
    A study that could be interresting is to compare skepticism/critical thinking in young children vs non Dr Novella stage 2 or 3 adults. Young ones can be extremely skeptical about everything they see or are being told and they seem to often give whatever you tell them a second thought. I’m sure that all of us have had the pleasure to have discussions with those little ones so no need to give examples.

    It could be that our education, including parental, and social construct in which elder, parents, teacher, authority is always right so accept this answer and move on, put the young ones skepticism and simple/complex ability for critical thinking in a dormant state at one point in time.

  31. Steven Novellaon 16 Aug 2017 at 7:54 am

    The Ganzfeld experiments were a failure. They suffered from fatal methodological problems and only ESP true-believers were able to squeeze a barely significant effect out of their p-hacking crap.

    “For example, Julie Milton and Richard Wiseman published their own meta-analysis of ganzfeld studies and concluded that “the ganzfeld technique does not at present offer a replicable method for producing ESP in the laboratory” (1999). ”

    And Susan Blackmore, at the time a believer, investigated the labs directly because she could not replicate the effect and found:
    “These experiments, which looked so beautifully designed in print, were in fact open to fraud or error in several ways, and indeed I detected several errors and failures to follow the protocol while I was there. ”

    Hardly compelling evidence needing a rewrite of the physics textbooks.

  32. hardnoseon 16 Aug 2017 at 8:37 am

    Susan Blackmore is an anti-psi activist.

    As in most areas of scientific research, you can find critics and advocates who draw opposite conclusions.

    You SELECT only one side of the story.

    Tribal.

  33. Nidwinon 16 Aug 2017 at 9:02 am

    Susan Blackmore was saved from the magical thinking delusion, quite some time ago.
    Susan did have a couple of relapses during her healing period but at the end she got through all the freaking pseudo-crap.

    She once was one of you hardnose, but the evil creatures we are dragged her out of the crappy poop and she has become one of the embassadors of evil critical thinking and skepticism.

  34. Enfant Terribleon 16 Aug 2017 at 9:38 am

    01 – “The Ganzfeld experiments were a failure. They suffered from fatal methodological problems and only ESP true-believers were able to squeeze a barely significant effect out of their p-hacking crap.”

    No, you are wrong about this. Savva is a famous skeptic of psi and he got significant results. The reference I already mentioned. It is the reference (b) in my post.

    02 – “For example, Julie Milton and Richard Wiseman published their own meta-analysis of ganzfeld studies and concluded that “the ganzfeld technique does not at present offer a replicable method for producing ESP in the laboratory” (1999). ”

    Julie and Wiseman’s metanalysis received criticisms even by the skeptics. The skeptics (which also got positive and significant results in ganzfeld) of my reference (a) wrote:

    ‘Milton and Wiseman (1999) employed a rather puzzling form of meta-analysis. They reviewed 30 studies and weighted each study equally (i.e., unweighted procedure), rather than the widely accepted procedure of weighting each study by the study’s sample size (i.e., weighted procedure). Thus, one study that ran only 4 pairs of subjects received the same weighting in the overall Effect Size (ES) as did another that tested 100 pairs. Using the more common weighted procedure, the mean ES more than doubled from .013 to .028.’ (footnote in page 297)

    03 – “And Susan Blackmore, at the time a believer, investigated the labs directly because she could not replicate the effect”

    This was in 1979. Very, very old. This was even before the Joint Communiqué published by Hyman and Honorton in 1986. Susan said in 1997:

    “I have come to the conclusion that Honorton has done what the sceptics asked, that is he has produced results and they cannot be due to any very obvious experimental flaw. I think he has pushed the sceptics like myself into the position of having to say it is either some extraordinary flaw which nobody has thought of, or it is some kind of fraud – or that it is genuine ESP.” “Too many sceptics have been condescending in their attitude. There arguments are ad hoc and poorly referenced. I think a real challenge has now been presented,” Blackmore says.”

    http://www.dichotomistic.com/mind_readings_psi%20ganzfeld.html

    This same opinion she had already expressed in 1993, in the article:

    Blackmore, S. J. Charles Honorton’s legacy to parapsychology. Skeptical Inquirer, 17, 306-8. (1993)

    04 – Hardly compelling evidence needing a rewrite of the physics textbooks.

    Since even the skeptics are getting positive and significant results in ganzfeld, I think it’s time to rewrite the textbooks.

  35. Enfant Terribleon 16 Aug 2017 at 10:21 am

    “If you find tiny effect sizes that barely reach statistical significance compelling then you haven’t been paying attention to the recent damning methodological critiques that have emerged in the wake of Bem’s psi-paper and the ‘replication crisis’.”

    The effect sizes and statistical significance in ganzfeld are much higher, specially when the experimenter use an artistic population. With a ‘normal population’ the statistical significance is around 32% (against 25%), and with an artistic population, 41%. And even skeptics replicated positive and significant results in ganzfeld.

  36. hardnoseon 16 Aug 2017 at 11:09 am

    “Since even the skeptics are getting positive and significant results in ganzfeld, I think it’s time to rewrite the textbooks.”

    It will not be necessary to rewrite the physics textbooks. There is NOTHING in physics that would make psi unlikely. And there ARE things in physics, such as entanglement, that should make us question some of our “common sense” ideas about the world.

  37. Enfant Terribleon 16 Aug 2017 at 11:37 am

    Hardnose,

    I mean to rewrite to at least to mention the experiments that give evidence for paranormal phenomena.

  38. Steven Novellaon 16 Aug 2017 at 2:20 pm

    blackmore wrote her criticisms in 2016 – not old. http://www.csicop.org/si/show/what_can_the_paranormal_teach_us_about_consciousness

    Her point is that much of the experiments in the meta-analyses were from labs where she personally observed the techniques and they were terrible. So clearly there are huge metholodigical problems. Daryl Bem, who has no credibility after his feeling the future debacle, is also involved.

    there is no clean data set, no consistently repeatable results. The effects sizes are typically small, small enough that a little bit of p-hacking is all you need. This is not compelling evidence of an entirely new phenomenon. If you think it is, then you are extremely naive about the limitations of such studies.

  39. hardnoseon 16 Aug 2017 at 2:39 pm

    It is NOT an “entirely new phenomenon.” Psi has been studied scientifically for over a century, and has been experienced in all eras and civilizations.

    It is a big mistake to trust the opinion of one attention-seeking anti-psi activist (Blackmore).

    There IS one big problem with psi research — and it may also be a problem in other research areas. In psi research, it is not possible to control experimenter effects. Some experimenters never get positive results, others often do. When you are experimenting with mental phenomena, you cannot exclude mental influences.

    That is probably the ONLY reason psi effects are not always consistent.

  40. Enfant Terribleon 16 Aug 2017 at 3:53 pm

    05 – “blackmore wrote her criticisms in 2016 – not old. http://www.csicop.org/si/show/what_can_the_paranormal_teach_us_about_consciousness

    No, Steven, look at the top of the page: Skeptical Inquirer Volume 25.2, March / April 2001.

    06 – “Her point is that much of the experiments in the meta-analyses were from labs where she personally observed the techniques and they were terrible.”

    Maybe in 1978-1979. Not since 1986. In 1993 new improvements happened too. In the 2001 article she is refering to her visit in 1978:

    “I tried my first ganzfeld experiment in 1978, when the procedure was new. Failing to get results myself I went to visit Sargent’s laboratory in Cambridge where some of the best ganzfeld results were then being obtained. Note that in Honorton’s database nine of the twenty-eight experiments came from Sargent’s lab. ”

    These 9 of the 28 experiments were performed between 1974 and 1982. Before the Joint Communiqué.

    07 – “So clearly there are huge metholodigical problems.”

    Wrong again. You can see this by yourself in the article that Blackmore wrote in 2001:

    “The ganzfeld achieved scientific respectability in 1994 when Bem and Honorton published a report in the prestigious journal Psychological Bulletin, bringing the research to the notice of a far wider audience. They republished Honorton’s earlier meta-analysis and reported impressive new results with a fully automated ganzfeld procedure — the Princeton autoganzfeld — claiming finally to have demonstrated a repeatable experiment. Not long afterwards Wiseman, Smith, and Kornbrot (1996) suggested that acoustic leakage might have been possible in the original autoganzfeld. This hypothesis was difficult to assess after the fact because by then the laboratory at Princeton had been dismantled. However, Bierman (1999) carried out secondary analyses which suggested that sensory leakage could not account for the results. Since then further successes have been reported from a new ganzfeld laboratory in Gothenburg, Sweden (Parker 2000), and at Edinburgh, where the security measures are very tight indeed (Dalton, Morris, Delanoy, Radin, Taylor, and Wiseman 1996).”

    08 – “Daryl Bem, who has no credibility after his feeling the future debacle, is also involved.”

    Richard Wiseman too. The new improvements are according to his guidelines. See:

    Dalton, K. S., Morris, R. L., Delanoy, D. L., Radin, D. I., Taylor, R., & Wiseman, R. (1996). Security measures in an automated ganzfeld system. The Journal of Parapsychology, 60(2), 129-147

    Or even before:

    DELANOY, D., WATT, C. A., MORRIS, R. L., & WISEMAN, R. (1993). A new methodology for free-response testing outwith the laboratory: Findings from experienced participants. Proceedings of Presented Papers: The Parapsychological Association 36th Annual Convention, pp. 204-221.

    09 – there is no clean data set, no consistently repeatable results. The effects sizes are typically small, small enough that a little bit of p-hacking is all you need.

    You say this because you stopped in 1978. Again, improvements happened in 1986, and new improvements in 1993. Dalton (1997), using preselected artistic participants with positive attitudes towards psi and previous psi experiences, obtained a 47% hit rate in 128 trials. Parra and Villanueva (2006), who used participants that were mostly psi believers and reported having previous psi experiences and training in meditation, found a 41% hit rate in 138 trials. Skeptics replicated the ganzfeld experiments in 2005 and in 2008.

    10 – This is not compelling evidence of an entirely new phenomenon. If you think it is, then you are extremely naive about the limitations of such studies.

    If skeptics and believers working together and obtaining significant and positive results are not compelling evidence of an entirely new phenomenon, then nothing is.

  41. BillyJoe7on 16 Aug 2017 at 5:19 pm

    ET,

    You are wasting time and space.
    Either QFT is false or ESP does not exist.
    QFT is the most thoroughly supported theory in all of science.

    Not only is there no mechanism for ESP, there is no possible mechanism for ESP.

  42. hardnoseon 16 Aug 2017 at 6:37 pm

    BillyJoe7,

    Your statements are nonsensical. You just can’t accept scientific facts, when they don’t fit your mechanistic, reductionist, materialist, atheist worldview.

  43. Bill Openthalton 16 Aug 2017 at 7:05 pm

    hardnose & E.T. —
    Okay, now that ESP is a scientific fact, how about turning all that theoretical knowledge into some practical, useful technology?

  44. hardnoseon 16 Aug 2017 at 7:49 pm

    “how about turning all that theoretical knowledge into some practical, useful technology?”

    You know that isn’t the point. Steve N called the research “crap.” His opinion on parapsychology is obviously tribal. His whole reputation as a materialist/atheist depends on parapsychology being a total failure.

    Do you really think the goal of all scientific research has to be useful technology? There is no value in trying to understand things? Are you aware that basic scientific research does not have a goal of immediate practical applications?

    I’m sure you know all that, you are just grasping for ways to bash parapsychology.

  45. RickKon 16 Aug 2017 at 8:04 pm

    No ET, not good enough – not nearly.

    When armies of skeptics are getting significant positive results across many different types of experiments, then and only then should you begin to believe in something that so totally defies our (highly useful, predictive and effective) models of physics.

    Only religion has more true believers than ESP. Watching you list positive studies from parapsych magazines is like watching an acupuncturist listing positive Chinese studies. Hint – all Chinese studies of acupuncture efficacy are positive – every one. Given that stunningly obvious and sweeping example of motivated reasoning and bias in hundreds and hundreds of supposedly “scientific” studies, it is quite easy to sweep your handful of parapsych studies away. It is not only easy, it is imperative for anyone with intellectual integrity.

    There have been too many claims of ESP that have fizzled to nothing or proved to be hoaxes or experimenter bias. ESP believers have the credibility of ghost hunters. If you were credible, ET, you’d start by telling us that you’ve spent years disproving ESP claims and have a long track record of uncovering delusions and frauds. But no, you came here already a true believer.

    Get some real evidence. Get someone who claims real powers and challenge a major university science department (or a set of stage mentalists) to disprove their claims. When the powers survive that test, then come back and talk to us.

    Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. You ain’t got it.

  46. Enfant Terribleon 16 Aug 2017 at 8:14 pm

    Bill Openhthalt,

    ESP is already useful. And this is admitted in Criminology. See, for example:

    a) PRACTICAL HOMICIDE INVESTIGATION, by VERNON J. GEBERTH. (4th edition)

    “The professional homicide detective uses many tools in the investigation to assist in the retrieval of information, some of which may be inaccessible through ordinary methods. A somewhat sensational and often controversial practice is the use of psychics. The purpose of this section is to provide the investigator with information on the use of a psychic in homicide investigations.”

    “Practically speaking, police officers are naturally skeptical of psychics and psychic phenomena. However, from an investigative point of view, anything that has proven to be successful in one investigation should certainly be considered in other cases. It should be noted that information provided by the psychic may not always be accurate and in some instances may have no value to the investigation. However, this should not discourage authorities from using a psychic, especially in homicide cases where information is limited. The use of a psychic can be considered as an additional investigative aid. Empirical research into psychic phenomena has been limited, and no “hard” research data are available to indicate an accurate percentage of cases materially aided by the use of psychic phenomena. However, investigatively speaking, documentation of successes has been sufficient to merit the consideration of this technique on a case-by-case basis.”

    b) INTRODUCTION TO LAW ENFORCEMENT AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE (Ninth Edition), by KÄREN M. HESS, Ph.D., Normandale Community College

    “The use of psychics in investigations has also been popularized by the media. Many investigators place absolutely no faith in psychics, but other investigators have found them to be helpful, especially in cold cases. According to Martinez (2004, p.52), who has successfully used psychics: “A psychic can be a tool in the investigator’s toolbox, but it wouldn’t be the first tool you’d look for.”

  47. Enfant Terribleon 16 Aug 2017 at 8:46 pm

    “Hint – all Chinese studies of acupuncture efficacy are positive – every one. ”

    No, you’re wrong.

    a) A randomized double blind comparison of real and placebo acupuncture in IVF treatment
    Emily Wing Sze So, Ernest Hung Yu Ng1, Yu Yeuk Wong, Estella Yee Lan Lau, William Shu Biu Yeung, and Pak Chung Ho

    Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong, People’s Republic of China

    “The aim of this randomized double blind study was to compare real acupuncture with placebo acupuncture performed on the day of ET in patients undergoing IVF treatment. The hypothesis was that real acupuncture performed on the day of ET significantly improved the pregnancy rate of IVF treatment.”

    Results: “The overall pregnancy rate was significantly higher in the placebo acupuncture group than that in the real acupuncture group (55.1 versus 43.8%, respectively, P = 0.038; Common OR 1.578, 95% CI 1.047–2.378) (Table II). No significant differences in rates of clinical pregnancy, ongoing pregnancy, live birth rate, implantation, miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy were demonstrated between real and placebo acupuncture groups.”

  48. BillyJoe7on 17 Aug 2017 at 12:30 am

    ET,

    Now read your reference and tell us what you find when you actually read it.
    Let’s see if you can at least be honest.

  49. Nidwinon 17 Aug 2017 at 4:04 am

    The issue with parapsychology and all the pseudo science is that it has found it’s way into the “business” world and generates billions of $,€,… every year without a dust of evidence for psi-chi-ESP-gods-ghosts to exist or even being possible.

    What amazes me is that even the CIA and Feds in the USA have clearly stated that all the research in the paranormal was one big failure, nothing to see in the end, but people are still promoting and buying into that crap.

    It was certainly worth a try but this shizz has to stop as there are more urgent matters that needs our attention. e.g. SCS (spinal cord stimulators) science bordeline pseudo.

  50. SteveAon 17 Aug 2017 at 5:29 am

    Enfant Terrible: “ESP is already useful. And this is admitted in Criminology.”

    C’mon ET, neither quote is a ringing endorsement is it? And if you don’t think a ‘criminologist’ can be as gullible as anyone else, I think you’re mistaken.

    And, really, pointing to a paragraph of text in a random textbook and saying “there, that proves it” is pretty weak. What about the many, many, many paragraphs (supported by real evidence) that say ESP is crap? Are we just ignoring those?

    From my reading on the subject, there are only two legitimate reasons why listening to a ‘psychic’ might be considered useful by law enforcement:

    First, that person might have genuine knowledge about a case, but for various reasons does not want to disclose the real source.

    Second, a click-bait news headline on the lines of ‘Psychic investigates such-and-such murder’ might be able to spark-up renewed interest in a cold-case, news which might otherwise be lost in the back pages.

    Now, I don’t expect you to change your mind after reading this since you seem pretty committed to your ideas, but at the same time I hope you realise that you’ll have to come up with something a lot more compelling to get any traction here.

  51. BillyJoe7on 17 Aug 2017 at 6:50 am

    Nidwin,

    “It was certainly worth a try…”

    Actually, no it wasn’t…

    If parapsychologists followed the methodology of scientific inquiry, they would look what we know about the laws of physics, realize that their purported subject of study had already been ruled out, and within thirty seconds would declare themselves finished. Anything else is pseudoscience, just as surely as contemporary investigation into astrology, phrenology, or Ptolemaic cosmology. Science is defined by its methods, but it also gets results; and to ignore those results is to violate those methods.

  52. Nidwinon 17 Aug 2017 at 7:12 am

    BillyJoe7

    Yes and no.

    The way the ESP-hunting-squad did their research was clearly wrong as they tried to find methods to find a way to reach 30-40% to proof that ESP being real. Replace the well known Ganzcrap cards by french tarot cards (78) and see how close they get to their 30-40%. All their methodoloy sucks at start and it gets worse in the controlled area in the labs.

    But proper investigation about certain claims through good research is valuable and important, even if it’s just to confirm that it doesn’t work or doesn’t exists. Dr Novella wrote that it was worth to give accupuncture a try, you never know, as it could have some benefits.

  53. Bill Openthalton 17 Aug 2017 at 7:20 am

    hardnose —

    Do you really think the goal of all scientific research has to be useful technology? There is no value in trying to understand things? Are you aware that basic scientific research does not have a goal of immediate practical applications?

    No, but a lot of scientific knowledge segues naturally into useful technology. And useful technology is what gets scientific facts accepted. Reliable, useful technology also proves to non-scientists that research hasn’t merely confirmed the existence of a phenomenon, but understands why it happens.

    The point is that even if we accept that ESP research has proved these phenomena exist, it hasn’t formulated a testable hypothesis for their occurrence. I am all for basic research, and value “understanding things”, but ESP research isn’t delivering understanding, just weak statistical “proof” of unreliable information transfer by means unknown (and no, “entanglement” and “quantum” aren’t credible explanations for ESP — you’ll have to do the math).

  54. BillyJoe7on 17 Aug 2017 at 7:51 am

    Nidwin,

    “Dr Novella wrote that it was worth to give accupuncture a try, you never know, as it could have some benefits”

    That doesn’t sound like Dr. Novella.
    Maybe you’ve represented what he said.
    In any case, I disagree – if well established physics rules out your idea, it’s a waste of time and space to proceed to testing your idea.

    From another Steven:

    But suppose that someone today reported evidence that there are seven golden cities somewhere in modern Texas. Would you open-mindedly recommend mounting an expedition to search every corner of the state between the Red River and the Rio Grande to look for these cities? I think you would make the judgment that we already know so much about Texas, so much of it has been explored and settled, that it is simply not worthwhile to look for the mysterious golden cities. In the same way, our discovery of the connected and convergent pattern of scientific explanations has done the very great service of teaching us that there is no room in nature for astrology or telekinesis or creationism or other superstitions

  55. Enfant Terribleon 17 Aug 2017 at 8:34 am

    “Now read your reference and tell us what you find when you actually read it.”

    That the placebo acupuncture got much better results than the real acupuncture for in vitro fertilization embryo transfer (IVF-ET).

  56. Nidwinon 17 Aug 2017 at 8:35 am

    BillyJoe7

    He did wrote something about a positive attitude towards accupunture, till it was clear it’s just wishfull thinking stuff. Anyway.

    Agreed about it being pointless to investigate the seven golden cities as long as someone can’t pinpoint there exact location.

    I’m, and some others out there, are actually in that position at this point in time. But because the medical world and academia says that what we can do is impossible and they don’t have the tech to properly investigate our claim we’re in a lose lose situation. The difference with pseudos and their seven golden cities is that we actually now where our “golden cities” are located. I won’t score 35% but 100% in my claim and I’m not afraid of the 1 000 fellow skeptics that will join the research. 😉

  57. Nidwinon 17 Aug 2017 at 8:37 am

    ouch, sorry for the horrible English and typos. 🙁

  58. Enfant Terribleon 17 Aug 2017 at 9:10 am

    “What amazes me is that even the CIA and Feds in the USA have clearly stated that all the research in the paranormal was one big failure, nothing to see in the end, but people are still promoting and buying into that crap.”

    CIA:

    a) “The Agency took the initiative by sponsoring serious parapsychological research, but circumstances, biases, and fear of ridicule prevented CIA from completing a scientific investigation of parapsychology and its relevance to national security. […] Tantalizing but incomplete data have been generated by CIA-sponsored resea rch. These data show, among other things, that on occasion unexplained results of genuine intelligence significance occur. This is not to say that parapsychology is a proven intelligence tool; it is to say that the evaluation is not yet complete and more research is needed”.

    https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/CIA-RDP96-00791R000200030040-0.pdf

    b) “Viewer did well […] in receiving the information”

    https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/CIA-RDP96-00789R001401150001-9.pdf

    c) “There can be no question that Hella can repeatably, although not reliably, produce information not available through normal means.” (page 3 of 61)

    https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/CIA-RDP96-00787R000700090008-0.pdf

    d) “Hella Hammid provided a series of accurate and precise impressions of events, locations and descriptions of factual evidentiary knowledge, which in most cases, were never revealed to the press or news media and known only by the six officers of the homicide investigating team.”

    https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/CIA-RDP79-00999A000200010021-2.pdf

  59. Enfant Terribleon 17 Aug 2017 at 9:51 am

    My comment for Nidwin is waiting moderation. I think it’s because the number of links.

  60. Enfant Terribleon 17 Aug 2017 at 10:08 am

    “And, really, pointing to a paragraph of text in a random textbook and saying “there, that proves it” is pretty weak. What about the many, many, many paragraphs (supported by real evidence) that say ESP is crap? Are we just ignoring those?”

    Of course not. But is this “real evidence” really good? How was the methodology? See, in ganzfeld, we got much better results if we select the population that believes in psi and is artistic. We got usually 40% hit rate in this case. But if we use a population that is not artistic but believes in psi, we got 32% hit rate. And if we use a population that is not artistic neither believes in psi, we achive chance results (25%). The experiment is exatly the same, but the population change all the results.

    “From my reading on the subject, there are only two legitimate reasons why listening to a ‘psychic’ might be considered useful by law enforcement”

    Well, I am sorry to say that, but I am pretty sure that your reading about this subject is very poor.

  61. Enfant Terribleon 17 Aug 2017 at 10:25 am

    BillyJoe7,

    “If parapsychologists followed the methodology of scientific inquiry, they would look what we know about the laws of physics, realize that their purported subject of study had already been ruled out, and within thirty seconds would declare themselves finished. Anything else is pseudoscience, just as surely as contemporary investigation into astrology, phrenology, or Ptolemaic cosmology. Science is defined by its methods, but it also gets results; and to ignore those results is to violate those methods.”

    BillyJoe7 is quoting Sean Carroll:

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/2008/02/18/telekinesis-and-quantum-field-theory/#.WZWkAVWGOHs

    Carroll is talking about telekinesis only. Right, he mentions telepathy, but very briefly. The core of his article is telekinesis. As I understand, he says that telekinesis is impossible by the laws of physics. Well, he is wrong:

    https://arxiv.org/pdf/0801.0382.pdf

  62. Bill Openthalton 17 Aug 2017 at 11:38 am

    E.T. —

    OMG. That PDF of yours is hilarious. It’s poetry.

    Actually, physicists D. Radin, head of electrical engineering department at Duke University, assumes that poltergeist movements are repulsive versions of the Casimir effect that can put pressures on objects (see item d) in Section 2) [18].

    D(ean) Radin? Our beloved Dean Radin, he of The Conscious Universe, who happens to be an MS in Electrical Engineering but never worked at Duke U and isn’t a physicist?

    And then this howler:

    A decrease in entropy (creation of order) in brain of pubescent people throws a greater amount of entropy (disorder) into the brain environment, which, in exceptional cases, originates poltergeist disturbances. In practice, poltergeist is interpreted as a by-product of the entropy increase (dS/dt)Env expected in consequence of the second law. This interpretation is based on two sound achievements of the past century physics, that is, quantum electrodynamics of vacuum and nonequilibrium thermodynamics. /blockquote>

    And of course, it has to be sexual:

    On this basis, the most conservative hypothesis is that a special self-organization process takes place in brain during years of puberty. This process, very fast as compared with that creating the human being organism, should activate the network of sexual neurons. Electrons in neuron molecules should be engaged in entropy-decreasing fluctuations leading to a dissipative structure. But brain is imbued with the vacuum distribution of electron-positron pairs which fills the space. Consequently, these fluctuations should throw excess entropy SEnv into surrounndig space so enhancing there the density of pairs, that’ to say, the vacuum polarization.

    Marcus Morgan, here’s some serious competition.

  63. Bill Openthalton 17 Aug 2017 at 11:40 am

    Apologies for the blockquote typo.

  64. hardnoseon 17 Aug 2017 at 12:27 pm

    “a lot of scientific knowledge segues naturally into useful technology”

    That seldom happens with psychology research. Why do you have different standards for parapsychology? Because atheists hate parapsychology.

  65. hardnoseon 17 Aug 2017 at 12:31 pm

    Steve N said Daryl Bem hs no credibility, and his precognition research was a “debacle.”

    That is entirely UNTRUE. Bem followed the standard psychology practices, very carefully. NO ONE found anything wrong with his experiments, or how they were analyzed.

    Atheists understandably got upset because they hate parapsychology. So they decided the standard practices of psychology need to be changed.

    That is very different from being discredited.

    You can find some outright lies about Bem on some atheists sites. But most of the criticisms are fair and acknowledge that there was NOTHING incorrect or suspicious about his research.

  66. Enfant Terribleon 17 Aug 2017 at 12:39 pm

    “That PDF of yours is hilarious.”

    Your ‘argument’ too.

  67. hardnoseon 17 Aug 2017 at 12:42 pm

    “BillyJoe7 is quoting Sean Carroll”

    The atheists here always quote Sean Carroll.

  68. Enfant Terribleon 17 Aug 2017 at 2:07 pm

    Since my comment is still waiting moderation probably because the number of links, I put my comment here:

    https://app.box.com/s/weu69vtxthv6xr2imdbfb8swb1ttuxjh

  69. BillyJoe7on 17 Aug 2017 at 3:17 pm

    ET,

    So, not only are you gullible, you are also dishonest.

    You need to read and understand articles you link to but you don’t do either.
    That article on acupuncture and IVF put a positive spin on the totally negative result.
    You haven’t read and don’t understand what Sean Carroll is saying because you are clueless about QFT.
    You haven’t read and don’t understand the article that you linked to as a “refutation”.

    You are incapable of distinguishing fact from fantasy and science from pseudoscience.

  70. Ian Wardellon 17 Aug 2017 at 3:20 pm

    ET
    “BillyJoe7 is quoting Sean Carroll”.

    Trust Billyjos, a clueless nitwit quoting another clueless nitwit. I’ve written about Sean Carroll on my blog:

    http://ian-wardell.blogspot.co.uk/2016/07/sean-carroll-and-philosophy-of-mind-and.html

  71. Enfant Terribleon 17 Aug 2017 at 3:49 pm

    BillyJoe7

    a) “So, not only are you gullible, you are also dishonest.”

    Let’s see…

    b) “That article on acupuncture and IVF put a positive spin on the totally negative result.”

    So, the result was negative. This clearly refutes “all Chinese studies of acupuncture efficacy are positive – every one.” That was my point. By the way, the authors wrote: “Our findings were clearly contradictory to those of other studies”.

    c) “You haven’t read and don’t understand what Sean Carroll is saying because you are clueless about QFT. You haven’t read and don’t understand the article that you linked to as a “refutation”.You are incapable of distinguishing fact from fantasy and science from pseudoscience.”

    You know that nothing that you wrote above is a valid argument, right?

  72. BillyJoe7on 17 Aug 2017 at 5:21 pm

    Ian (see-my-blog) Wardell,

    What Sean Carroll is saying about QFT is not controversial amongst particle physicists.
    And you are what…a cottage philosopher?…calling Sean Carroll out on QM!

    Don’t make me laugh.

  73. BillyJoe7on 17 Aug 2017 at 5:21 pm

    ET,

    No. It’s a dismissal.

  74. Bill Openthalton 17 Aug 2017 at 5:22 pm

    Dearest hardnose —

    That seldom happens with psychology research. Why do you have different standards for parapsychology? Because atheists hate parapsychology.

    Because ESP has got nothing to do with psychology. ESP is the transfer of information via hopefully quantum, so it’s not unreasonable to think, for example, of an ESP amplifier, or ESP recorder — now that research has proved ESP exists. But here’s the rub, accepting that ESP research indeed proves its existence doesn’t give us a boson’s worth of insight in how ESP works.

  75. hardnoseon 17 Aug 2017 at 5:53 pm

    “accepting that ESP research indeed proves its existence doesn’t give us a boson’s worth of insight in how ESP works.”

    Proving its existence is a first step. Of course parapsychologists are trying to go beyond that, since most of them feel the evidence is conclusive. Sure they want to know how it works. It isn’t always simple to find out how things work. AS YOU MUST KNOW.

  76. Bill Openthalton 17 Aug 2017 at 5:59 pm

    E.T. —

    Your ‘argument’ too.

    I wasn’t making an argument. “Some conjectures about the mechanism of poltergeist phenomenon” by P. Brovetto and V. Maxia doesn’t need a refutation, it implodes through its own stupidity.

    c) Rappings. – The most intriguing occurrence is perhaps that of the drumming noises. It could happen that the decrease in bonding energy is great enough that some oxygen molecules in the air are split in two atoms. These 2 molecules own three degrees of freedom due to their movement in space, two degrees due to rotation around two axes mutually orthogonal and orthogonal to the line joining the atoms and one degree due to anharmonic oscillation of atoms along this line. In total six degrees of freedom. Two oxygen atoms also own six degrees due to their independent movements in space. Owing to the kinetic energy equipartition theorem which allots energy kT /2 to each degree of freedom, the energy owned by these degrees is always 6kT /2 (k = 1.38×10−23 J K−1) [6]. So, no effect on kinetic energy is expected due to the molecule splitting, while, on the contrary, pressure of oxygen is doubled. A fast increase in pressure could originate a burst and a succession of bursts the drumming noise. Obviously, the same effect is allowed for nitrogen molecules.

    The stupid, it burns.

  77. Bill Openthalton 17 Aug 2017 at 6:04 pm

    hardnose —

    I am waiting with baited breath for a plausible hypothesis for ESP. Alas, I fear I’ll be dead an buried before that happens, even though my real name is Connor MacLeod.

  78. hardnoseon 17 Aug 2017 at 7:19 pm

    “I am waiting with baited breath for a plausible hypothesis for ESP”

    Whether or not ESP has been explained is not relevant to this discussion. We are saying that ESP has been demonstrated by parapsychologists.

    You are desperately trying to change the subject.

    Lots of things have not been explained by science, but you demand a complete explanation for ESP. Makes no sense.

  79. Bill Openthalton 17 Aug 2017 at 7:26 pm

    hardnose —
    Since when is “a plausible hypothesis” the same as “a complete explanation”?

  80. Pete Aon 17 Aug 2017 at 7:47 pm

    [hardnose] Whether or not ESP has been explained is not relevant to this discussion. We are saying that ESP has been demonstrated by parapsychologists.

    As has: astrology been demonstrated by astrologers; chiropractic been demonstrated by chiropractors; homeopathy been demonstrated by homeopaths; the flat Earth been demonstrated by flat Earth societies; …; Zen Buddhism been demonstrated by Zen Buddhists.

  81. BillyJoe7on 18 Aug 2017 at 7:56 am

    I had to descend into the sewer to get this 🙁

    Ian Wardell:

    “there’s this persistent misunderstanding, and one that Carroll seems to share, that scientific theories describe reality in their totality”

    Sean Carroll:

    “To conclude from my post that I was convinced we had a full understanding of any of those things represents, at a minimum, a rather uncharitable reading, given that no one in their right mind thinks we have such an understanding. Nevertheless, I knew people would raise this point as if it were an objection, which is why I was extra careful to say “We certainly don’t have anything close to a complete understanding of how the basic laws actually play out in the real world — we don’t understand high-temperature superconductivity, or for that matter human consciousness, or a cure for cancer, or predicting the weather, or how best to regulate our financial system.” And then, at a risk of being repetitive and boring, I added “Again, not the detailed way in which everything plays out, but the underlying principles.” And for emphasis there was something about “the much more jagged and unpredictable frontier of how the basic laws play out in complicated ways.””

    This is what Sean Carroll has to put up with…random idiots on the internet with zero knowledge of QFT – like Ian Wardell and hardnose – criticising an actual particle physicists writing in his field of expertise.

  82. hardnoseon 18 Aug 2017 at 8:58 am

    “not the detailed way in which everything plays out, but the underlying principles.”

    He thinks the underlying principles are understood. He is WRONG.

  83. Enfant Terribleon 18 Aug 2017 at 9:35 am

    “astrology been demonstrated by astrologers; chiropractic been demonstrated by chiropractors; homeopathy been demonstrated by homeopaths; the flat Earth been demonstrated by flat Earth societies; …; Zen Buddhism been demonstrated by Zen Buddhists.”

    Excepted for homeopathy and chiropractic, not in scientific journals. In fact, there are many scientific articles showing the lack of evidence for such things. I don’t know any scientific article published in a scientific journal showing evidence for flat earth (at least in the last two centuries). The situation is the opposite for ESP. Even skeptics got positive results for ESP. I don’t know what is the case for Zen Buddhism. Now, let’s see astrology:

    a) “We are now in a position to argue a surprisingly strong case against natal astrology as practised by reputable astrologers”.

    Carlson, Shawn. A double blind test of Astrology. Nature, Londres, v. 318, n. 6045, p. 419-425; 5 dec. 1985.

    Avaliable at: http://www.objectiveastrology.net/uploads/1/6/7/2/16726802/a_double-blind_test_of_astrology_carlsons_original_article_in_nature.pdf

    I don’t know about medicine, so I can’t argue about homeopathy and chiropractic. But I know that are positive and negative results for homeopathy, and there are studies with high and low quality. Skeptics says that the better results for homeopathy are in studies with low quality. It may be. I don’t know. But again, the case is much different for ESP, in which even skeptics like Blackmore admit that all the studies for telepathy in Ganzfeld have a very high quality (at least since 1986, and specially since 1993), and even skeptics replicated the experiments with positive and significant results.

  84. Enfant Terribleon 18 Aug 2017 at 9:46 am

    Bill Openthalt,

    “I wasn’t making an argument.”

    I know. That’s why I wrote ‘argument’.

    ““Some conjectures about the mechanism of poltergeist phenomenon” by P. Brovetto and V. Maxia doesn’t need a refutation, it implodes through its own stupidity.”

    Only to say that is stupid is not a valid argument. Why don’t you write to the authors and show to them how they are stupid? Or you can do even better, write to a scientific journal showing the mistakes of the article. I would like to see that.

  85. BillyJoe7on 18 Aug 2017 at 3:23 pm

    The problem with these contrarians is that they get right into the fringe before ever having studied real science. They therefore become completely bamboozled by BS and when you refer them to real science, they don’t recognise it and all they can do is shout “NONSENSE”, “NITWIT”, “WRONG”. They cannot actually address the science because they’ve never read it and are incapable of understanding it. Of course they don’t understand the BS either, but they don’t need to, they just suck it all in, lock, stock and barrel, especially if it fits right in with their preconceived ideology. And if it contradicts real science, well that’s just icing on the cake. These guys are willfully ignorant. Bem proved that when he fooled them into believing that the future effects the past. It you can believe that, you can believe anything, and you have lost all sense and proportion of what’s real.

  86. Enfant Terribleon 18 Aug 2017 at 4:11 pm

    “Bem proved that when he fooled them into believing that the future effects the past. It you can believe that, you can believe anything, and you have lost all sense and proportion of what’s real.”

    Really? Well, the mainstream don’t think that.

    https://phys.org/news/2017-07-physicists-retrocausal-quantum-theory-future.html

  87. BillyJoe7on 18 Aug 2017 at 5:34 pm

    ET,

    You have no idea.
    Hint: category error.
    And that’s just for a start…

  88. BillyJoe7on 18 Aug 2017 at 5:41 pm

    Why is it that these guys never seem to read their references and links!

  89. hardnoseon 18 Aug 2017 at 6:04 pm

    BillyJoe7 only has one argument strategy — call everyone who disagrees with him ignorant and stupid.

    Notice he is not capable of arguing rationally or giving scientific evidence for his narrow-minded ideology.

    On the dimensional level we inhabit, time and causality seem one-directional. But we have good reasons to think this is not the case on higher levels. Physicists have been saying this kind of thing for half a century.

  90. Enfant Terribleon 18 Aug 2017 at 6:29 pm

    “Why is it that these guys never seem to read their references and links!”

    Really? I mean… REALLY?!

    “We conclude that the most plausible response to our result, other than giving up Realism, is to posit that there might be retrocausality in nature. At the very least, this is a concrete and little explored possibility that holds the promise of evading almost all no-go theorems in the foundations of quantum theory, so it should be investigated further.”

    Leifer MS, Pusey MF. 2017 Is a time symmetric interpretation of quantum theory possible without retrocausality? Proc. R. Soc. A 473: 20160607. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspa.2016.0607

  91. Bill Openthalton 18 Aug 2017 at 6:32 pm

    E.T. —

    It is not because someone publishes a paper with generic expositions and formulas that what they say makes sense. And it doesn’t help when the English is atrocious — I know the authors are Italian, but that’s not an excuse for not getting someone to proofread it. arXiv contains “self-archived” papers, there is no guarantee of quality or peer-review — anything goes.

    The biggest failure of the article is that it assumes that the “poltergeist phenomena” are real based on a few anecdotes and a quotation from a “physicist of [the] Max Planck institute” suffices to establish that the phenomena are real (one of the authors’ own experience in a cinema in 1947 seems to have turned them into believers).

    The authors then come up with a near magical device (an overall “decrease in the molecular bond strength” through “bubbles or plumes in which vacuum polarization is substantially enhanced, so reducing e and consequently the chemical bond strengths”) to explain why objects spontaneously combust, electrical equipment fails, O2 molecules are split and create rapping sounds, and objects move all by themselves.

    The “enhanced vacuum polarization” is achieved through (don’t laugh) puberty (“a modification of the child body which involves various organs, chiefly the brain”). The authors then venture into discussing Maxwell’s demon (which they call “devil”), the chirality of proteins, “Prigogine’ nonequilibrium thermodynamics of open systems” (sic), and Belousov–Zhabotinsky reactions to arrive at the unsubstantiated conclusion that “A decrease in entropy (creation of order) in brain of pubescent people throws a greater amount of entropy (disorder) into the brain environment, which, in exceptional cases, originates poltergeist disturbances.” Unsubstantiated because they merely discuss these subjects as if they were quoting from introductory texts. There are lots of generic formulae, but nothing is tied together.

    Finally, it doesn’t occur to them that their theory doesn’t explain why only specific objects in their “bubbles or plumes of decreased molecular bond strength” are affected. A disturbance strong enough to “push cases of wine bottles down a rack”, set “curtains, blankets and shirts” on fire or cause “heavy damages to office machinery and to electric and telephone lines” would also affect the observers and anything else within its sphere of influence, not least the brain that causes the disturbance (“This process obviously concerns a limited environment of brain, of size perhaps not exceeding some meters across”).

    Human stupidity and gullibility is indeed infinite.

  92. Pete Aon 18 Aug 2017 at 7:11 pm

    Enfant Terrible,

    Your comments strongly suggest that you have totally failed to understand the 21st-century scientific meanings of the terms “entropy”, “order”, and “disorder”.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entropy_(order_and_disorder)#Difficulties_with_the_term_.22disorder.22

  93. Enfant Terribleon 18 Aug 2017 at 7:31 pm

    Bill Openthalt,

    a) “I know the authors are Italian, but that’s not an excuse for not getting someone to proofread it. arXiv contains “self-archived” papers, there is no guarantee of quality or peer-review — anything goes.”

    The article is published in a journal with peer-review and impact factor:

    Brovetto, P., & Maxia, V. (2008). Entropy Increase in Vacuum: A Conjecture About the Mechanism of Poltergeist Phenomenon. NeuroQuantology, 6(2). Avaliable at: https://neuroquantology.com/index.php/journal/article/viewFile/172/172

    NeuroQuantology is a quarterly peer-reviewed interdisciplinary scientific journal that covers the intersection of neuroscience and quantum mechanics.

    Impact factor: http://www.scijournal.org/impact-factor-of-NEUROQUANTOLOGY.shtml

    b) “The biggest failure of the article is that it assumes that the “poltergeist phenomena” are real based on a few anecdotes and a quotation from a “physicist of [the] Max Planck institute” suffices to establish that the phenomena are real (one of the authors’ own experience in a cinema in 1947 seems to have turned them into believers).”

    Is this the biggest problem? So, no problem! There is replication of these cases in more recent years, witnessed by the scientist himself, which is also a magician. The reference is:

    MACHADO, F. R. ; ZANGARI, W. Estudo de três casos poltergeist em São Paulo. In: Tercer Encuentro Psi 1998: Consciencia y Psi como Fronteras de Exploración Cientifica, 1998, Buenos Aires. Actas del Tercer Encuentro Psi 1998. Buenos Aires: IPP, 1998. v. 1. p. 75-81.

    The article is avaliable here (in Portuguese): https://app.box.com/s/myz1gm2ltmngkk8ls87ixh6izi23ost5

    c) “A disturbance strong enough to “push cases of wine bottles down a rack”, set “curtains, blankets and shirts” on fire or cause “heavy damages to office machinery and to electric and telephone lines” would also affect the observers and anything else within its sphere of influence, not least the brain that causes the disturbance”

    And who told you that the observers and anything else within its sphere of influence are not affected?

  94. Enfant Terribleon 18 Aug 2017 at 8:47 pm

    Pete A,

    “Your comments strongly suggest that you have totally failed to understand the 21st-century scientific meanings of the terms “entropy”, “order”, and “disorder”.”

    In my comments I said nothing about those things.

  95. BillyJoe7on 19 Aug 2017 at 12:43 am

    ET,

    So you can cherry pick and quote out of context.
    Congratulations.

    You said this is a mainstream idea, but even a quick superficial glance at that paper reveals that that is exactly what it is not.
    (Apart from the category error of equating macro with micro physics)
    I would quote you, but I’m sick of doing you job for you.

    What hope is there for someone who believes that studying for your exam tomorrow will improve his results in an exam held today!

  96. BillyJoe7on 19 Aug 2017 at 12:45 am

    ET,

    Pete didn’t say that you commented on them.
    He said your comments strongly suggest you are clueless about them.

  97. Ian Wardellon 19 Aug 2017 at 7:50 am

    Billyjoe said:
    “I had to descend into the sewer to get this ”

    You certainly did! What is your game?

    BillyJoe says that Sean Carroll claims I have read him uncharitably??

    This is absolutely *OUTRAGEOUS*!

    I specifically quote him where he essentially says that what he labels the “core theory” is correct.

    And if — contrary to what he implies — it is it *not* correct, but only a close approximation that successfully describes a specific domain or realm i.e the world in abstraction from consciousness, then his argument against ESP simply evaporates.

    It rhymes with clucking bell…

    BillyJoe also says:

    “This is what Sean Carroll has to put up with…random idiots on the internet with zero knowledge of QFT – like Ian Wardell and hardnose – criticising an actual particle physicists writing in his field of expertise”.

    But I’m not talking about particle physics that is a subject I have absolute *ZERO* interest in ( I doubt elementary particles refer to an actual literal state of affairs for a kick off). I was arguing that his “argument” against ESP is wholly devoid of any merit.

    BillyJoe, are there no limits to your complete inability to understand??

  98. Ian Wardellon 19 Aug 2017 at 8:04 am

    BillyJoe claims Sean Carroll said:

    “We certainly don’t have anything close to a complete understanding of how the basic laws actually play out in the real world — we don’t understand high-temperature superconductivity, or for that matter human consciousness, or a cure for cancer, or predicting the weather, or how best to regulate our financial system.” And then, at a risk of being repetitive and boring, I added “Again, not the detailed way in which everything plays out, but the underlying principles.” And for emphasis there was something about “the much more jagged and unpredictable frontier of how the basic laws play out in complicated ways.””

    What Carroll says here does not seem to me to be an acknowledgement that our current theories are highly unlikely to describe reality in their entirety. But if he does acknowledge this, then he contradicts himself when he says:

    “If these mental properties affected the behavior of particles in the same way that physical properties like mass and electric charge do, then they would simply be another kind of physical property. You are free to postulate new properties that affect the behavior of electrons and photons, but you’re not simply adding new ideas to the Core Theory (the enormously successful model of the particles and forces that make up you, me, the sun, the moon, the stars, and everything you have ever seen, touched, or tasted in all your life). Instead, you are saying that it is wrong. If mental properties affect the evolution of quantum fields, there will be ways to measure that effect experimentally, at least in principle, not to mention all of the theoretical difficulties with regard to conservation of energy and so on that such a modification would entail. It’s reasonable to assign very low credence to such a complete overhaul of the very successful structure of known physics”.

    Sighs . .it’s hard work trying to get materialists to understand anything on this subject.

  99. BillyJoe7on 19 Aug 2017 at 8:54 am

    It’s impossible to get some self-styled philosophers – and legends in their own mind – to understand anything about science, especially physics, and especially particle physics.

    There is no contradiction in what Sean Carroll says in the two quotes above.
    But how can you expect someone with zero interest in particle physics to understand that.
    And he does not say the core theory is correct – there’s a one big and one small qualifier there, but I’ve pointed them out so often before I can’t be bothered to do it all over again. But, even with those qualifiers, QFT has still killed ESP stone dead.

    And, LOL, Ian has “ZERO interest in particle physics” but he argues against Sean Carroll whose argument is totally based on QFT.
    It’s QFT (the most successful theory in all of science) versus ESP.
    Who you gunna pick?

    BTW, the sewer was Ian’s blog. But you knew that.

  100. hardnoseon 19 Aug 2017 at 9:02 am

    “QFT has still killed ESP stone dead.”

    I think even this blog’s author would disagree with you on that.

    This post is about tribal thinking — well you exemplify that BillyJoe7.

  101. BillyJoe7on 19 Aug 2017 at 9:21 am

    Having an open mind doesn’t mean you have to risk losing it.
    You wanna do better at today’s exam by studying tomorrow, you go right ahead. I’m going for a run in the hills.

  102. Ian Wardellon 19 Aug 2017 at 11:54 am

    BillyJoe, particle physics doesn’t rule out ESP, or make ESP unlikely. If materialism is incorrect then we’re simply in no position to say that ESP is a priori unlikely.

    As for my blog post on Carrol, you need to specify where I go wrong in my reasoning rather than simply throwing out insults or/and going off on a tangent.

  103. RickKon 19 Aug 2017 at 1:00 pm

    Ian said: “If materialism is incorrect then we’re simply in no position to say that ESP is a priori unlikely.”

    “If physics and science in general are incorrect, then we’re simply in no position to say that ESP is a priori unlikely.”

    There, I fixed it for you.

    ESP is not a priori unlikely – it’s experimentally and theoretically demonstrated to be impossible. The rejection of ESP claims is not arbitrary, it’s based on centuries of intensive searching, centuries of fraud, centuries of confirmation bias and wishful thinking, and centuries of utter, unremitting failure.

    Meanwhile, the scientific mechanisms that have demonstrated the emptiness of “parapsychology” are the same mechanisms that make it possible for you to sit there, reasonably well fed, in a comfortably controlled climate, espousing your evidence-immune religious beliefs over a global digital communications network.

    So as BillyJoe says – it’s your wishful thinking versus science. There’s only one choice for anyone who puts personal value on intellectual integrity.

  104. hardnoseon 19 Aug 2017 at 1:50 pm

    “ESP is not a priori unlikely – it’s experimentally and theoretically demonstrated to be impossible”

    Maybe you could share the link to that research? Oh well, maybe not, since it does not exist.

    [Meanwhile, the scientific mechanisms that have demonstrated the emptiness of “parapsychology” are the same mechanisms that make it possible for you to sit there, reasonably well fed, in a comfortably controlled climate, espousing your evidence-immune religious beliefs over a global digital communications network.]

    It has been explained many times before at this blog — not that materialists are capable of hearing anything that contradicts their tribal ideology — MATERIALISM and science are NOT the same thing. Materialism did NOT give us the modern conveniences you love so much.

    Those conveniences, by the way, are the cause of the climate change you worry so much about. But I can’t blame them on materialism, since materialism is an ideology and is unrelated to science.

  105. Pete Aon 19 Aug 2017 at 2:17 pm

    hardnose has, as usual, unwittingly exemplified the core points of Dr. Novella’s article. As do both Micheal Egnor and Ian Wardell 🙂

  106. Pete Aon 19 Aug 2017 at 3:15 pm

    Enfant Terrible,

    BillyJoe7 replied to you:

    Pete didn’t say that you commented on them.
    He said your comments strongly suggest you are clueless about them.

    Yes indeed! You have abjectly confirmed, Enfant Terrible, via your reply to me on 18 Aug 2017 at 8:47 pm

    Pete A,

    “Your comments strongly suggest that you have totally failed to understand the 21st-century scientific meanings of the terms “entropy”, “order”, and “disorder”.”

    In my comments I said nothing about those things.

    that you did not bother to read the references, and/or the suggestions for further reading, contained within the documents to which you have linked in your comments.

    Although you did not personally mention the specific technical terms to which I was referring, the article(s) to which you linked do indeed directly or indirectly refer to these terms.

    Of course, the other possibility for my observation that “Your comments strongly suggest that you have totally failed to understand the 21st-century scientific meanings of the terms ‘entropy’, ‘order’, and ‘disorder’.” is that I was using my innate powers of ESP. Well, I’ve thus far scored a success rate of 100% accuracy, and I’m fairly sure that I shall be able to maintain a success rate of much higher than circa 34%, in your particular case.

  107. Pete Aon 19 Aug 2017 at 3:41 pm

    As a humorous aside: Those who request the provision of an edit button in the comments section of this blog are simply requesting retrocausality to become reliably true at the macroscopic level of reality!
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retrocausality

  108. CKavaon 19 Aug 2017 at 5:31 pm

    Enfant Terrible

    The effect sizes and statistical significance in ganzfeld are much higher, specially when the experimenter use an artistic population. With a ‘normal population’ the statistical significance is around 32% (against 25%), and with an artistic population, 41%. And even skeptics replicated positive and significant results in ganzfeld.

    This comment just shows that you don’t understand what the terms ‘effect size’ and ‘statistical significance’ mean. Citing percentages as you’ve done above is irrelevant to the criticism. If you are going to advocate for these kind of studies I recommend investing some time to try and learn about the statistical methods being used- if you do so, you will quickly realise why the studies are not as compelling as you believe.

  109. CKavaon 19 Aug 2017 at 5:49 pm

    That is entirely UNTRUE. Bem followed the standard psychology practices, very carefully. NO ONE found anything wrong with his experiments, or how they were analyzed.

    That’s hilarious hardnose.

    It’s almost like you set out to construct a perfectly untrue statement.

    Not only were Bem’s experiments found to be incredibly flawed and failed independent replications but his study has become a paradigmatic case study in psychology of how to do bad statistical analysis. Bem’s study inadvertently led to the entire field recognising the problematically low standards that had crept in with NHST. Moreover, Bem’s article has served as the paradigmatic case for several papers by statisticians that explain in detail the problems associated with his study and analysis.

    Not to mention that Bem himself recognised many of the flaws in his studies in interviews and explained that he wasn’t personally interested in rigor and rather preferred serving as a catalyst for others to test his ‘provocative’ findings.

    You’ve had all this pointed out before, you’ve had the problems with Bem’s ‘follow up’ papers (generous term given he includes studies conducted before the original) highlighted and you’ve demonstrated that you do not understand the statistics used or grasp the critiques, you’ve read the article where Bem admits his studies were flawed and yet you persist in your ideologically infused misrepresentation … it’s actually pretty impressive.

    I mean you even go farther than Bem in misrepresenting his studies. Great job.

  110. Enfant Terribleon 19 Aug 2017 at 7:06 pm

    BillyJoe7,
    It is a mainstream idea. AAAS already did 3 symposiums debating retrocausality and precognition, and the American Institute of Physics published many article s about these subjects.

  111. Enfant Terribleon 19 Aug 2017 at 8:23 pm

    Pete A,

    “Although you did not personally mention the specific technical terms to which I was referring, the article(s) to which you linked do indeed directly or indirectly refer to these terms.”

    And? I just would like to remember you that one of the authors, Piero Brovetto (1926-2013), still is much recognized in Italy for his work in Physics. Here is what the Italian Physical Society wrote about him:

    https://www.sif.it/attivita/saggiatore/ricordo/brovetto

    Indeed, there is a prize with his name.

    Now, if your criticism of Brovetto’s article is about “a decrease in entropy” = “creation of order” or “greater amount of entropy” = “disorder”, even your wikipedia article says that “In the 2002 encyclopedia Encarta, for example, entropy is defined as a thermodynamic property which serves as a measure of how close a system is to equilibrium, as well as a measure of the disorder in the system”.

    But we can found more in your wikipedia article:

    “To highlight the fact that order and disorder are commonly understood to be measured in terms of entropy, below are current science encyclopedia and science dictionary definitions of entropy:

    (a) A measure of the unavailability of a system’s energy to do work; also a measure of disorder; the higher the entropy the greater the disorder.[5]
    (b) A measure of disorder; the higher the entropy the greater the disorder.[6]
    (c)In thermodynamics, a parameter representing the state of disorder of a system at the atomic, ionic, or molecular level; the greater the disorder the higher the entropy.[7]
    (d) A measure of disorder in the universe or of the availability of the energy in a system to do work.

    (a) and (b) and (c) are exactly what we found in Brovetto’s article.

  112. Enfant Terribleon 19 Aug 2017 at 8:33 pm

    Pete A,

    since you are mentioning the “21st-century scientific meanings of the terms “entropy”, “order”, and “disorder””, I just would like to remember you that the years 2002, 2004, 2005 already are in 21st century.

    (a) A measure of the unavailability of a system’s energy to do work; also a measure of disorder; the higher the entropy the greater the disorder.[5]

    [5] Oxford Dictionary of Science, 2005

    (b) A measure of disorder; the higher the entropy the greater the disorder.[6]

    [6] Oxford Dictionary of Chemistry, 2004

    (c) In thermodynamics, a parameter representing the state of disorder of a system at the atomic, ionic, or molecular level; the greater the disorder the higher the entropy [7]

    [7] Barnes & Noble’s Essential Dictionary of Science, 2004

  113. Enfant Terribleon 19 Aug 2017 at 8:53 pm

    CKava,

    “If you are going to advocate for these kind of studies I recommend investing some time to try and learn about the statistical methods being used- if you do so, you will quickly realise why the studies are not as compelling as you believe.”

    Even Susan Blackmore wrote that the studies are very compelling. I have a translation in Portuguese of her article (1993) in Skeptical Inquirer, which you can found here:

    https://app.box.com/s/enz95cl2x69m647m3yb8kr8yr9zr20y8

    “All those interested in parapsychology, whether believers, unbelievers or skeptics, should take these results seriously. They can’t be easily discarded. They obey the majority, if not all, requirements set by the skeptics, and the results were very important, convincing to many of the reality of psi in the laboratory.” (my translation from Portuguese to English, so the words that she uses in her original text may be not exactly these, but the meaning is).

    By the way, Jessica Utts, who is a very famous statistician, also think the results are very compelling.

  114. CKavaon 19 Aug 2017 at 9:21 pm

    Making appeals to authority does not address your obvious lack of familiarity with the relevant statistics. You are arguing that these studies are super compelling without displaying any understanding of the relevant statistical concepts. I again strongly advise you to invest some of the time you are spending reading psi advocates to instead looking into basic statistics.

    Jessica Utts is a statistician but just like it’s easy to find some individual biologists who doubt evolution or certain physicists who denounce general relativity, individuals do not reflect the consensus or standards of a field. If you have a genuine rather than purely ideological interest I suggest looking into the key publications of the replication crisis and then apply what you discover to psi papers and the psi research field more generally.

  115. hardnoseon 19 Aug 2017 at 9:54 pm

    CKava,

    You simply read and believed everything Skepdic said about Bem. You made no attempt to find unbiased descriptions of what really happened.

    You, and others here, think the way to be scientific is to get all your information from Skepdic, Sean Carroll, and Dawkins.

  116. hardnoseon 19 Aug 2017 at 10:03 pm

    ET,

    CKava meant that you don’t know what “statistical significance” means. We consider results significant when their probability of happening by chance is low. The probability of happening by chance is called the “P value,” which is between zero and one. The lower the P value, the more significant the results are.

    “With a ‘normal population’ the statistical significance is around 32% (against 25%), and with an artistic population, 41%.”

    Maybe you meant to say the “hit rate is around 32%.”

    I am not disagreeing with what you were trying to say, but you should go back to the articles and find out what the results were exactly.

  117. hardnoseon 19 Aug 2017 at 10:09 pm

    “Not only were Bem’s experiments found to be incredibly flawed and failed independent replications but his study has become a paradigmatic case study in psychology of how to do bad statistical analysis.”

    That is VERY FAR from what actually happened. I read various interpretations, instead of mindlessly trusting Skepdic.

    Bem is highly respected and experienced, and knows exactly what he is doing when designing and analyzing psychology experiments. The precognition experiments were peer reviewed and published in a mainstream journal, and NO FLAWS WERE EVER FOUND.

    Of course materialists were upset by the results, and desperately searched for reasons not to believe them.

    They had some criticisms of the standard procedures that some people thought were valid. Some psychologists advocated certain changes. But it was mostly a feeling that “Oh no, this can’t happen, it can’t be true, we have to explain it away.”

  118. hardnoseon 19 Aug 2017 at 10:11 pm

    And I read things on Skepdic that distorted and took quotes out of context, and made it sound like Bem is nuts. You can do that to anyone.

  119. hardnoseon 19 Aug 2017 at 10:13 pm

    And yes there were a some failed replications, and also a lot of successful ones. You, and all the other materialists who have written about this, ONLY mention the failures. And you think that is being scientific and unbiased?

  120. bachfiendon 19 Aug 2017 at 10:34 pm

    Hardnose,

    ‘And yes there were a some failed replications, and also a lot of successful ones. You, and all the other materialists who have written about this, ONLY mention the failures. And you think that is being scientific and unbiased?’

    There were many failed replications and few successful replications of Bem’s precognition studies.

    P-values don’t mean much, particularly when the effect size is small. Having a statistically significant result does not mean that chance has been ruled out and that the effect supposedly demonstrated is real. A less than 5% probability that a positive result was due to chance means that up to 5% of studies will give positive results just as a result of chance.

    And a positive result, even if not due to chance, could be due to poorly designed studies.

    You should be doing a Bayes analysis instead of cherry picking studies looking for the rare positive ones. Estimate the likelihood that psi exists, and add each study results and assess whether the likelihood increases or decreases when you consider all studies, positive and negative.

    If you do it, I expect you’ll find that the probability will drop markedly from whatever initial estimate you make.

  121. hardnoseon 19 Aug 2017 at 11:55 pm

    “Estimate the likelihood that psi exists,”

    And if you are a materialist, that estimate would be zero. It’s just a way to ignore research results that you don’t like. Pretty silly.

  122. bachfiendon 20 Aug 2017 at 1:02 am

    Hardnose,

    “‘Estimate the likelihood that psi exists’, And if you are a materialist, that estimate would be zero. It’s just a way to ignore research results that you don’t like”.

    No. The standard way, if there’s no evidence one way or the other, is to assume that the likelihood is 50:50. That psi is equally likely to exist as it is not exist. And then you calculate the likelihood after entering each study, both positive and negative, to see what happens to the likelihood.

    It doesn’t matter what the final calculated likelihood is. If the final result is very much less than 50:50 (and I think it will be) then it’s strong evidence against psi.

    It’s a way of assessing multiple studies. You’re a cherry picker, giving undue emphasis to positive studies over negative ones.

  123. BillyJoe7on 20 Aug 2017 at 4:11 am

    ET,

    “It is a mainstream idea”

    Okay, we are probably using the term “mainstream idea” differently.

    You mean “discussed in mainstream publications”.
    But, if that is all you are claiming, you aren’t claiming much.

    I mean “accepted by the mainstream”.
    It definitely has not been accepted by the mainstream as the article makes very clear.
    Which sort of takes the wind out of your sails doesn’t it?

    And, of course, there is still that category error – not looking good ET!

  124. BillyJoe7on 20 Aug 2017 at 4:12 am

    …BTW how are you going with you preparation for the exam you sat yesterday 😀

  125. CKavaon 20 Aug 2017 at 5:22 am

    lol, your USE OF CAPITALS doesn’t make your claims anymore true hardnose. Yes there were flaws found and they are widely recognized within social psychology and statistical quarters. I previously provided with a bunch of academic articles that use Ben’s paper as a case study of bad statistics, for instance. Apparently you haven’t read any of them (which isn’t terribly surprising). As per relying on Skepdic, sorry I don’t even know what article you are referring to, I am familiar with the stats used in psychology and parapsychology and the problems associate with other of them. Conversely, I’ve seen you repeatedly demonstrate a lack of statistical proficiency, for instance finding a p < .05 to be compelling evidence when it derived from 36 uncorrected comparisons, despite declaring a 'love of statistics'. Ben also is on the record admitting that some of the studies in the original paper were sloppy and that he isn't someone who focuses on rigor and replication. That isn't some skeptic trap that's what he told mainstream journalists who did a profile on him.

    So in summary you are badly misrepresenting things due to your ideological commitments- raise your hand if you find this surprising? Anyone? …

  126. CKavaon 20 Aug 2017 at 5:23 am

    Ben=Bem

    Stupid autocorrect!

  127. Pete Aon 20 Aug 2017 at 6:58 am

    Enfant Terrible,

    I assume that you are referring to the following…

    Some conjectures about the mechanism of poltergeist phenomenon, P. Brovetto and V. Maxia

    5 – Final Remarks
    Altogether, the previous arguments can be summarized as follows. A decrease in entropy (creation of order) in brain of pubescent people throws a greater amount of entropy (disorder) into the brain environment, which, in exceptional cases, originates poltergeist disturbances. In practice, poltergeist is interpreted as a by-product of the entropy increase (dS/dt)Env expected in consequence of the second law [of thermodynamic]. This interpretation is based on two sound achievements of the past century physics, that is, quantum electrodynamics of vacuum and nonequilibrium thermodynamics.

  128. Enfant Terribleon 20 Aug 2017 at 9:08 am

    CKava,

    “Making appeals to authority does not address your obvious lack of familiarity with the relevant statistics.”

    I am just showing to you that even the skeptics agree that the results are very significant, with wonderful conditions of control.

    “You are arguing that these studies are super compelling without displaying any understanding of the relevant statistical concepts. I again strongly advise you to invest some of the time you are spending reading psi advocates to instead looking into basic statistics.”

    You don’t need to be a great statistician to see that the number of direct hits is much above from what we would expect by chance alone. And this is basic. The total number of trials in an artististic population is 20+ 32+ 97+ 128+ 40 = 317, and the total of hits is 10 + 13 + 32+ 60+ 15 = 130. This gives 130/317 = 41%, where only 25% would be expected by chance alone (or only 79 hits). This is very easy to see.

    “Jessica Utts is a statistician but just like it’s easy to find some individual biologists who doubt evolution or certain physicists who denounce general relativity, individuals do not reflect the consensus or standards of a field.”

    This is the fallacy of false analogy. Biologists who doubt evolution or physicists who denounce general relativity are going against their own field of expertise. Jessica Utts is not making any contrary claim to her field of expertise. She is just appying statistic to the results.

    “If you have a genuine rather than purely ideological interest I suggest looking into the key publications of the replication crisis and then apply what you discover to psi papers and the psi research field more generally.”

    The “replication crisis” has nothing to do with ganzfeld, since 100% of the experiments with an artistic population gave positive and significant results, and 100% os the experiments made by skeptics too. The is no “replication crisis” in this field.

  129. Enfant Terribleon 20 Aug 2017 at 9:23 am

    BillyJoe7,

    “I mean “accepted by the mainstream”. It definitely has not been accepted by the mainstream as the article makes very clear.”

    http://aip.scitation.org/doi/abs/10.1063/1.4982764

    “Quantum Retrocausation III is the third in a series of international symposia convened at the University of San Diego under the auspices of the Pacific Division of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), to discuss the intersection of time and consciousness [1,2]. Its focus was on a specfic aspect of time — retrocausation — because it is here that time and consciousness intersect to beget several of the most compelling experimental mysteries and theoretical puzzles in physics.”

    “Retrocausation is the proposition that the future can affect the present in a manner analogous to how the past affects the present via causation. It is well known that the fundamental equations of physics are timesymmetric — that is, they possess time-forward (retarded) and time-reversed (advanced) solutions — yet this belies our temporally asymmetric experience of the world, which progresses unidirectionally toward the future. Physics almost universally adopts this prejudice by discarding advanced solutions as `unphysical.’ This symposium challenges this assumption.”

    “In particular, precognition (the anomalous but statistically significant foreknowledge of future events) has strong laboratory support but lacks a convincing physical mechanism. It is suspected by many that some version of quantum retrocausation might hold the key. In this spirit, QRC-III was organized. Participants were drawn primarily from the philosophy, theoretical physics and experimental parapsychological communities. It was hoped that each group would illuminate the others since each possessed evidence, expertise and outlook the others lacked. As hoped, discussions
    were lively, and new friendships and collaborations were forged. The articles in this volume, reflecting this diversity, fall in to three general categories: (i) theory; (ii) human-subject (precognition) experiments; and (iii) quantum interpretations and proposals. Building on the two previous retrocausation symposia [1,2], it is hoped that, in time, these seeds of QRC-III will bear fruit.
    Daniel P. Sheehan
    University of San Diego
    San Diego, California
    March 2017”

    One of the experiments (published by the American Institute of Physics) is this:

    http://aip.scitation.org/doi/abs/10.1063/1.4982772

  130. Enfant Terribleon 20 Aug 2017 at 9:28 am

    Corrections:

    a) “She is just appying statistic to the results.” – > “She is just applying statistics to the results”

    b) “The is no “replication crisis” in this field.” -> “There is no “replication crisis” in this field”

  131. Enfant Terribleon 20 Aug 2017 at 9:37 am

    Pete A,

    “I assume that you are referring to the following…”

    Correct.

  132. BillyJoe7on 20 Aug 2017 at 10:08 am

    ET,

    I know you will not acknowledge it, but you have not made your case.
    For a start, I said the article you originally linked to made it clear that the idea of retrocausality is not accepted by the mainstream. In fact the author said so several times. But knock yourself out finding other links to waste my time.

    And still no recognition of the category error.

  133. Enfant Terribleon 20 Aug 2017 at 12:25 pm

    BillyJoe7,

    “For a start, I said the article you originally linked to made it clear that the idea of retrocausality is not accepted by the mainstream. ”

    It is accepted. It is not more a crazy idea. The resistance is vanishing every day. 3 symposiums by AAAS, dozens of articles published in respectable journals and Institutes, strong experimental support, all this makes the idea more and more common between the scientists.

    “And still no recognition of the category error.”

    I am sorry, but there is no category error.

    http://www.nature.com/nphys/journal/v9/n9/full/nphys2682.html?foxtrotcallback=true

    “Schrödinger’s thought experiment was originally intended to convey the absurdity of applying quantum mechanics to macroscopic objects. Today many quantum physicists believe that quantum principles in fact apply on all scales. By combining the present approach with other (e.g. mechanical) systems, or by applying its basic ideas in different contexts, it may be possible to bring quantum effects ever closer to our everyday experience.”

  134. hardnoseon 20 Aug 2017 at 1:43 pm

    ” finding a p < .05 to be compelling evidence when it derived from 36 uncorrected comparisons"

    I NEVER said anything like that.

    You think Bem did 36 unplanned comparisons, got one low p value, and declared the experiment successful.

    NO, you trust Skepdic, or whichever similar source you are using.

    The precognition experiments would NEVER have been accepted in a mainstream journal based on that. It DID NOT HAPPEN.

    I understand statistics, and I know the standard practices in psychology. I read all about Bem's research and its after-effects and I KNOW HE DID NOT do the stupid things materialists have been accusing.

    Things were taken out of context to make him seem idiotic. For example, when he talks about exploratory pilot studies, they extracted those remarks and made it seem like he was talking about formal research.

    It is materialist propaganda and you fell for it.

  135. Pete Aon 20 Aug 2017 at 3:02 pm

    “[hardnose] The precognition experiments would NEVER have been accepted in a mainstream journal based on that. It DID NOT HAPPEN.”

    I assume you mean accepted by The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. If so, then you must also be aware that the following rubuttal was published, not only in the very same journal, but also in the very same issue: 2011 Mar;100(3):426-32.

    Why Psychologists Must Change the Way They Analyze Their Data: The Case of Psi
    Eric–Jan Wagenmakers, Ruud Wetzels, Denny Borsboom, & Han van der Maas
    University of Amsterdam

    Abstract

    Does psi exist? D. J. Bem (2011) conducted 9 studies with over 1,000 participants in an attempt to demonstrate that future events retroactively affect people’s responses. Here we discuss several limitations of Bem’s experiments on psi; in particular, we show that the data analysis was partly exploratory and that one-sided p values may overstate the statistical evidence against the null hypothesis. We reanalyze Bem’s data with a default Bayesian t test and show that the evidence for psi is weak to nonexistent. We argue that in order to convince a skeptical audience of a controversial claim, one needs to conduct strictly confirmatory studies and analyze the results with statistical tests that are conservative rather than liberal. We conclude that Bem’s p values do not indicate evidence in favor of precognition; instead, they indicate that experimental psychologists need to change the way they conduct their experiments and analyze their data.

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/1018886/Bem6.pdf

  136. BillyJoe7on 20 Aug 2017 at 4:30 pm

    ET,

    You can keep knocking yourself out with your cherry-picked links.
    The fact remains that the original article you linked expressly stated that the idea for retrocausality is not accepted by mainstream science.

    Retrocausality at the quantum level is not accepted by mainstream science.
    And retrocausality at the macro level is rejected by mainstream science.
    No amount of cherry picked studies is going to change that.

  137. CKavaon 20 Aug 2017 at 5:06 pm

    Hardnose,

    You seem to have trouble keeping track of your own nonsense.

    You made the comments related to multiple comparisons when discussing a different study about alternative medicine and health outcomes. You clearly don’t remember which once again is not surprising, given that you endlessly repeat discredited arguments.

    I remember you doing so however because of the remarkable juxtaposition of someone declaring to have a love of statistics while simultaneously demonstrating a complete lack of understanding of even basic standards for analysis.

    And no, sorry, you are still just dead wrong about Bem and the response to the paper. You seem to be half remembering your attempts to spin away Bem’s extremely problematic advice on how to conduct research/perform statistical analysis/get published which he published on a document on his website. That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about comments like this, made to a reporter at Slate:

    ““I’m all for rigor,” he continued, “but I prefer other people do it. I see its importance—it’s fun for some people—but I don’t have the patience for it.” It’s been hard for him, he said, to move into a field where the data count for so much. “If you looked at all my past experiments, they were always rhetorical devices. I gathered data to show how my point would be made. I used data as a point of persuasion, and I never really worried about, ‘Will this replicate or will this not?’ ”

    “Given that the studies spanned a decade, Bem can’t remember all the details of the early work. “I was probably very sloppy at the beginning,” he said. “I think probably some of the criticism could well be valid. I was never dishonest, but on the other hand, the critics were correct.”

    As ever hardnose you present yourself as an authority but demonstrate a complete lack of understanding. Bem’s research is not beyond reproach it is iconic of the flawed methodological standards that were being used in social psychology research.

  138. BillyJoe7on 20 Aug 2017 at 5:06 pm

    From your original article
    (because you understandably refuse to go back to it)

    The article repeatedly affirms that retrocausality is not accepted by mainstream science:

    “Although there are many counterintuitive ideas in quantum theory, the idea that influences can travel backwards in time is generally not one of them”

    “Understandably, however, the idea of retrocausality has not caught on with physicists in generaL”

    “There is a small group of physicists and philosophers that think this idea is worth pursuing”

    “There is not, to my knowledge, a generally agreed upon interpretation of quantum theory that recovers the whole theory and exploits this idea. It is more of an idea for an interpretation at the moment, so I think that other physicists are rightly skeptical, and the onus is on us to flesh out the idea”

    “The other option is to investigate more exotic realist possibilities, which include retrocausality”

    “I am not personally committed to the retrocausal solution” (a quote from the author of the study!)

    “the kind of experiments we describe in our paper provide some evidence for retrocausality, but only if you refuse to reject the other assumptions”

    The article also affirms that retrocausality is not a feature of our everyday experience:

    “As the physicists explain further, the whole idea of retrocausality is so difficult to accept because we don’t ever see it anywhere else”

    “In either case, physicists want to explain why one of these properties emerges only in certain situations that are far removed from our everyday observations”

    This is all from your own link.
    It contradicts everything you were saying even though you offered it in support!

  139. BillyJoe7on 20 Aug 2017 at 5:07 pm

    ^reply to ET

  140. CKavaon 20 Aug 2017 at 5:26 pm

    I am just showing to you that even the skeptics agree that the results are very significant, with wonderful conditions of control.

    But you aren’t doing that, at all. You are cherry picking experts to fit your conclusion and ignoring the much more prevalent methodological and statistical critiques. Susan Blackmore and Jessica Utts are big names in the psi community but they are not the leading lights you seem to believe.

    You don’t need to be a great statistician to see that the number of direct hits is much above from what we would expect by chance alone. And this is basic. The total number of trials in an artististic population is 20+ 32+ 97+ 128+ 40 = 317, and the total of hits is 10 + 13 + 32+ 60+ 15 = 130. This gives 130/317 = 41%, where only 25% would be expected by chance alone (or only 79 hits). This is very easy to see.

    This again demonstrates your lack of understanding. Just eyeballing numbers doesn’t work. You have to take into account how many studies are run, how many comparisons are made and so on and so on. By sheer chance you will sometimes get results that do not match pure chance, and this is even more so the case when you add in the well known researchers degrees of freedom that are exercised throughout the psi literature. One tailed significance tests anyone?

    This is the fallacy of false analogy. Biologists who doubt evolution or physicists who denounce general relativity are going against their own field of expertise. Jessica Utts is not making any contrary claim to her field of expertise. She is just appying statistic to the results.

    Jessica Utts assessment places her in the distinct minority in both social psychology and statistics regarding the quality of the evidence for psi and the strength of the research methods. All of the people you dismiss as irrelevant comparisons would make the same argument in favour of their claims e.g. they are just applying their expertise to the evidence and reaching unpopular conclusions. You don’t like the parallels because you don’t like their conclusions, that is the only difference.

    The “replication crisis” has nothing to do with ganzfeld, since 100% of the experiments with an artistic population gave positive and significant results, and 100% os the experiments made by skeptics too. The is no “replication crisis” in this field.

    lol. Spoken with the confidence of a true believer. The replication crisis, despite the name, is not just about replications, it is about methodological standards and appropriate statistical analysis. ALL of it applies to psi research, and the fact that you think it doesn’t just reflects your level of ignorance on the topic.

    Here’s an interesting example for you, given the small effect size involved with ganzfeld studies (and note here EFFECT SIZE is not the same as STATISTICAL SIGNIFICANCE nor does it relate to the percentage of correct hits), if what you claimed was correct, e.g. that 100% of studies show positive significant differences. Then that would actually be evidence AGAINST the studies being conducted properly. With such small effect sizes there should be negative trials, the absence of any would be statistically nigh on impossible which would suggest that the relevant researchers are selectively publishing only their positive results. This is the kind of counterintuitive point that will fly over the head of someone who refuses to spend anytime researching the relevant statistical methods of the field they are blindly praising.

  141. BillyJoe7on 20 Aug 2017 at 5:38 pm

    ET,

    And your very last link:
    This is a link to the abstract only so who knows what the bulk of the article says on the subject, but already we see a qualifier:

    “Although Schrödinger’s thought experiment was originally intended to convey the absurdity of applying quantum mechanics to macroscopic objects, this experiment and related ones suggest that it may apply on all scales”

    We already know that quantum effects do not suddenly disappear as the objects increase in size.
    For example, the interference pattern in double slit experiments fades gradually and becomes undetectable with a molecule consisting of about 50 atoms.

    Their test was with 10^5 photons.
    There are 10^27 atoms in an average cat.
    And cats are clearly never in a superposition of being dead and alive – what can that even mean?

  142. hardnoseon 20 Aug 2017 at 10:49 pm

    “Bem’s research is not beyond reproach it is iconic of the flawed methodological standards that were being used in social psychology research.”

    He was accused of p-hacking, which is a deceptive practice. In my first statistics course in graduate school, the professor stated that your comparisons must planned in advance. You can do additional unplanned comparisons, but they cannot be reported as official results.

    Don’t tell me Bem never heard about this. If he was actually p-hacking, then he was trying to be deceptive, since he knows better. So the psi-hating “skeptics” accused him of deliberate deception.

    People are very easily fooled and confused by statistics. Some of the “skeptics” just wanted to trash these experiments, and others were confused and just followed along.

    No research is perfect, so of course I am not saying Bem’s precognition research is perfect. But I do not think he had any motivation to deceptively claim positive results. And, as I said already, he must be aware of p-hacking. I knew about it as a first year graduate student, decades ago.

    It is PERFECTLY OBVIOUS to any experimental psychologist that if you look at a pile of data every which way, something will be significant. The “skeptics” think they discovered a new idea. NO, it is OBVIOUS, and it is nothing new.

  143. bachfiendon 20 Aug 2017 at 11:12 pm

    Hardnose,

    You’re a p-value fetishist. A study with a p-value less than 0.05 doesn’t mean that the phenomenon being studied is true. Nor does a subsequent successful replication study confirm that the phenomenon is true (nor does a negative attempted replication disprove it). All they do is to either increase or decrease the likelihood that the phenomenon studied is true.

    As I’ve noted, you need to do a Bayesian analysis to interpret studies, not just counting up the numbers of published studies, and making special pleading to discount the negative ones, which is cherry picking. You’re ‘very easily fooled and confused by statistics’.

    I did it for you a long time ago with regard to Bem’s precognition study, assuming the initial likelihood was 50:50, and you never responded.

    You should do it yourself. It’s tedious, but not difficult. And you need to include the 11 replication studies which were negative. I did it, and the result was that the likelihood of precognition existing was markedly reduced by subsequent studies, even with a generous initial assumption of its likelihood.

  144. Pete Aon 21 Aug 2017 at 1:34 am

    “People are very easily fooled and confused by statistics. Some of the “skeptics” just wanted to trash these experiments, and others were confused and just followed along.”

    Why did the The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology publish the rebuttal of Bem’s work in the same issue that it published Bem’s work?

    If you actually understood statistics then you would know the answer. The link I provided fully explains it along with examples of what we keep telling you.

    “It is PERFECTLY OBVIOUS to any experimental psychologist that if you look at a pile of data every which way, something will be significant.” Which isn’t p-hacking, it’s cheating when only only the positive findings are reported, hence the rebuttal being published in the same issue of the journal.

  145. CKavaon 21 Aug 2017 at 1:43 am

    More inaccurate summaries… keep up the good work hardnose.

    P-hacking is a misleading term because it could be taken to imply intentional deception but anyone who has spent any time reading the relevant literature will recognise that this is not what the term is usually referring to. It is perfectly possible for a researcher to conduct a study and analyse their data with genuinely good intentions and still to engage in p-hacking. Bem’s online guide for students provides a detailed illustration of this. He isn’t intentionally deceiving anyone, he genuinely believes in his findings, as do many psi proponents and yet they are still employing practices that will guarantee misleading results.

    You (hardnose) always try to cast things in some binary black and white manner in line with your ideological preferences (skeptic = bad, believers = good) but that’s a simplistic view of how the world works. You don’t need to have nefarious motives to produce misleading results or conduct biased analyses. It is an exceedingly common practice. That’s why many prefer to refer to ‘researchers degrees of freedom’ or, if you are Andrew Gelman, the ‘Garden of forking paths’. Here’s a nice summary, which demonstrates why your ‘intentional deception’ interpretation is wrong and misunderstands the problem: http://www.stat.columbia.edu/~gelman/research/unpublished/p_hacking.pdf

    [I don’t expect hardnose to read it, let alone absorb any of the arguments it makes but maybe others will find it useful.]

    Your comments that you can just look at complex data and automatically tell what will be ‘significant’ is also further evidence of how little you understand statistical analysis, both in terms of its value and limitations. As bachfiend suggests, you seem to purely regard statistics as a method for outputting a mystical p < .05 value that confirms truth status on your preferred hypothesis. This is exactly the kind of view that the 'replication crisis' has condemned but as per usual your rigid ideology prevents you from recognising the problem.

  146. Pete Aon 21 Aug 2017 at 2:16 am

    BillyJoe,

    I’m still laughing about the link ET posted to the article Physicists provide support for retrocausal quantum theory, in which the future influences the past.

    Not surprisingly, quantum mechanics is another thing that ET does not begin to understand. Sadly, that also applies to a minority of physicists. They simply cannot understand what the experiments are actually measuring. It was more than adequately explained at least seven years ago so it will be fun to see what alternatives to reality they come up with 🙂

    There’re off to a flying start with this:

    First, to clarify what retrocausality is and isn’t: It does not mean that signals can be communicated from the future to the past—such signaling would be forbidden even in a retrocausal theory due to thermodynamic reasons. Instead, retrocausality means that, when an experimenter chooses the measurement setting with which to measure a particle, that decision can influence the properties of that particle (or another particle) in the past, even before the experimenter made their choice. In other words, a decision made in the present can influence something in the past. [my emphasis]

    So, a decision isn’t a signal (a signal is, of course, information); it’s a non-signal / an item of non-information which can travel back to the past and influence something in the past such as the properties of a particle.

  147. Nidwinon 21 Aug 2017 at 5:31 am

    I’m not convinced of Bem’s the parapsychologist who truly believes in the existance of psi ESP. It’s way too big, too obvious.

  148. BillyJoe7on 21 Aug 2017 at 6:50 am

    Pete,

    I see this sort of thing all the time.
    I don’t know if they just blindly google for links with some key words and just post whatever links they get based on the headline.
    Otherwise how you can link to something that contradicts every point you are trying to make.
    I generally refuse to read any links unless they are accompanied by a summary by the poster that makes it clear that he has actually read the link and that it is relevant.
    They often just send us all off on wild goose chases, wait for us to form a considered response to the link provided, and then shove our response aside with a flippant one-liner.
    The troll is famous for this and I now ignore him completely no matter how much he tries to get a response.
    I do give some leeway to new posters, but I’m mostly disappointed.
    But I suppose if they come here professing a belief in ghosts…

  149. Pete Aon 21 Aug 2017 at 8:33 am

    BillyJoe,

    It seems to me that they do indeed google for headlines which superficially support their beliefs. I guess if the article contains some, either science-y sounding or actual scientific terms, that they don’t understand then they simply assume that nobody else will understand the article. I can’t think of any other explanation for so frequently referring to articles that refute their claims.

    I’m not sure why some people have such a strong desire to avoid learning basic science and logic that they despise those who do understand stand it. Much less do I understand why they flaunt their ignorance and despise on Dr. Novella’s blog! Perhaps I’m making the mistake of thinking that the reason is something more complicated than just a desire to be disruptive.

  150. Enfant Terribleon 21 Aug 2017 at 9:31 am

    BillyJoe7,

    a) “The article repeatedly affirms that retrocausality is not accepted by mainstream science”

    Let’s see…

    b) “Although there are many counterintuitive ideas in quantum theory, the idea that influences can travel backwards in time is generally not one of them”

    Oh I see, you “forgot” to put the phrase that comes next:

    “However, recently some physicists have been looking into this idea, called “retrocausality,” because it can potentially resolve some long-standing puzzles in quantum physics.”

    c) “Understandably, however, the idea of retrocausality has not caught on with physicists in generaL”

    But it is not rejected or discarded as well. And retrocausation has become much more acceptable. That’s the point. I will talk more about this later.

    d) “There is a small group of physicists and philosophers that think this idea is worth pursuing. There is not, to my knowledge, a generally agreed upon interpretation of quantum theory that recovers the whole theory and exploits this idea. It is more of an idea for an interpretation at the moment, so I think that other physicists are rightly skeptical, and the onus is on us to flesh out the idea”

    Some physicists may be skeptical. But the simply fact is that many don’t reject the idea. And, in fact, there is no reason for that. I will talk more about this later.

    e) “The other option is to investigate more exotic realist possibilities, which include retrocausality”

    Realist possibilities… if is “exotic” or not, this is highly subjective. The fact remains that is perfectly possible.

    f) “I am not personally committed to the retrocausal solution” (a quote from the author of the study!)

    You “forgot” that he also said:

    “”The case for embracing retrocausality seems stronger to me for the following reasons,” Leifer said. “First, having retrocausality potentially allows us to resolve the issues raised by other no-go theorems, i.e., it enables us to have Bell correlations without action-at-a-distance. So, although we still have to explain why there is no signaling into the past, it seems that we can collapse several puzzles into just one. That would not be the case if we abandon time symmetry instead.”

    And he is not the only one who thinks that. Roderick I Sutherland, in his article “How Retrocausality Helps” (2017), wrote:

    “It has become increasingly apparent that a number of perplexing issues associated with the interpretation of quantum mechanics are more easily resolved once the notion of retrocausality is introduced. The aim here is to list and discuss various examples where a clear explanation has become available via this approach. In so doing, the intention is to highlight that this direction of research deserves more attention than it presently receives.”

    g) “the kind of experiments we describe in our paper provide some evidence for retrocausality, but only if you refuse to reject the other assumptions”

    Sure. But as I told you, the American Institute of Physics very recently published many articles giving more experimental support for retrocausality. The idea became much more accepted since them.

    f) “As the physicists explain further, the whole idea of retrocausality is so difficult to accept because we don’t ever see it anywhere else”

    York Dobyns wrote a very recent article – “Empirical Retrocausality: Testing Physics Hypotheses With
    Parapsychological Experiments” (2017) – in which we find:

    “For many years retrocausation was summarily rejected in physics, to such an extent that demonstrating the mere possibility of retrocausal effects resulting from a postulated phenomenon was considered a sufficient argument to prove the nonexistence of that phenomenon.[2] In more recent years retrocausation has become more acceptable, with some prominent physicists explicitly invoking it in theoretical constructs.[3][4] In 1991 a publication by Echeverria, Klinkhammer, and Thorne (EKT) demonstrated that one of the strongest arguments against retrocausation, the possibility of so-called “time paradoxes” or self-canceling event sequences, was invalid.[5]”

    g) “It contradicts everything you were saying even though you offered it in support!”

    That’s because you “forgot” to quote the phrases that give support to me, and because you is not aware of the very recent articles published by the American Institute of Physics which explicity says that retrocausation has become more acceptable.

  151. Pete Aon 21 Aug 2017 at 9:52 am

    “retrocausation has become more acceptable”

    So has swearing, but neither are required to explain quantum mechanics.

  152. Enfant Terribleon 21 Aug 2017 at 11:10 am

    CKava,

    I) “Susan Blackmore and Jessica Utts are big names in the psi community but they are not the leading lights you seem to believe.”

    I don’t see Blackmore as a leading light. My mention to her is just to show that even skeptics see these results as very strong. And about Jessica Utts, even Ray Hyman wrote:

    “Utts has impressive credentials and she marshals the evidence for her case in an effective way.”

    II) “You have to take into account how many studies are run, how many comparisons are made and so on and so on.”

    All these studies are run according to the guidelines which the skeptics helped to create.

    III) “By sheer chance you will sometimes get results that do not match pure chance”

    Sure, but clearly this is not the case here. All the studies are significant, all the studies are positive, and there is no file drawer.

    IV) “Jessica Utts assessment places her in the distinct minority in both social psychology and statistics regarding the quality of the evidence for psi and the strength of the research methods. All of the people you dismiss as irrelevant comparisons would make the same argument in favour of their claims e.g. they are just applying their expertise to the evidence and reaching unpopular conclusions. You don’t like the parallels because you don’t like their conclusions, that is the only difference.”

    Really? Ok, so since you told that “it’s easy to find some individual biologists who doubt evolution or certain physicists who denounce general relativity,” please, tell me the peer-reviewed journals in which these biologists and physicists published their work. Utts published her articles in statistical journals with peer review and impact factor. One example is:

    Replication and Meta-Analysis in Parapsychology. Statistical Science 1991, Vol. 6,No.4, 363-403

    http://www.bioxbio.com/if/html/STAT-SCI.html

    V) “Spoken with the confidence of a true believer. The replication crisis, despite the name, is not just about replications,”

    I never said it was just about replications.

    VI) “it is about methodological standards”

    Which the skeptics helped to create.

    1. Appropriate randomization (using electronic apparatuses or random tables).
    2. Random target positioning during judgment (i.e., target was randomly placed in the presentation with decoys).
    3. Blind response transcription or impossibility to know the target in advance.
    4. Number of trials pre-planned.
    5. Sensory shielding from sender (agent) and receiver (perceiver).
    6. Target independently checked by a second judge.
    7. Experimenters blind to target identity.

    VII) “and appropriate statistical analysis.”

    Which is very easy to check in Ganzfeld.

    VIII) “if what you claimed was correct, e.g. that 100% of studies show positive significant differences. Then that would actually be evidence AGAINST the studies being conducted properly. With such small effect sizes there should be negative trials, the absence of any would be statistically nigh on impossible which would suggest that the relevant researchers are selectively publishing only their positive results.”

    OMG… you really don’t know even the literature in Ganzfeld by the skeptics. See what Blackmore wrote in 1980 (old, I know, but this show your lack of knowledge):

    http://www.susanblackmore.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Ganzfeld-EJP-1980.pdf

    “the bias introduced by selective reporting of ESP ganzfeld studies is not a major contributor to the overall proportion of significant results” (p. 217)

    But we have more:

    even if one entertains the notion that the included ganzfeld studies are drawn from an overall
    statistically null distribution—in spite of the results of the conservative Darlington-Hayes calculation and the Blackmore (1980) survey—the parapsychological practice of considering significantly negative results to be “psi missing,” and therefore potential evidence for psi, helps to ensure that the negative tail of this distribution is also included, meaning that the average z of the excluded studies should be relatively close to zero, not highly negative. This symmetrical exclusion principle is supported by Harris and Rosenthal’s (1988) assessment of the ganzfeld, which yielded evidence consistent with “larger positive and larger negative effect sizes than would be reasonable” (Harris & Rosenthal, 1980, p. 44), although by a small margin
    .”

    Perhaps most persuasively, as we showed in the first section of this paper, the average power of ganzfeld studies across databases accurately predicts their proportion of significant results, suggesting minimal or no selection bias (Ioannidis & Trikalinos, 2007) Similar calculations to Rosenthal’s and Darlington and Hayes’, as well as funnel plots and trim and fill algorithms, have plausibly written the file-drawer explanation out of other paradigms in parapsychology, including remote viewing studies (Tressoldi, 2011), psychokinesis studies (Radin et al., 2006), forced-choice ESP studies (Tressoldi, 2011), and precognition studies (Honorton & Ferrari, 1989). Collectively, they provide evidence that selective reporting is not a significant factor in psi research.“.

    And more:

    the very fact that meta-analyses in parapsychology include studies presented at conferences but not published in journals (an uncommon practice in the sciences) testifies to its attempt to combat selective reporting (note that PA conference papers are still peer reviewed).”

    And more:

    The KPU ganzfeld pool is an example of a dataset that we can reasonably infer possesses no selective reporting of studies. If we consider the five studies provided, including the Colyer and Morris study, for a total of 195 trials and a hit rate of 33.8%, the cumulative probability of their results under the null hypothesis is p = .004 (one-tailed, exact binomial). The 10-study PRL database, too, is
    known to have no selective reporting; Bem and Honorton (1994) explicitly stated that “the 11 studies just described comprise all sessions conducted during the 6.5 years of the program. There is no file drawer of unreported sessions” (p. 10) (Note: it is common in analyses of the PRL studies that one highly successful study, Study 302, is removed from analysis due to well-known concerns about optional stopping, thereby leaving 10 studies). Additionally, Honorton (1985) states, “Except for two pilot studies, the number of participants and trials was specified in advance for each series. The pilot or formal status of each series was similarly specified in advance and recorded on disk before beginning the series. We have reported all trials, including pilot and ongoing series, using the digital autoganzfeld system. Thus, there is no ‘file-drawer’ problem in this database” (p. 133). This file drawer free database has a hit rate of 32.2%, 329 trials, and a binomial probability of p = .002. Given that these hit rates are not significantly different from each other, we can merge the two datasets to form one 15-study pool with no file drawer, 524 trials, a hit rate of 32.8%, and a binomial probability of p = 5.91 × 10-8. This composite hit rate (32.8%) is close to that of the remaining 90 studies in Storm et al.’s (2010) database. When we remove these 15 studies, as well as 3 not of four-choice design, there remain a total of 3,516 trials with a composite hit rate of 31.8%. This convergence of results from three analyzed study pools (KPU, PRL ganzfeld, and the rest of the ganzfeld studies in the Storm et al. database) suggests that if there is a contribution from selective reporting to the overall hit rate, it is likely to be negligible or nonexistent. It is also an example of a surprising consistency in psi research
    .”

    Reference: Baptista, J., & Derakhshani, M. (2014). BEYOND THE COIN TOSS: EXAMINING WISEMAN’S CRITICISMS OF PARAPSYCHOLOGY. Journal of Parapsychology, 78(1), 56-79.

    Is all this enough for you?

  153. Enfant Terribleon 21 Aug 2017 at 11:30 am

    CKava wrote:

    “Not only were Bem’s experiments found to be incredibly flawed and failed independent replications but his study has become a paradigmatic case study in psychology of how to do bad statistical analysis.”

    According to the very recent article “Empirical Retrocausality: Testing Physics Hypotheses With
    Parapsychological Experiments”, by York Dobyns, published by the American Institute of Physics:

    In 2011, Daryl Bem published a report of nine parapsychological experiments showing evidence of retrocausal information transfer. Earlier in 2016, the team of Bem, Tressoldi, Rabeyron, and Duggan published the results of a meta-analysis containing 81 independent replications of the original Bem experiments (total of 90 with the originals).[1] This much larger database continues to show positive results of generally comparable effect size, thus demonstrating that the effects claimed by Bem can be replicated by independent researchers and greatly strengthening the case for empirically observed retrocausation.

  154. Pete Aon 21 Aug 2017 at 12:23 pm

    The effects claimed by Bem do indeed contain empirically observed retrocausation 🙂

  155. Steven Novellaon 21 Aug 2017 at 1:13 pm

    ET – You are just demonstrating your biased cherry picking. You missed the real story of the new data they presented in 2016. I cover it here: http://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/follow-up-on-bems-psi-research/

    Here are the highlights:

    “They presented their results last summer, at the most recent annual meeting of the Parapsychological Association. According to their pre-registered analysis, there was no evidence at all for ESP, nor was there any correlation between the attitudes of the experimenters—whether they were believers or skeptics when it came to psi—and the outcomes of the study. In summary, their large-scale, multisite, pre-registered replication ended in a failure.”

    but – “In their conference abstract, though, Bem and his co-authors found a way to wring some droplets of confirmation from the data. After adding in a set of new statistical tests, ex post facto, they concluded that the evidence for ESP was indeed “highly significant.””

    Bem is a p-hacker. He admits it (although not by that term). His results are all suspect. This just proves it directly – preregistered protocol (i.e. no p-hacking) = dead negative results. When he reworks the data (i.e. now with extra p-hacking) he finds highly significant results.

  156. hardnoseon 21 Aug 2017 at 1:49 pm

    NOVELLA: “According to their pre-registered analysis, there was no evidence at all for ESP”

    BEM: “We here report a meta-analysis of 90 experiments from 33 laboratories in 14 countries which yielded an overall effect greater than 6 sigma, z = 6.40, p = 1.2 × 10-10 with an effect size (Hedges’ g) of 0.09. A Bayesian analysis yielded a Bayes Factor of 1.4 × 109, greatly exceeding the criterion value of 100 for “decisive evidence” in support of the experimental hypothesis.”

    Novella and Bem saying opposite things.

  157. hardnoseon 21 Aug 2017 at 1:56 pm

    https://f1000research.com/articles/4-1188/v1

    “The first question addressed by the meta-analysis is whether the database provides overall evidence for the anomalous anticipation of random future events. As shown in the first and second rows of Table 1, the answer is yes: The overall effect size (Hedges’ g) is 0.09, combined z = 6.33, p = 1.2 × 10-10. The Bayesian BF value is 5.1 × 109, greatly exceeding the criterion value of 100 that is considered to constitute “decisive evidence” for the experimental hypothesis”

  158. hardnoseon 21 Aug 2017 at 1:56 pm

    [The second question is whether independent investigators can successfully replicate Bem’s original experiments. As shown in the third and fourth rows of Table 1, the answer is again yes: When Bem’s experiments are excluded, the combined effect size for attempted replications by other investigators is 0.06, z = 4.16, p = 1.1 × 10-5, and the BF value is 3,853, which again greatly exceeds the criterion value of 100 for “decisive evidence.”]

  159. Enfant Terribleon 21 Aug 2017 at 2:34 pm

    Pete A,

    not only by Bem. Here is the conclusion of the article “Empirical retrocausality: Testing physics hypotheses with parapsychological experiments”:

    The 2011 work of Bem has been replicated, and a meta-analysis of 81 new experiments, including 69 completely independent replications, confirms the existence of retrocausal effects. Retrocausal effects of any kind seem at face value to risk a possibility of time paradoxes. The EKT analysis of traversible wormholes rigorously demonstrated that there is no risk of time paradox arising from the trajectories of particles in the presence of time-displaced traversible wormholes. The EKT effect is a speculative generalization that similar mechanisms of avoiding paradox will come into play for any situation involving retrocausality. It has now been demonstrated that all of the experimental genres used in the Bem replication meta-analysis can be modified to detect the signature of the EKT effect, if it is active in experiments that have been modified in an attempt to induce paradox. This implies that there is a wide variety of options for using parapsychological experiments to test whether the EKT effect operates in real-world retrocausal situations. While this may be of minor practical importance, a demonstration that the generalized EKT effect is real would mean that physics already contains a built-in safeguard that prevents time paradox even in situations containing arbitrary forms of retrocausation. This in turn would mean that one of the strongest criticisms used to attack claims of retrocausal phenomena can safely be dismissed.
    .
    Here is a recent and independent replication (2014):
    .
    During the past decades, several theories have been proposed that relate quantum mechanics to information processing in the human mind. These theories predict that the arrow of time has no
    direction during unconscious processing states. Across 7 experiments, we tested whether masked negative stimuli presented in the future lead to an unconscious avoidance reaction in the present.
    Response registration took place about 500 milliseconds before stimulus onset. In the majority of the studies the predicted retroactive influence was found. On average, participants were able to unconsciously avoid negative future outcomes (mean ES = 0.07; Combined Bayes factor = 293). These results are in line with similar precognitive avoidance effects recently reported by Daryl Bem in 2011 (Experiment 2).
    .
    https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/ee6b/253d9cdbfb249059bc3eb2430f3fcadf1042.pdf

  160. Enfant Terribleon 21 Aug 2017 at 3:01 pm

    Steven Novella,

    “Bem is a p-hacker. He admits it (although not by that term). His results are all suspect.”

    Maybe. But the scientists who conducted the independent replications too? And if you look the article “Feeling the Future: A Meta-analysis of 90 Experiments on the Anomalous Anticipation of Random Future Events”, Bem address the issue of “p-hacking”:

    Since then there have been more recent attempts to provide a systematic analytic approach to assessing the extent to which such questionable practices have compromised an investigator’s conclusions. For example, Simonsohn, Nelson and Simmons (2013) have coined the term “p-hacking” to describe such practices and have suggested that an analysis of the distribution of the significant p values across a set of experiments in a meta-analysis can evaluate the extent to which p-hacking has
    compromised the analysis. […] We conclude that p-hacking has not significantly distorted our meta-analytic results.

    By the way, the “failed/not so failed” study must be this:

    http://www.koestler-parapsychology.psy.ed.ac.uk/Documents/Study_Results_1025.pdf

  161. BillyJoe7on 21 Aug 2017 at 5:54 pm

    ET,

    Thanks for providing a case study in denialism.

    When you deny the very obvious quotes I produced from your own linked article which very clearly and indisputably contradict what you were saying regarding retrocausality being accepted by mainstream science and it being part of our everyday experience, then there is very little else to add.

    It just demonstrates how someone can double down and deny straight out facts in pursuit of an agenda.

    As your linked to article says, retrocausality is an “exotic idea” that “has not caught on with physicists in general” who are “rightly sceptical” of the idea, and that only a “small group of philosophers and physicists think it is worth pursuing”, and that it “emerges only in certain situations that are far removed from our everyday observations”.

    It is just perverse to deny what is very clearly written in you own linked article.
    I know you have an agenda but this is ridiculous.

  162. BillyJoe7on 21 Aug 2017 at 6:07 pm

    …BTW, quoting extensively from other articles does not change what was written in the original article you linked to. It just illustrates how desperate you are to have something to deny.

    You could have just saved time and space and admitted you didn’t read that article before linking to it.

  163. Pete Aon 21 Aug 2017 at 6:58 pm

    BillyJoe,

    The diatribe replies to us and to Dr Novella; by hardnose, Ian Wardell, and ET; were, are, and always will, comprise a countless-orders-of-magnitude more self-consistent dataset than the collected dataset of parapsychology ‘research’.

    The three commentators I mentioned are so extraordinarily predictable that I’m not surprised they have become incensed by the fact that we can so easily predict them, yet all the psi research to date, when properly analysed, shows no evidence of psi whatsoever.

    Hopefully, Bem will eventually realize, then admit, the gigantic error in his methodology. Then he’ll be able to start again using the correct methodology to confirm psi: select only skeptics as the test subjects; and only true believers in psi for the test targets.

  164. Enfant Terribleon 21 Aug 2017 at 7:51 pm

    BillyJoe7,

    “BTW, quoting extensively from other articles does not change what was written in the original article you linked to.”

    But you should not read only what is in the article. You should have read the references that the article link too. I have done this. The link in “Price laid out an argument” directs you to the article “Does time-symmetry imply retrocausality? How the quantum world says “Maybe”?”

    In this article we found:

    “It has often been suggested that retrocausality offers a solution to some of the puzzles of quantum mechanics: e.g., that it allows a Lorentz-invariant explanation of Bell correlations, and other manifestations of quantum nonlocality, without action-at-a-distance. Some writers have argued that time-symmetry counts in favour of such a view, in the sense that retrocausality would be a natural consequence of a truly time-symmetric theory of the quantum world.”

    Many writers have proposed that some puzzles of quantum mechanics (QM) might find elegant resolution, if we allow that there is retrocausality in the quantum world. Perhaps most importantly, retrocausality has been claimed to offer an attractive path to a Lorentz-invariant explanation of Bell correlations, and other manifestations of quantum nonlocality, without action-at-a-distance (see, e.g., Costa de Beauregard, 1953, 1976, 1977; Cramer, 1980, 1986; Hokkyo,1988; Miller,1996, 1997; Price,1984, 1994, 1996; Sutherland,1983, 1998, 2008; Wharton,2007, 2009).

    So, this clearly show the idea of retrocausality is accepted by the mainstream as perfectly possible, with many publications favorable to it. And the symposiums by AAAS and articles published by AIP widespread the idea even more.

    “You could have just saved time and space and admitted you didn’t read that article before linking to it.”

    I have read it, including the references that the article link (which certainly you haven’t done). By the way, when I say that the mainstream accept the idea of retrocausality, it doesn’t matter if is a “small group”. The fact is that this “small group” – not more small! – is part of mainstream. That’s what I mean.

  165. Enfant Terribleon 21 Aug 2017 at 7:57 pm

    Pete A,

    “yet all the psi research to date, when properly analysed, shows no evidence of psi whatsoever.”

    So you are saying that Blackmore have not analysed properly the ganzfeld database? She wrote that “the security measures are very tight indeed”, and “the results were very important, convincing to many of the reality of psi in the laboratory”

    Or what to say about the skeptic Savva, who got positive and significant results for psi? He also have not analysed properly the ganzfeld database?

    You are certainly offering to us a case study in denialism!

  166. tmac57on 21 Aug 2017 at 8:10 pm

    You know, I don’t think that I could ever become a believer in fringe ideas such as the ones that get fought for in threads like this. My back just would not be able to tolerate all of the goalpost moving that necessarily goes along with it.
    Not even acupuncture or chiropractic could withstand such an onslaught. Opioids might do the trick, but who needs THAT kind of trouble?

  167. CKavaon 21 Aug 2017 at 8:12 pm

    Finding articles that engage in speculative theorising and/or endorse minority views is not impressive or compelling. Your accepted standards of evidence and your level of statistical competence make the assessments you are offering essentially worthless. All you appear to require to endorse something is some prominent figure saying they believe something, or journal articles were ideas are mentioned. Then *hey presto!* you seem to believe you’ve got rock solid proof. But you don’t.

    You just have ideologically saturated individuals with studies that employ questionable methodologies and statistical analyses. You and hardnose like to claim that you are engaging critically with the evidence but it is self evident this is not the case. You are cheerleaders who cannot critically assess the relevant statistics you are cheerleading, hence you fail to even acknowledge how important methodological critiques are as relevant to psi and parapsychology as every other discipline.

    I genuinely don’t care what Susan Blackmore or any other ‘prominent’ figure has pronounced, whether it be in favor or against psi. I care about the evidence and the methods and both are severely lacking, citing parapsychology conference proceedings and speculative theorising does nothing to change this.

  168. CKavaon 21 Aug 2017 at 8:14 pm

    The above is directed at Enfant Terrible btw…

  169. Enfant Terribleon 21 Aug 2017 at 8:32 pm

    CKava,

    “You just have ideologically saturated individuals with studies that employ questionable methodologies and statistical analyses. […] I care about the evidence and the methods and both are severely lacking, citing parapsychology conference proceedings and speculative theorising does nothing to change this.”

    OMG, you really, really don’t know the psi literature…

    The system at Edinburgh was originally conceived and initially programmed by Charles Honorton. It was redesigned, after Honorton’s tragic and untimely death, by Dean Radin and Robin Taylor to improve security features and sensory shielding, and it was initially programmed and documented by Dean Radin. For a description of research using an early version of this system at Edinburgh, see Morris, Taylor, Cunningham, and McAlpine (1993). Additional security features and sensory shielding have been implemented by Kathy Dalton, who also performed the necessary upgrading of programming and documentation. Consultations with Richard Wiseman were of great help throughout in improving security measures. Bob Morris and Deborah Delanoy were involved conceptually throughout system development. During the course of this process, additional persons with computer security expertise were occasionally consulted.

    So, skeptics and believers working together to make a better methodology, and about the evidence, even Wiseman said:

    “I agree that by the standards of any other area of science that remote viewing is proven, but begs the question: do we need higher standards of evidence when we study the paranormal? I think we do.

    After he said that, questioned him if this was a misquote. He answered:

    “It is a slight misquote, because I was using the term in the more general sense of ESP — that is, I was not talking about remote viewing per se, but rather Ganzfeld, etc as well. I think that they do meet the usual standards for a normal claim, but are not convincing enough for an extraordinary claim.”

    So, even Wiseman think there is evidence for psi in ganzfeld, although he thinks the evidence is not extraordinary (Blackmore disagree…). But is there.

    And finally, about statisticall analysies, you don’t need them. Just count the number of direct hits as I did. You will see that is much above what would be expected by chance, specially in an artistic population. And no file drawer…

  170. hardnoseon 21 Aug 2017 at 8:43 pm

    Bem was a skeptic who decided to read the precognition literature. He was surprised to find out that the evidence was convincing, and decided to do his own experiments. There was NO ideological motivation involved. He started out as a stage magician like Randi, who thought anything paranormal was fake.

    I have followed parapsychology all my life, and got a PhD in experimental psychology so I could understand the research and possibly do some myself. I am qualified to have an opinion on this.

    The people who are ideologically motivated are the organized “skeptics.” And very often they are NOT qualified to judge experimental research. This blog’s author is not qualified. He simply believes and repeats whatever the psi-deniers say. Many of the commenters here are not qualified. Their arguments basically consist of telling us we are ignorant, brainwashed and ideological — basically projecting their own faults onto us.

    The central complaint about the precognition research seems to be p-hacking, yet an example is never given. They assume Bem went on fishing expeditions desperately trying to find significant comparisons in his data. As I explained, every first year graduate student in experimental psychology knows YOU CANNOT DO THIS if you want to publish in a peer-reviewed journal.

    You accuse him of doing something deceptive and unprofessional, and you have no evidence that he ever did!

    The only supposed evidence is quotes taken out of context. Bem was telling students how to get ideas for new research, by exploring data and looking for patterns. That is part of the creative scientific process that you “skeptics” know nothing about.

    I said this all before, but of course it was ignored. No psychology professor tells his students to break one of the central rules of experimental research when trying to publish formal experiments.

    If you are going to keep yelling p-hacking, at least you could say exactly what was p-hacked. Erotic pictures got results, non-erotic didn’t. What makes you think that was an ad-hoc comparison?

    Honest researchers naturally assumed Bem was being honest. He had no reason whatsoever to be deceptive.

    And how do you explain away his meta-analysis of the replications? Was that full of deception also?

    Most of you here are not experimental psychologists so maybe you think p-hacking was a standard practice. You think that now, thanks to the Bem debacle, psychology has finally been straightened out.

    No, psychologists have always known about this and it was never allowed.

  171. bachfiendon 21 Aug 2017 at 9:17 pm

    Hardnose,

    ‘If you are going to keep yelling p-hacking, at least you could say exactly what was p-hacked. Erotic pictures got results, non-erotic didn’t. What makes you think that was an ad hoc comparison?’

    That’s exactly what p-hacking is (or investigators’ degrees of freedom). Bem got a positive result with a subset of his data, with the erotic pictures, because his test subjects had ‘the motivation to be hunting for the porn’ (this isn’t a direct quote, but a paraphrasing of what he might have said). If he’d got a positive result with the subset of the non-porn pictures, he’d probably be arguing that the presence of porn clouded his subjects’ precognition abilities.

    You remain a p-value fetishist. A p-value less than 0.05 doesn’t mean that the phenomenon being studied is true. Nor do subsequent positive replications prove or negative replications disprove the phenomenon.

    You really need to be doing a Bayesian analysis, including all the studies, not just your cherry picked ones.

  172. hardnoseon 21 Aug 2017 at 9:43 pm

    bachfiend,

    Since when is it ok to accuse someone of deception with no evidence? If this were a legal trial, the defense lawyers would be demanding evidence.

    The paper does NOT say the erotic/non-erotic comparison was ad-hoc, therefore all reasonable psychologists would assume it was planned. The fact that it was planned is so obvious, it does not have to be stated.

    This is what you so-called “skeptics” jumped all over. Because you are so uneducated in this field, you don’t even know that p-hacking is NOT and NEVER WAS a standard practice in experimental psychology!

    RULE NUMBER ONE, learned by every first year graduate student: DON’T P-HACK (it wasn’t called that back when I was in school, we called it “fishing expeditions” or “ad-hoc comparisons.” Whatever anyone called it, we knew we could not do it.

    I NEVER ONCE EVEN THOUGHT ABOUT P-HACKING. And I was just a graduate student, but I knew!!

    Bem knows, and he knew, and if he ever did any unplanned comparisons he knew that it had to be stated up front.

    So come on, get over it, give up.

  173. hardnoseon 21 Aug 2017 at 9:46 pm

    “You remain a p-value fetishist. A p-value less than 0.05 doesn’t mean that the phenomenon being studied is true. Nor do subsequent positive replications prove or negative replications disprove the phenomenon.”

    So let’s just forget about experimental science. Nothing means anything.

  174. bachfiendon 21 Aug 2017 at 10:27 pm

    Hardnose,

    Experimental science has gone long beyond a p-value less than 0.05 being significant. Experimental science nowadays uses a sigma-5 confidence level as their gold standard, which indicates that if there experiment were repeated 3.5 million times, a similar result (if it were just due to chance) would occur no more than once.

    A 5% probability that it was chance isn’t good enough in experimental science. The Higgs boson was detected with sigma-5 confidence (or rather, a candidate particle for the Higgs boson was discovered – it’s uncertain whether it has the properties of the purported Higgs boson).

    Scientists love to study ‘things’ that they don’t understand. Around a quarter of the Universe consists of dark matter, the nature of which is completely unknown and for which there are at least 5 possible hypotheses including WIMPs.

    But first of all, it’s necessary to know that the ‘things’ exist. Dark matter is known to exist because galaxy clusters rotate much faster than their mass of visible matter would allow. Psi is not known to exist (definitely or even to a reasonable level of certainty) because its purported effect in poor studies is so slight and disappears so readily.

  175. Enfant Terribleon 22 Aug 2017 at 12:32 am

    Bachfiend,
    Even skeptics agree that the ganzfeld studies have a very high quality (of course, since the skeptics helped to create the guidelines, and they even replicated the experiments), and the results become stronger and stronger. We jumped from 32% to 41% in perfect conditions of control.

  176. tb29607on 22 Aug 2017 at 1:30 am

    Having read through most of the comments on this thread, I would like to see a study on proper grammar as an indicator of scientific accuracy of posts.

    Bold type, capitalized letters, and controversial comments free of plausible explanations cost at least 0.1 of p value per instance.

  177. CKavaon 22 Aug 2017 at 1:36 am

    hardnose,

    If you are a qualified experimental psychologist then you are representative of the problems with the field. You have repeatedly demonstrated a fundamental lack of understanding about statistical analysis, both in terms of appropriate methodology/tests and the relevant limitations. And your denial of there being any widespread problem is completely contradicted by the large body of research that has clearly demonstrated the exact opposite to be true and the growing recognitions of the problems across the field.

    As bachfiend mentions, you (and Enfant Terrible) demonstrate an unwavering faith in tiny effect sizes that fall under the magic p < .05 barrier, ignoring that such an approach has been the subject of sustained critiques for decades. The recent 'crisis' concerning the validity of many findings is really just the tip of a very large methodological iceberg that statisticians have been warning psychologists about since at least the 1950s. Regardless, you are happy to dismiss all of the relevant methodological criticisms and improved standards with some hand waving references to p-hacking. P-hacking is not all that the replication crisis is about, nor do you seem to even properly grasp that single concept. You continue to suggest that p-hacking involves deliberate deception, it doesn't, as outlined in in the document I linked to and you (predictably) ignored.

    The problems with Bem's metanalysis have been pointed out to you before, when you gave your last exaggerated account of its thoroughness and how many labs were involved. Again, you don't seem to have read or absorbed anything from the previous encounter. You are just back making the same statements and making the same grandiose false claims e.g. "NO FLAWS WERE EVER FOUND".

    That's what ideologues do, and you are clearly amongst their number.

    But for those, unlike hardnose, who genuinely have an interest in the problems with Bem's papers, for starters take a look at the following papers:

    – LeBel, E. P., & Peters, K. R. (2011). Fearing the future of empirical psychology: Bem's (2011) evidence of psi as a case study of deficiencies in modal research practice. Review of General Psychology, 15(4), 371-379.
    – Francis, G. (2012). Too good to be true: Publication bias in two prominent studies from experimental psychology. Psychonomic bulletin & review, 19(2), 151-156.
    – Schimmack, U. (2012). The ironic effect of significant results on the credibility of multiple-study articles. Psychological methods, 17(4), 551.
    – Wagenmakers, E. J., Wetzels, R., Borsboom, D., & Van Der Maas, H. L. (2011). Why psychologists must change the way they analyze their data: the case of psi: comment on Bem (2011).
    – Galak, J., LeBoeuf, R. A., Nelson, L. D., & Simmons, J. P. (2012). Correcting the past: Failures to replicate psi. Journal of personality and social psychology, 103(6), 933.
    – 'Why a meta-analysis of 90 precognition studies does not provide convincing evidence of a true effect' http://daniellakens.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/why-meta-analysis-of-90-precognition.html

    There are many, many more, but if you read the above and still think the studies were well conducted and appropriately analysed, I'm not sure what to say. You might have a career waiting for you in hardnose's lab!

  178. CKavaon 22 Aug 2017 at 1:40 am

    And finally, about statisticall analysies, you don’t need them. Just count the number of direct hits as I did. You will see that is much above what would be expected by chance, specially in an artistic population. And no file drawer…

    lol… yep, great. This is the level of expertise we are operating with. No need to understand statistics just look at those percentages! Very compelling… 41% you say, holy God! That’s well beyond chance!!!

  179. Enfant Terribleon 22 Aug 2017 at 4:37 am

    CKava,
    Please, call any expert in statistics to calculate the odds of 130 hits in 317 trials where only 79 hits would be expected by chance alone.

  180. Nidwinon 22 Aug 2017 at 4:39 am

    Be carefull with Daryl Bem and don’t forget he’s social psychologist and mentalist so everything he says, writes or pusblishes needs to be carefully evaluated.

    source
    https://slate.com/health-and-science/2017/06/daryl-bem-proved-esp-is-real-showed-science-is-broken.html

    “Even now, Jade Wu wonders whether Bem planned this out from the very start. Wu is now a doctoral student in clinical psychology, so she’s seen first-hand how research practice has been changing in her field. “I still think it’s possible that Daryl Bem did all of this as a way to make plain the problems of statistical methods in psychology,” she says. Other academics I spoke to shared similar suspicions. One well-known psychologist, whom knew Bem from when he went to grad school at Cornell, said at first he thought the ESP results might have been a version of the Sokal hoax. ”

    “Not long after she was hired, Jade Wu found herself staring at a bunch of retro pornography: naked men with poofy mullets and naked girls with feathered hair. “I’m gay, so I don’t know what’s sexy for heterosexuals,” Bem had said, in asking for her thoughts. Wu didn’t want to say out loud that the professor’s porno pictures weren’t hot, so she lied: Yeah, sure, they’re erotic.

    These would be the stimuli for the first of Bem’s experiments on ESP (or at least the first one to be reported in his published paper).”

    Bem also said he told Honorton one thing
    source
    http://skeptiko.com/daryl-bem-responds-to-parapsychology-debunkers/

    “Anyway, I said to him, “You know, I have one major talent and that’s getting published in mainstream psychological journals. If you get positive results with this technique, then I’ll try to get them published in a mainstream APA journal.” And we did. He got positive results and we wrote it up and in 1994 we published in The Psychological Bulletin, which is a highly regarded APA journal. The report of those studies was in telepathy.”

  181. CKavaon 22 Aug 2017 at 5:45 am

    Who needs to Enfant Terible? The figures are clearly indisputable and there is no other possible explanation for the results. Who needs statistical analysis and methodological rigor when you have ideological commitment!

  182. Enfant Terribleon 22 Aug 2017 at 6:48 am

    CKava,

    “The figures are clearly indisputable and there is no other possible explanation for the results.”

    Blackmore gave 3 alternatives in 1997:

    “is either some extraordinary flaw which nobody has thought of, or it is some kind of fraud – or that it is genuine ESP.”

    20 years later, we can certainly discard fraud, since even the skeptics replicated the results in 2005 and 2008 (besides many safeguards against fraud of the experimenter). We can certainly discard an extraordinary flaw too, since there is no flaw who can explain why an artistic population get much better results than an ‘normal’ population. So, yes, it is genuine ESP.

  183. Enfant Terribleon 22 Aug 2017 at 7:17 am

    CKava,

    looking at your references, many of them are mentioned in the article “Feeling the future: A meta-analysis of 90 experiments on the anomalous anticipation of random future events”

    a) – LeBel, E. P., & Peters, K. R. (2011). Fearing the future of empirical psychology: Bem’s (2011) evidence of psi as a case study of deficiencies in modal research practice. Review of General Psychology, 15(4), 371-379.

    LeBel & Peters (2011) remark that “…[i]t is precisely because Bem’s report is of objectively high quality that it is diagnostic of potential problems with MRP [Modal Research Practice]…. Bem has put empirical psychologists in a difficult position: forced to consider either revising beliefs about the fundamental nature of time and causality or revising beliefs about the soundness of MRP (p. 371).”

    LeBel and Peters conclude by recommending that we should put a stronger emphasis on replication. We agree. Rather than continuing to debate Bem’s original experiments, we seek in our meta-analysis to answer the one question that most decisively trumps such disputes: Can independent investigators replicate the original experiments?

    b) – Francis, G. (2012). Too good to be true: Publication bias in two prominent studies from experimental psychology. Psychonomic bulletin & review, 19(2), 151-156.
    – Schimmack, U. (2012). The ironic effect of significant results on the credibility of multiple-study articles. Psychological methods, 17(4), 551.

    Francis (2012) and Schimmack (2012) take a different tack. Instead of arguing that Bem’s results are weaker than he reports, they argue that, on the contrary, his results are actually too good to be true. That is, given the statistical power of Bem’s effects, it is unlikely that eight of his nine experiments would have achieved statistical significance, implying that there is a hidden file-drawer of experiments or failed statistical analyses that Bem failed to report.

    In his own discussion of potential file-drawer issues, Bem (2011) reported that they arose most acutely in his two earliest experiments (on retroactive habituation) because they required extensive pre-experiment pilot testing to select and match pairs of photographs and to adjust the number and timing of the repeated subliminal stimulus exposures. Once these were determined, however, the protocol was “frozen” and the formal experiments begun. Results from the first experiment were used to rematch several of the photographs used for its subsequent replication. In turn, these two initial experiments provided data relevant for setting the experimental procedures and parameters used in all the subsequent experiments.

    As Bem’s explicitly stated in his article, he omitted one exploratory experiment conducted after he had completed the original habituation experiment and its successful replication. It used supraliminal rather than subliminal exposures. He noted that this fundamentally alters the participant’s phenomenology of the experiment, transforming the task into an explicit ESP challenge and thereby undermining the very rationale for using an implicit response measure of psi in the first place. Even that experiment was not left languishing in a file drawer, however, because he had reported and critiqued it at a meeting of the Parapsychological Association (Bem, 2003).

    With regard to unreported data analyses, Bem analyzed and reported each experiment with two to four different analyses, demonstrating in each case that the results and conclusions were robust across different kinds of analyses, different indices of psi performance, and different definitions of outliers. Following standard practice, however, he did not treat stimuli as a random factor in his analyses.

    In his own critique, Francis (2012) remarks that “perhaps the most striking characteristic of [Bem’s] study is that [it meets] the current standards of experimental psychology. The implication is that it is the standards and practices of the field that are not operating properly (p. 155).”

    c) – Wagenmakers, E. J., Wetzels, R., Borsboom, D., & Van Der Maas, H. L. (2011). Why psychologists must change the way they analyze their data: the case of psi: comment on Bem (2011).

    Bem’s experiments have been extensively debated and critiqued. The first published critique appeared in the same issue of the journal as Bem’s original article (Wagenmakers et al., 2011). These authors argued that a Bayesian analysis of Bem’s results did not support his psi-positive conclusions and recommended that all research psychologists abandon frequentist analyses in favor of Bayesian ones. Bem et al. (2011) replied to Wagenmakers et al., criticizing the particular Bayesian analysis they had used and demonstrating that a more reasonable Bayesian analysis yields the same conclusions as Bem’s original frequentist analysis. In a similar critique, Rouder & Morey (2011) also advocated a Bayesian approach, criticizing the analyses of both Bem and Wagenmakers et al. Rather than continuing to debate this issue in the context of Bem’s original experiments, we here analyze the current database with both a frequentist analysis and the specific Bayesian analysis recommended by Rouder and Morey for meta-analyses.

    d) – Galak, J., LeBoeuf, R. A., Nelson, L. D., & Simmons, J. P. (2012). Correcting the past: Failures to replicate psi. Journal of personality and social psychology, 103(6), 933.

    One possible reason for the less successful performance of the slow-thinking experiments is that 12 of the 27 attempted replications of Bem’s retroactive facilitation of recall experiment were modified replications. The 15 exact replications of that protocol yielded an overall effect size of 0.08, but the 12 modified replications yielded a null effect size (-0.00). For example, Galak et al. (2012) used their own software to conduct seven of their 11 modified replications in which 87% of the sessions (2,845 of 3,289 sessions) were conducted online, thereby bypassing the controlled conditions of the laboratory. These unsupervised sessions produced an overall effect size of -0.02. Because experiments in a meta-analysis are weighted by sample size, the huge N of these online experiments substantially lowers the mean effect size of the replications: When the online experiments are removed, the mean ES for this protocol rises to 0.06 [0.00, 0.12]; z = 1.95, p = .05.

    e) – ‘Why a meta-analysis of 90 precognition studies does not provide convincing evidence of a true effect’ http://daniellakens.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/why-meta-analysis-of-90-precognition.html

    This is not published in a scientific journal. Anyway, there is one comment that the author never answered:

    1. In your critique, you argue (regarding publication bias) that: “PET-PEESE meta-regression seems to be the best test to correct effect size estimates for publication bias we currently have.” Do you have a citation for that claim?

    The authors (Bem et al.) do use several measures (based on correlation between effect size and sample size) to explore the possibility of publication bias. The only one where they don’t get a significant effect is the PET technique, very similar to the one you choose for your analysis. However, the authors note that “Sterne & Egger (2005) (upon which PET is based) themselves caution, however, this procedure cannot assign a causal mechanism, such as selection bias, to the correlation between study size and effect size, and they urge the use of the more noncommittal term “small-study effect.” So the literature suggests we should use caution in how we interpret this particular measure.

  184. BillyJoe7on 22 Aug 2017 at 7:49 am

    ET,

    “By the way, when I say that the mainstream accept the idea of retrocausality, it doesn’t matter if is a “small group”. The fact is that this “small group” – not more small! – is part of mainstream. That’s what I mean”

    Your interpretation of “accepted by mainstream science” is idiosyncratic, self-serving, nonsensical, and wrong. By your definition, creationism is accepted by mainstream science because a small group of physicists are creationists.

    “The link in “Price laid out an argument” directs you to the article “Does time-symmetry imply retrocausality? How the quantum world says “Maybe”?””

    It does not. It leads to an abstract of the paper. I read it and ignored it as you should properly have done.

  185. BillyJoe7on 22 Aug 2017 at 7:56 am

    …in fact, in your re-interpretation of “accepted by mainstream science” you have conceded the argument.
    Thanks for playing.

  186. Enfant Terribleon 22 Aug 2017 at 8:56 am

    BillyJoe7,

    “Your interpretation of “accepted by mainstream science” is idiosyncratic, self-serving, nonsensical, and wrong. By your definition, creationism is accepted by mainstream science because a small group of physicists are creationists.”

    Really? So, tell me their publications in peer reviewed journals of the mainstream, please.

    “It does not. It leads to an abstract of the paper.”

    Oh, I forget that not all people have access to these papers… But you know that you can easily get the paper using google… right?

    https://arxiv.org/pdf/1002.0906.pdf

    “I read it and ignored it […].”

    Well, this explain a lot about your biased cherry picking…

  187. Steven Novellaon 22 Aug 2017 at 9:45 am

    ET and Hardnose – Science is hard. Most published studies are flawed, with a significant bias in the positive direction. P-hacking, mostly innocent, is rampant. 30% of researchers admit to behaviors which amount to p-hacking when surveyed.

    We don’t know if a new phenomenon is real or not until we do definitive rigorous trials where p-hacking is ruled out. That study was done on Bem’s paradigm, and it was dead negative. That is the only result that matters.

    Bem later p-hacked the same data and dredged up a positive result. That result is worthless scientifically. But it seems it had the intended effect – to serve as support for true believers who want something to cherry pick to defend their predetermined conclusion.

    Everything else you are saying is essentially irrelevant. I don’t care if skeptics occasionally get positive results. I don’t care what a reanalysis showed. I don’t care if Bem, who has zero credibility, doesn’t think p-hacking affected the results. These don’t matter.

    When a careful, rigorous, preregistered consensus study was done that everyone agreed should show whether or not the effect was real was done – the results were negative. Period.

  188. hardnoseon 22 Aug 2017 at 10:28 am

    I have explained this several times already. Experimenter effects can’t be controlled in psi research. Wiseman NEVER gets positive results, and since you agree with his ideology, you accept his results. You will not ever consider the positive results of thousands of other experiments.

    You can ALWAYS find some excuse to disbelieve parapsychology. And the failed replications of people like Wiseman are always your last resort.

  189. CKavaon 22 Aug 2017 at 10:38 am

    Enfant Terrible>

    Of course Bem and Radin and other psi advocates have dismissed the criticisms. If you expected anything different you haven’t spent enough time around people who are deeply ideologically invested in their ideas. I’ve read Bem’s responses and the various other in depth critiques that are easily discoverable if you spend the time to look, they don’t resolve the problems. And saying that Bem played by the normal rules of social psychology is damning with faint praise since the vey same standards have been shown capable of proving that listening to certain songs actually makes you older. That such a outcome could be achieved using prevalent statistical and methodological practices doesn’t make it true, it means the methods are flawed. As almost the entire field now acknowledges…

    All that aside in this thread you have already demonstrated that you don’t understand effect sizes, or the difference between statistical significance and percentages so forgive me for doubting your ability to assess the validity of debates about Bayesian analyses.

    My advice to you and hardnose remains the same, if you have a genuine interest then invest some time to learn about the relevant statistics and methods and actively engage with the critiques. Until then you are just parroting views that accord with your ideological preferences.

  190. Steven Novellaon 22 Aug 2017 at 10:57 am

    Hardnose – you are simply and demonstrably wrong. You are either too stubborn, blinkered, or intellectually dishonest to see it or admit it.

    I have documented here and at SBM a very thoughtful and elaborate approach to interpreting the scientific literature on a host of issues. I consistently apply the same exact principles to every issue, including psi phenomenon. That is all public record for anyone to see, and we know you have seen it because you have been lurking here long enough.

    In this case I have not simply referred to the lack of replication by Wiseman. I referred to a consensus trial by Bem and believer and other skeptics. Everyone agreed to a protocol ahead of time, one that would be rigorous and eliminate p-hacking. That data was dead negative. There is no way around that.

    You are ignoring that fact by ranting about bias, which exists only in your head.

    It’s really quite pathetic that you persist as long as you have.

  191. hardnoseon 22 Aug 2017 at 2:02 pm

    “They presented their results last summer, at the most recent annual meeting of the Parapsychological Association. According to their pre-registered analysis, there was no evidence at all for ESP, nor was there any correlation between the attitudes of the experimenters—whether they were believers or skeptics when it came to psi—and the outcomes of the study. In summary, their large-scale, multisite, pre-registered replication ended in a failure.”

    http://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/follow-up-on-bems-psi-research/

    Oh really? Then why can’t you give us a link to that statement in the APA proceedings?

    Here is what the Slate article you referred to actually said (VERY different from your distorted summary):

    [Nelson and another professor, Carnegie Mellon’s Jeff Galak, had coded up an online version of Bem’s word-recall study, the one in which people practiced for a test after having taken it. Within a couple of days, they had results from more than a hundred people. On Oct. 14, 2010, Galak sent Nelson an email with the subject line, “There is no such thing as ESP.”]

    This is ONE failed replication! And it is not one of Bem’s more typical priming studies.

    The Slate article goes on to say:

    “There were other replication failures, too. But then, there were also some successes. Bem has since put out a meta-analysis that includes 23 exact replications of his original experiments, going back to 2003. When he pooled all those studies with his own, creating a pool of more than 2,000 subjects, he found a positive effect. In his view, the data showed ESP was real.”

    Of course you psi-deniers will believe whatever Wagenmakers says. He admitted the idea of ESP being real makes him physically ill!! And you expect fair unbiased evaluation from someone like that!

  192. hardnoseon 22 Aug 2017 at 2:03 pm

    “I referred to a consensus trial by Bem and believer and other skeptics. Everyone agreed to a protocol ahead of time, one that would be rigorous and eliminate p-hacking. That data was dead negative.”

    I can’t find that anywhere? Why can’t you provide a link? Because you don’t have one? Is this a game of telephone with psi-deniers quoting each other and quickly losing anything resembling the original statement?

  193. Enfant Terribleon 22 Aug 2017 at 3:08 pm

    Steven Novella,

    “I referred to a consensus trial by Bem and believer and other skeptics. Everyone agreed to a protocol ahead of time, one that would be rigorous and eliminate p-hacking. That data was dead negative. There is no way around that.”

    This situation seems to me much similar with ganzfeld with the Joint Communiqué. Everyone agreed to a protocol ahead of time, one that would be rigorous and eliminate all the flaws. That data was very positive. New improvements happened in 1993 (again with believers and skeptics working together). The data is much more positive today. (I don’t need to repeat that Wiseman’s metanalysis was criticized even by the skeptics).

    About the “failed/not so failed” experiment, don’t you think you are putting to much weight in just one experiment? All need replication. I remember that the first 3 replications of Bem’s experiments were negative, but soon positive replications came to light. Anyway, new pre-registred experiments about “Retroactive Facilitation of Recall” will happen:

    http://www.koestler-parapsychology.psy.ed.ac.uk/Documents/KPU_Registry_1027.pdf

  194. BillyJoe7on 22 Aug 2017 at 3:30 pm

    ET,

    How on Earth does a link to a paper by a philosopher add to your claim that retrocausality is accepted by mainstream science?

    It is what I refer to as a “wild goose chase”. Send your opponent off to read an irrelevant 22 page article. And, if he spends the time to study the article and spends more time writing a considered reply, blow him off with a one-liner.

    Besides which, I am almost certain that you would not understand that paper if you tried. Prove me wrong. Put in the mileage you are demanding of me. Write a summary of what exactly that paper is saying and how it relates to your claim that retro-causality is accepted by the mainstream.

    Put up or shut up.

  195. BillyJoe7on 22 Aug 2017 at 3:34 pm

    …btw, what I offered was good advice – if all you are provided with is an abstract, ignore it. Abstracts very commonly do not accurately summarize the article on which they are supposedly based.

  196. Pete Aon 22 Aug 2017 at 4:58 pm

    BillyJoe,

    ET has demonstrated, beyond a shadow of a doubt, a total failure to understand not only the basics of thermodynamics, information theory, statistics, quantum mechanics, and their underpinning areas of science and mathematics; but much more importantly, has abjectly failed to acknowledge, let alone comply with, the clearly-stated caveats in each of these branches of science and mathematics.

    ET, hardnose, and Ian Wardell serve as shining exemplars of the abject BS that people can be enticed to believe, simply because they are unable to comprehend the core fact that all units of measure have not only internationally-agreed units, each unit also has internationally-agreed dimensions. Furthermore, some of the internationally-agreed units are scalar quantities and others are vector quantities.

    ET’s tiresome espousal of percentage figures is a clear demonstration of either pathetic ignorance or wilful obscurantism. I shall leave it to the readers to decide.

  197. hardnoseon 22 Aug 2017 at 5:21 pm

    “Most published studies are flawed, with a significant bias in the positive direction. P-hacking, mostly innocent, is rampant. 30% of researchers admit to behaviors which amount to p-hacking when surveyed.”

    And THAT is your EVIDENCE that Bem was a p-hacker? Lots of people do it, so we can assume that Bem did also?

    Do you have ANY IDEA how desperate your efforts to discredit his research sound?

    I have a PhD in experimental psychology, and that makes me more qualified than you to judge psychology experiments. All your opinions are second-hand and distorted, mostly from people who get physically ill from the idea that ESP could be real.

  198. BillyJoe7on 22 Aug 2017 at 5:50 pm

    ^It has amused me no end in this thread to read what the troll says about others that actually applies to him. In fact, I have noted this trend amongst fringe dwellers for some time now. They take the arguments that apply to them, and have been used effectively against them, and use them against those who rely on science.

  199. BillyJoe7on 22 Aug 2017 at 5:56 pm

    Pete,

    I’m waiting with bated breath to see ET’s analysis of that paper he linked to.

    Which is another thing I’ve noticed with those fringe dwellers. They don’t understand their links. I guess the words just sound good (like some popular song lyrics) and seems to support their ideological commitments.

  200. Enfant Terribleon 22 Aug 2017 at 6:10 pm

    BillyJoe7,

    I am still waiting from you the publications of a small group of physicists that are creationists in peer reviewed journals of the mainstream.

    “How on Earth does a link to a paper by a philosopher add to your claim that retrocausality is accepted by mainstream science?”

    OMG… you haven’t read even Sean Carroll!

    “the practice of philosophy of physics is continuous with the practice of physics itself. Many of the best philosophers of physics were trained as physicists, and eventually realized that the problems they cared most about weren’t valued in physics departments, so they switched to philosophy. But those problems — the basic nature of the ultimate architecture of reality at its deepest levels — are just physics problems, really. And some amount of rigorous thought is necessary to make any progress on them. Shutting up and calculating isn’t good enough.”

    http://www.preposterousuniverse.com/blog/2014/06/23/physicists-should-stop-saying-silly-things-about-philosophy/

    And the journal that the article was published, the scientists and references mentioned, all this is mainstream.

    “Write a summary of what exactly that paper is saying and how it relates to your claim that retro-causality is accepted by the mainstream.”

    Very basicatly, that retrocausality is perfectly possible under some assumptions in QM (and in others not). The paper mentions many advocates of retrocausality in QM that are part of the mainstream.

  201. Enfant Terribleon 22 Aug 2017 at 6:18 pm

    Pete A,

    I really hope that you have learned that the years of 2002, 2004, 2005 already are in 21st century.

  202. bachfiendon 22 Aug 2017 at 7:04 pm

    Hardnose,

    ‘I have a PhD in experimental psychology, and it makes me more qualified than you to judge psychology experiments. All your opinions are second-hand and distorted, mostly from people who get physically ill from the idea that ESP could be real’.

    Steve Novella is a physician, a highly qualified one. The medical literature is rife with studies of similar quality (or rather lack of quality) as with the parapsychology ones regarding ESP, with all the problems of heterogenous populations of test subjects, over reliance on p-values, small effect sizes, confusion of chance correlations as indicating causation, the difficulty of replications and the lack of a possible mechanism for the results.

    As I’ve noted many times. A p-value less than 0.05 doesn’t indicate that the phenomenon under study is real. Nor does a positive replication study confirm it (or a negative replication study disprove it). All they do is to change the likelihood that the phenomenon exists. ‘Likelihood’ isn’t ‘certainty’. Confusing the two is a flaw of parapsychology research, and much medical research.

    Steve Novella is perfectly of detecting the flaws in parapsychology research, when they’re exactly the same ones medical researchers make.

    I personally don’t get physically sick at the idea that ESP could be real. I really, really enjoyed Harry Potter. Harry Potter’s ESP was a vital part of the plot – but it was fiction. I want to know that something exists before I’ll give it serious consideration. Not understanding something doesn’t make me ill – I accept that dark matter exists (a quarter of the Universe) despite my (or anyone else) not knowing what it is.

  203. hardnoseon 22 Aug 2017 at 7:28 pm

    “As I’ve noted many times. A p-value less than 0.05 doesn’t indicate that the phenomenon under study is real. Nor does a positive replication study confirm it (or a negative replication study disprove it). All they do is to change the likelihood that the phenomenon exists. ‘Likelihood’ isn’t ‘certainty’.”

    Oh please, you think I don’t know that likelihood isn’t certainty. Who said anything about certainty? We are talking about scientific research that makes a convincing case for precognition. No one said it was certain — what sane person would say that?

    So your accusation is ridiculous, as usual.

  204. hardnoseon 22 Aug 2017 at 7:34 pm

    “I personally don’t get physically sick at the idea that ESP could be real.”

    No one was talking about you personally. The psychologist who accused Bem of p-hacking, and who Novella quoted, stated that the thought of ESP being real makes him physically ill. So expecting that person to be unbiased is rather silly.

    I can’t see that Bem had a motive for deceiving himself or others with this research. He had a long and successful career, and had no reason to seek attention. Actually, the fact that he was near the end of a successful career is what made it possible for him to follow his curiosity. A young professor can’t take that kind of risk.

    On the other hand, Bem’s psi-denying critics are highly motivated to trash his research. They are desperate, because they don’t want to spend the rest of their lives being physically ill from knowing that ESP is real.

  205. Pete Aon 22 Aug 2017 at 8:20 pm

    Enfant Terrible,

    I really hope that you have learned that the years of 2002, 2004, 2005 already are in 21st century.

    In the years of 2002, 2004, 2005 gravitational waves had not been detected. Reliable sources of information from those years will confirm my statement that gravitational waves have not been detected in the 21st century.

    Here’s the link which I posted to you previously:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entropy_(order_and_disorder)#Difficulties_with_the_term_.22disorder.22

    I didn’t expect you to understand its implications, or to heed it.

    Science advances iteratively with the passage of time; ideologues also advance iteratively with the passage of time. However, science uses a negative feedback control loop, which enables science to be self-correcting; ideologues use a positive feedback control loop, which enables ideologues to become increasingly entrenched in their beliefs.

    I enjoy reading your comments. Each of them is a sobering reminder of the multitude of belief systems I was indoctrinated with during my childhood. It is extraordinarily easy for a person to become a true believer in. But it is an extraordinarily difficult and painful process to, firstly, admit to ourselves that we have been hopelessly wrong, secondly, to publicly admit that we have been hopelessly wrong, then thirdly, to piecewise abandon our false beliefs and replace them with solid foundations in logic, mathematics, and science.

    Four of the most hilarious things about your replies are: your pathetic inability to detect satire; your abject failure to detect whether you are being referred to directly in the first person or indirectly in the third person; your continued belief that citing and quoting from sources which discredit your argument somehow bolster your argument. Some of your recent references and quotations blatantly contradict your previous references 🙂

    The forth, and by far the most hilarious, being — from the perspective of the readers — the commentators using the pseudonyms “Enfant Terrible” and “hardnose” on this blog behaving in a manner which strongly suggests they believe that they have a higher level of credibility than Dr. Steven Novella. I wouldn’t call either of you an Internet troll because neither of you are anywhere near smart enough to be even an average Internet troll.

  206. hardnoseon 22 Aug 2017 at 8:24 pm

    Pete A,

    When you can’t argue logically, simply call your opponents unintelligent.

  207. CKavaon 22 Aug 2017 at 8:30 pm

    hardnose, If you do indeed have a PhD in experimental psychology you are indictment of that as any standard of methodological or statistical competence. I don’t doubt its possible because I’ve seen terrible things in that field, but I also strongly suspect you will have completed your education at a time when the dubious practices of Bem & co. were both rampant and widely accepted. Fortunately, standards have been improving recently and the critiques of misapplied statistics and shoddy inferences that have been largely ignored for decades are now receiving appropriate attention. Your qualification seems to have indoctrinated you with false confidence that you understand the literature but anyone reading your comments can see how wrong that is. Remember saying NO ONE FLAWS WERE EVER FOUND? That’s clearly bullshit (see the articles linked to) but yet I fully expect you to trot it out again the next time the topic arises.

    An illustration of how little you understand the scope of the problem is your constant refrain that ‘p-hacking’ requires intentional, malicious deceit. It doesn’t. I think this is maybe the fourth time I’ve mentioned this in this thread alone, but you don’t seem to be able to internalise this very basic point. You have an ideology infused narratives that skeptics must be accusing all psi proponents of being bad-faith actors and it appears to overwrites any evidence to the contrary. But that isn’t the only critique of skeptics nor of are the legion of statisticians and experimentalists that have examined Bem’s studies. Both groups fully recognise that it is perfectly possible to be earnest and honest and still to produce bogus results. This was a fact pointed out in almost all of the articles responding to Bem but somehow you seemed to have missed it.

    Instead, you have constructed a ridiculous caricature wherein everyone you disagree with are dishonest ideologues and everyone you agree with are pure genius scientists. It’s a cartoonish worldview and one that anyone with familiarity with psychology should recognise as hopelessly biased and self-serving. The irony available to all who read your posts is that while not all psi advocates or skeptics are ideologues, you quite clearly are.

  208. hardnoseon 22 Aug 2017 at 8:35 pm

    CKava,

    They are accusing Bem of p-hacking WITH NO EVIDENCE. You must have missed all the times I said that.

    I NEVER said Bem or any other parapsychologist is perfect. I just think that you want to accuse someone of either stupidity or deceptiveness, you should have some EVIDENCE.

    As I said, I already knew as a first year graduate student that fishing around in your data for something, anything, significant is UNSCIENTIFIC and not accepted in experimental psychology research.

    Yet they are accusing Bem of that WITH NO EVIDENCE? Why? So they don’t have to accept that ESP is real and spend the rest of their lives throwing up because of it.

  209. CKavaon 22 Aug 2017 at 8:53 pm

    hardnose,

    As ever, you are a broken ideological record that simply refuses to update or respond to anything that doesn’t fit your preconceived narrative.

    I just think that you want to accuse someone of either stupidity or deceptiveness, you should have some EVIDENCE.

    You don’t have to be stupid or deceptive to get misleading results. I feel like I’ve said this before…

    1. It is perfectly possible for a researcher to conduct a study and analyse their data with genuinely good intentions and still to engage in p-hacking. Bem’s online guide for students provides a detailed illustration of this.
    2. He isn’t intentionally deceiving anyone, he genuinely believes in his findings, as do many psi proponents and yet they are still employing practices that will guarantee misleading results.
    3. You don’t need to have nefarious motives to produce misleading results or conduct biased analyses. It is an exceedingly common practice.
    4. An illustration of how little you understand the scope of the problem is your constant refrain that ‘p-hacking’ requires intentional, malicious deceit.
    5. …it is perfectly possible to be earnest and honest and still to produce bogus results.

    Yet they are accusing Bem of that WITH NO EVIDENCE? Why? So they don’t have to accept that ESP is real and spend the rest of their lives throwing up because of it.

    There is evidence that Bem’s research methods are wanting. It comes from Bem’s own mouth in interviews, it is available in his own words in his advice to students on his website, and it is detailed in various publications and blogs that specifically address the methodological and statistical limitations of his paper. You chose to ignore them and hand wave them away. Fine, you are a lost cause but simply putting things in capitals doesn’t convert your preferences into reality. There is evidence and there are flaws with the study. That you don’t have the ability to recognise or understand the critiques is neither here nor there.

    As per Wagenmakers and his ideological bias, here is a representative illustration of his stance, taken from a respectful interaction with a much more reasonable psi-advocate on his blog, I leave it to others to judge whether your cartoonish characterisation is accurate:

    “Issue 11. I am oddly fascinated by research on psi, and I don’t think you are a bad crowd at all. Also, I have read quite a bit on the topic so I do know a little more than just the work by Bem. But I do believe that it is easy to fall prey to hindsight bias. Also, p-values are “violently biased against the null” (Edwards, 1965).

    Research on ESP has helped raise awareness of general problems with methodology. Some of these problems have already been acknowledged within the ESP community decades ago.

    Despite everybody’s good intentions, I believe that for the skeptics to be convinced, the proponents need to take five steps:
    1. *Publicly preregister* the experiments, and report the results regardless of the outcome.
    2. Involve skeptics in the preregistration and design phase.
    3. Compute Bayes factors, not p-values.
    4. Focus on single, good experiments, instead of relying on meta-analyses and inappropriately combining evidence across poor studies.
    5. Based on (1), (2), and (4), create a program that can be conducted by anyone to verify the existence of the phenomenon.

    On a side note, I have never been approached by ESP proponents with a request for an adversarial collaboration. If I were convinced of the existence of a highly counter-intuitive finding, I would do all I could to convince my colleagues. Without step 1 and 2 above, no researcher will ever be convinced. The hypothesis of deception and unintentional errors in the design of analysis is a priori much more likely than the hypothesis of ESP.”

  210. bachfiendon 22 Aug 2017 at 9:15 pm

    Hardnose,

    ‘Oh please, you think I don’t know that likelihood isn’t certainty. Who said anything about certainty? We are talking about scientific research that makes a convincing case for precognition. No one said it was certain – what sane person would say that?’

    A convincing case for precognition requires certainty. If there’s room for doubt, then the studies aren’t convincing. If you’re convinced by the research, then you don’t have doubt. You’re certain. I’ll leave it to you to add the continuation…

    I’ll grant you that the studies provide a suggestive case, no more, for precognition. I’m less convinced that psi exists than I am that dark matter and dark energy exist. The fact that we don’t have a mechanism for psi doesn’t invalidate it any more than the fact that we don’t have a mechanism for dark energy causing the expansion of the Universe to be accelerating. And it would actually open fascinating new fields of scientific research were it real.

    But the evidence by no means is ‘convincing’. It doesn’t convince me.

  211. bachfiendon 23 Aug 2017 at 12:13 am

    Hardnose,

    ‘I can’t see that Bem had a motive for deceiving himself or others with this research. He had a long and successful career, and had no reason to seek attention. Actually, the fact that he was near the end of a successful career is what made it possible for him to follow his curiosity. A young professor can’t take that kind of risk.
    On the other hand, Bem’s psi-denying critics are highly motivated to trash his research. They are desperate, because they don’t want to spend the rest of their lives being physically ill from knowing that ESP is real.’

    I personally put Daryl Bem in the same group of scientists which also includes Oliver Manuel, who similarly has had a long career, including being professor of nuclear chemistry at the University of Missouri, with a long list of publications and graduate students. He’s also famous for thinking that the Sun has a core of iron, was formed from the accumulation of matter on the remnants of a supernova and that most of the emitted solar energy comes from neutron-neutron repulsion instead of from hydrogen fusion.

    What was Oliver Manuel’s motive for being such a maverick, for being so spectacularly wrong (assuming that he’s wrong of course)? I don’t know what his motives are – I can’t assess what is going on inside his mind, I can only go on what he’s written, which doesn’t include everything he’s thought and done.

    The same would also apply to Daryl Bem.

  212. BillyJoe7on 23 Aug 2017 at 7:13 am

    ET,

    Your reference to Sean Carroll’s support for philosophers is bizarre.

    Firstly, the fact that Huw Price is a philosopher was only one third of my point, the other two being that he is only one person and this is only one article. A single paper by one person who is a philosopher cannot provide support for your claim that retro-causality is accepted by mainstream scientists.

    But…

    Apparently I’m supposed to have read everything Sean Carroll has said just because I referenced him once.
    And, apparently, I’m supposed to support everything he has said on every topic just because I referenced him once on his subject of expertise.

    In fact, I do agree with his view on philosophers of physics.
    I have lots of respect for philosophers who base their views on physics and science in general, and no respect for those who don’t.

    Sean Carroll: “Many of the best philosophers of physics were trained as physicists”

    Huw Price is not one of those. 😉

    Oh, and thanks for your detailed summary of that 22 page article. 😀

  213. SteveAon 23 Aug 2017 at 7:32 am

    Hardnose: “The psychologist who accused Bem of p-hacking, and who Novella quoted, stated that the thought of ESP being real makes him physically ill. So expecting that person to be unbiased is rather silly…

    On the other hand, Bem’s psi-denying critics are highly motivated to trash his research. They are desperate, because they don’t want to spend the rest of their lives being physically ill from knowing that ESP is real.”

    So you take the words of one commentator and apply it to everyone who criticises PSI research?

    Even you should be able to see how dishonest that is.

    For your information, I spent my formative years fascinated by PSI and the work being done to uncover its secrets. I was quite convinced that the researchers undertaking these studies would succeed because of the wealth of anecdotal ‘evidence’ showing that PSI was a real thing. However, I was also aware that a real phenomenon must have real effects and that these must be both demonstrable and measurable.

    And as time went on the research revealed very little, and the better the methodology used, the less that was found. The PSI ‘effects’ we’re left with now are nothing but statistical noise.

    You seem to think that the ‘closed minds’ of ESP critics would be ‘blown’ if experiments proved it actually existed, whereas I and anyone else who’s ever taken an interest in the subject would be delighted if such an interesting phenomena could be shown to be real. Unfortunately you can’t accept that, because then your motive for our scepticism goes out the window and such a thing cannot be allowed to exist within the claustrophobic sliver of your narrow world-view.

  214. SteveAon 23 Aug 2017 at 7:37 am

    bachfiend: “What was Oliver Manuel’s motive for being such a maverick, for being so spectacularly wrong (assuming that he’s wrong of course)? I don’t know what his motives are – I can’t assess what is going on inside his mind, I can only go on what he’s written, which doesn’t include everything he’s thought and done.”

    I’ve heard it called ‘The Legacy Effect’. One last throw of the dice as far as making a name for yourself. The odds are lottery long, but the cost is low.

    I think senility and the fact that you’ve been known as the ‘smart guy/gal’ for most of your life is also a factor.

  215. hardnoseon 23 Aug 2017 at 7:58 am

    “Bem’s online guide for students provides a detailed illustration of this.”

    The psi-deniers always quote from that guide. He was OBVIOUSLY talking about how to get ideas for new research. He was NOT talking about how to conduct formal research.

    I have to keep repeating things because nothing gets past your tribal epistemology.

  216. hardnoseon 23 Aug 2017 at 8:00 am

    “So you take the words of one commentator and apply it to everyone who criticises PSI research?”

    That commentator was the authority who convinced Novella that Bem’s research was “crap.”

  217. Nidwinon 23 Aug 2017 at 8:47 am

    They should try Bem’s curtain stuff with animals. Let’s see how often a cat/dog or mice is going to guess where the food is going to be put in the future.

    Of course the ESP/Psi lovers are going to claim that it’s proof that only humans are subject to ESP as only humans can sometimes guess it properly (the only ones to try to guess anyhow) and that proves that ESP is real.

  218. SteveAon 23 Aug 2017 at 8:48 am

    hardnose: “That commentator was the authority who convinced Novella that Bem’s research was “crap.””

    So what? How does this excuse you?

    Step outside of your rabbit-hole, Hardnose; there’s a big wide world out here.

  219. CKavaon 23 Aug 2017 at 9:16 am

    Hardnose>

    It’s not a guide to exploratory research hardnose, it’s a guide to conducting research and getting it published in high level journals. The questionable advice is not constrained to exploratory analysis, instead the document is littered with all of the questionable research and statistical practices you would anticipate. In fact it essentially provides a recipe for ensuring you get false positive results that fall below p < .05.

    But at least your making progress, I remember you originally denying that such a document existed, now it seems you've progressed to acknowledging it but trying to rationalize the questionable practices it recommends. Maybe one day you might get to the point were you can critically engage with a study you ideologically agree with. Now there's something wildly against the odds…

  220. Enfant Terribleon 23 Aug 2017 at 9:39 am

    BillyJoe7,

    “A single paper by one person who is a philosopher cannot provide support for your claim that retro-causality is accepted by mainstream scientists.”

    This “single paper” has references to others papers about retrocausality.

    Perhaps most importantly,retrocausality has been claimed to offer an attractive path to a Lorentz-invariant explanation of Bell correlations, and other manifestations of quantum nonlocality, without action-at-a-distance (see,e.g., CostadeBeauregard,1953, 1976, 1977; Cramer, 1980, 1986; Hokkyo,1988; Miller,1996, 1997; Price,1984, 1994, 1996; Sutherland,1983, 1998, 2008; Wharton,2007, 2009). […] Some advocates of retrocausality in QM (e.g., Costa de Beauregard, 1976, 1977; Miller, 1996; Price, 1997) have suggested that considerations of time-symmetry count in its favour

    And you can look the new articles published by the American Institute of Physics:

    a) http://aip.scitation.org/doi/pdf/10.1063/1.4982765

    b) http://aip.scitation.org/doi/pdf/10.1063/1.4982776

    c) http://aip.scitation.org/doi/pdf/10.1063/1.4982774

    The last (c) has a Figure which shows the increasing number of publications per 2 year on “retrocausality” in physics journals.

    “Huw Price is not one of those”

    OMG…

    From the British Academy:

    Specialisms
    Philosophy of physics, especially the direction of time & the interpretation of quantum theory; pragmatism & metaphysics; philosophy of language.

    http://www.britac.ac.uk/user/1469

    “PROFESSOR HUW PRICE was born in Oxford, and came to Australia on an Italian liner when he was 13. He attended the ISS in 1969, and went on to study Mathematics, Physics and Philosophy at ANU, Oxford and Cambridge”

    http://prce.hu/w/preprints/Price_ISS05c.pdf

    Someone, please, teach this guy to use google!!! 🙂

  221. Enfant Terribleon 23 Aug 2017 at 9:41 am

    BillyJoe7,

    My comment is awating moderation again, because the number of links. So I will split my coment in two parts.

    “A single paper by one person who is a philosopher cannot provide support for your claim that retro-causality is accepted by mainstream scientists.”

    This “single paper” has references to others papers about retrocausality.

    Perhaps most importantly,retrocausality has been claimed to offer an attractive path to a Lorentz-invariant explanation of Bell correlations, and other manifestations of quantum nonlocality, without action-at-a-distance (see,e.g., Costa de Beauregard,1953, 1976, 1977; Cramer, 1980, 1986; Hokkyo,1988; Miller,1996, 1997; Price,1984, 1994, 1996; Sutherland,1983, 1998, 2008; Wharton,2007, 2009). […] Some advocates of retrocausality in QM (e.g., Costa de Beauregard, 1976, 1977; Miller, 1996; Price, 1997) have suggested that considerations of time-symmetry count in its favour

    And you can look the new articles published by the American Institute of Physics:

    a) http://aip.scitation.org/doi/pdf/10.1063/1.4982765
    b) http://aip.scitation.org/doi/pdf/10.1063/1.4982776
    c) http://aip.scitation.org/doi/pdf/10.1063/1.4982774

    The last (c) has a Figure which shows the increasing number of publications per 2 year on “retrocausality” in physics journals.

  222. Enfant Terribleon 23 Aug 2017 at 9:43 am

    Second part for BillyJoe7:

    “Huw Price is not one of those”

    OMG…

    From the British Academy:

    Specialisms
    Philosophy of physics, especially the direction of time & the interpretation of quantum theory; pragmatism & metaphysics; philosophy of language.

    http://www.britac.ac.uk/user/1469

    PROFESSOR HUW PRICE was born in Oxford, and came to Australia on an Italian liner when he was 13. He attended the ISS in 1969, and went on to study Mathematics, Physics and Philosophy at ANU, Oxford and Cambridge

    http://prce.hu/w/preprints/Price_ISS05c.pdf

    Someone, please, teach this guy to use google!!! 🙂

  223. hardnoseon 23 Aug 2017 at 10:51 am

    “Of course the ESP/Psi lovers are going to claim that it’s proof that only humans are subject to ESP as only humans can sometimes guess it properly (the only ones to try to guess anyhow) and that proves that ESP is real.”

    Parapsychologists sometimes use animal subjects, not just humans. And Bem’s research was implicit (it tested subconscious processes, which the subjects were not aware of).

  224. hardnoseon 23 Aug 2017 at 10:59 am

    “It’s not a guide to exploratory research hardnose, it’s a guide to conducting research and getting it published in high level journals.”

    I read it. Nowhere does Bem say exploratory practices should be used in conducting formal research. Nowhere does he say that ad-hoc comparisons can be treated the same way as planned comparisons.

    This I think is the problem:

    Most of the anti-psi critics who trashed Bem’s research were either psychologists who were ideologically motivated to deny its validity, OR they were non-psychologists (such as Novella) who repeated the trashing without understanding it.

    The negative criticism mostly hinges on p-hacking, which they accuse Bem of WITH NO EVIDENCE.

    Novella is not aware of what an obvious crime p-hacking is considered to be in psychology. (And, in general, parapsychologists are extra careful about correct practices because they know psi-hating “skeptics” are waiting to pounce.)

    When Bem reported that erotic pictures produced results while non-erotic pictures did not, it GOES WITHOUT SAYING that was a planned comparison.

    The erotic/non-erotic comparison was probably based on earlier pilot studies, as well as past research.

  225. Pete Aon 23 Aug 2017 at 11:40 am

    Using statistics to test whether or not an effect actually exists is blatant misuse of statistics.

    The correct question to ask of statistical methods is: How strong is the effect?

    When we make empirical observation we are observing signal (S), if the signal actually exists, plus noise (N), where noise includes the contribution from errors. What we need to discover, with reasonable accuracy, is the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). The SNR sets the limit on what can reasonably be deduced from our observations, therefore that which is unreasonable to deduce.

    It’s essential to note that S and N must be: in a linear domain; power quantities, not root-power quantities [deprecated term: field quantities]; and decorrelated. Furthermore, the probability density function (PDF) of the signal, and the PDF of the noise, must be compatible with the corresponding PDFs expected by the statistical functions with which the data will be analysed. Unless all of these conditions are met, the results will be meaningless; also known as: garbage in, garbage out.

    A fine example of getting this wrong is revealed in the SNR values given for video signals. E.g. a stated SNR of 60 dB is impossible because there’s three orders of magnitude too few photons per second reaching the Earth to achieve it! The devil is in the details. The video signal is a voltage, and voltages in electrical and electronic systems are usually root-power quantities [field quantities], however, a linear video signal is proportional to the number of photons detected. Photons are energy quanta therefore a voltage which is proportional to photon detections is a power quantity, not a root-power quantity. This mistake is a category error / domain error that has been repeated for so many decades that it’s far too late to correct it; instead, it’s been adopted as the standard way of specifying video system SNR.

    How and why do such howling errors end up being repeated by so many professional people, for so many decades? The SNR error is absent, or very rare, in related branches of science and engineering, e.g., optical physics, radio astronomy, information theory, and telecommunications; and when such an error does occur, it is detected by the process of peer review.

    A strong hint as to the answer has been provided in this comment thread:

    [Enfant Terrible to CKava] And finally, about statisticall analysies, you don’t need them. Just count the number of direct hits as I did. You will see that is much above what would be expected by chance, specially in an artistic population. And no file drawer…

    [in a subsequent reply]
    Please, call any expert in statistics to calculate the odds of 130 hits in 317 trials where only 79 hits would be expected by chance alone.

    What does that even mean? It is completely devoid of meaning. Every internationally recognized quantity is specified, unambiguously, in its relevant ISO standards documents: its unit name; its unit symbol; its base units; and its base dimensions aka fundamental dimensions.

    Many, if not most, people mistakenly believe that percentage values and integer count values are unitless dimensionless values. Well, a unitless dimensionless numerical value quantity isn’t a quantity by definition! To illustrate this mistaken belief: A tree in my garden has grown 10% during the last month and I can back my claim with a peer-reviewed statistical analysis of the measured plant growths in my garden. To which every rational person should reply: WTF are you taking about?

    True believers become true believers simply by avoiding the most fundamental questions of all: WTF am I actually talking about? Can I explain the references I’ve chosen in order to support my beliefs, in terms of internationally-agreed fundamental units and dimensions of measure? Who owns the burden of proof for my beliefs?

    NB: nobody owns the burden of proof for withholding their belief in claim X; for the same reason that the scientific method does not own the burden of proof for the null hypothesis of each and every claim.

  226. hardnoseon 23 Aug 2017 at 11:58 am

    Bem’s advice concerning data:

    “Examine them from every angle. Analyze the sexes separately. Make up new composite indexes. If a
    datum suggests a new hypothesis, try to find additional evidence for it elsewhere in the data. If you see dim traces of interesting patterns, try to reorganize the data to bring them into bolder relief. If there are participants you don’t like, or trials, observers, or interviewers who gave you anomalous results, drop them (temporarily). Go on a fishing expedition for something—anything —interesting.”

    The above was used in trying to discredit Bem, to show he advocated p-hacking. Sure, if you take it out of context it looks that way.

    But then he continued:

    “No, this is not immoral. The rules of scientific and statistical inference that we overlearn in graduate school apply to the “Context of Justification.” They tell us what we can conclude in the articles we write for public consumption, and they give our readers criteria for deciding whether or not to believe us. But in the “Context of Discovery,” there are no formal rules, only heuristics or strategies. How does one discover a new phenomenon? Smell a good idea? Have a brilliant insight into behavior? Create a new theory? In the confining context of an empirical study, there is only one strategy for discovery: exploring the data.”

    He was trying to explain strategies for DISCOVERING NEW IDEAS. That is very often over-looked when students are taught how to do research.

    In my own graduate school experience, professors never said a word about how to discover new ideas.

    But science is a CREATIVE process, and Bem was just acknowledging that. Without the creative aspect, science would have no point.

  227. hardnoseon 23 Aug 2017 at 12:02 pm

    “Using statistics to test whether or not an effect actually exists is blatant misuse of statistics.”

    “The correct question to ask of statistical methods is: How strong is the effect?”

    Nonsense. Why would you ask how strong the effect is before you even know if it exists?

    Inferential statistics are used to decide if an effect PROBABLY exists.

  228. hardnoseon 23 Aug 2017 at 12:05 pm

    Pete A is just bloviating, trying to sound like he understands statistics. His bloviation has no relation to anything we were talking about.

  229. Pete Aon 23 Aug 2017 at 12:21 pm

    hardnose,

    Pete A,

    When you can’t argue logically, simply call your opponents unintelligent.

  230. hardnoseon 23 Aug 2017 at 12:28 pm

    “When you can’t argue logically, simply call your opponents unintelligent.”

    Or else bloviate.

  231. Pete Aon 23 Aug 2017 at 1:14 pm

    QUOTE [http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Pseudoscience]

    If you are in possession of this revolutionary secret of science, why not prove it properly and be hailed as the new Newton?

    Of course, we know the answer. You can’t do it. You are a fake.
    —Richard Dawkins

    Pseudoscience describes any belief system or methodology which tries to gain legitimacy by wearing the trappings of science, but fails to abide by the rigorous methodology and standards of evidence that are the marks of true science.

    Promoters of pseudoscience often adopt the vocabulary of science, describing conjectures as hypotheses, theories, or laws, providing “evidence” from observation and “expert” testimonies, or even developing what appear to be mathematical models of their ideas. However, in pseudoscience there is no honest attempt to follow the scientific method, provide falsifiable predictions, or develop double blind experiments.

    Although pseudoscience is designed to appear scientific, it lacks all of the substance of science.

    Why pseudoscience exists

    A lot of people seem to think that they understand science, or that they’re “scientifically minded”, or at the very least that they’re rational. They prove it by boldly joining Facebook groups for people who claim to not only love science, but “f*ckingly” so. But claiming to love science without actually having a scientific understanding is like claiming to love writing without being able to read. And a disturbingly large number of people believe in bullshit precisely because they have no scientific understanding.

    —Maddox, How to tell if you believe in bullshit
    [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVnuFY20st0]

    If pseudoscience is so incoherently dumb, why do people believe it? There are a few explanations.

    · Poor scientific literacy: This approach argues that, because many people don’t understand science, how it works, or what makes something not science, that said scientifically illiterate people are susceptible to science-imitating pseudoscience, which has all the apparent authority of science but very little of the hard-to-understand actual research.[3][4][5]

    · Confirmation bias: People want to believe that what they think is true, is true.[6] Furthermore, people want to believe things that make “sense”,[7][8] that are comforting,[7][8] and that align with their personal experiences,[7][8][3][4] which pushes them towards what they like, rather than what is more likely true. This is compounded by the fact that the brain is good at finding biases in others, but not in itself.[9]

    · Popular misinformation: When something is popular, yet wrong, it can often become an established “fact” merely through virtue of being repeated so many times.[3][4] Sometimes this misinformation is due to popular science fiction/fantasy which either is based on old obsolete concepts or just plain poor present science. Another source is the dreaded “technobabble” which in theory is to simulate how theories beyond our current understanding would sound to us by mimicking how modern scientific theories would sound to someone of 200 to 300 years ago but in practice tends to produce scientific gibberish like, “Reverse the polarity of the neutron flow.”

    · Excitement: Many claims in pseudoscience are exciting ideas, and believing them potentially makes life more interesting. UFOs are a good example—the thought that we’re being visited, and that you, yes you, might be able to spot them yourself, is terribly exciting to many people. It also makes for an outlet for vivid imaginations of what the aliens might be like. By contrast, the lack of evidence for alien visitation and the realities of interstellar travel (due to the immense distances involved) are downright boring to many.

    · Wishful thinking: Some pseudoscientific ideas could be a great help to people if they were true. Cold fusion is an obvious example, as that could solve many of our energy problems quite easily — if only it actually worked. Similarly, if — say — positive thinking had a physical effect on reality, that could have tremendous potential to help people. It’s been shown not to work, though.

    Impact
    Science is pretty damn great. Pseudoscience wastes effort that could have gone towards science and misinforms people about science, which hurts science’s ability to do great things. This obstruction can and has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people.

    END of QUOTE

  232. hardnoseon 23 Aug 2017 at 1:54 pm

    If you have nothing logical to say, paste an article from a “Skeptic” website.

  233. Pete Aon 23 Aug 2017 at 2:31 pm

    “If you have nothing logical to say, paste an article from a ‘Skeptic’ website.”

    LOL! You are writing your diatribes in the comments section of “a ‘Skeptic’ website”.

    As I said, you aren’t nearly smart enough to become even an average Internet troll 🙂

  234. Enfant Terribleon 23 Aug 2017 at 2:41 pm

    Pete A

    even the skeptic Chris French agrees that Parapsychology is a Science:

    How then does parapsychology measure up as a pseudoscience?

    (i) Issues relating to falsifiability: James Alcock (1981) presents an interesting list of postulated effects that he feels undermine the testability of paranormal claims, at least from the sceptic’s perspective. First among these are experimenter effects. In conventional science, if two experimenters carrying out the same procedures consistently obtain different patterns of results, this is a cause for concern. It suggests that one or both are influencing the outcome, possibly by means of an unintentional bias of some kind. In parapsychology, however, the fact that only certain experimenters seem to consistently obtain results supporting the paranormal is seen as perfectly acceptable. The second example is the so-called sheep-goat effect. Parapsychologists generally accept that believers in the paranormal are more likely to score at a level significantly above chance expectation compared to disbelievers, who are likely to score significantly below chance. However, in both cases, although such factors might reduce the possibility of sceptics directly observing paranormal phenomena for themselves, they are both empirically testable (and therefore falsifiable), e.g., by collaboration between pro-paranormal and sceptical researchers (Schlitz, Wiseman, Watt, & Radin, 2006).

    (ii) Emphasis on confirmation rather than refutation: Mousseau (2003, p. 274) reported that in her sample “almost half of the fringe articles report a negative outcome (disconfirmation). By contrast, no report of a negative result has been found in my sample of mainstream journals.” By this criterion then, parapsychology appears to be more scientific than the more mainstream disciplines.

    (iii) Formal background modest, little mathematics or logic: Mousseau (2003, p. 274) reported that, “All of the articles that aim to gather new empirical evidence, whether in fringe journals or in mainstream journals, use statistical analysis.”

    (iv) Failure to propose new hypotheses and theories: Mousseau (2003, p. 274) found that a healthy 17% of fringe articles deal with theory and propose new hypotheses.

    (v) Over-reliance on testimonials and anecdotal evidence: There probably is more reliance on anecdotal evidence within parapsychology than within most other sciences. Testimonials are particularly common in relation to claims of psychic healing, for example, and anecdotal evidence is common with respect to reports of alleged haunting. But, as Mousseau (2003, p. 273) reports, “43% of articles in the fringe journals deal with empirical matters and almost one-fourth report laboratory experiments.”

    (vi) Absence of self-correction: Once again, Mousseau’s (2003, p. 275) analysis would suggest that parapsychology actually fares somewhat better than mainstream sciences: “… 29% of the fringe-journal articles […] discuss progress of research, problems encountered, epistemological issues. This kind of article is completely absent from the mainstream sample.”

    (vii) Lack of overlap with other fields of research: According to Mousseau (2003), in fringe-journals, 36% of citations were of articles in mainstream science journals (e.g., psychology, physics, neuroscience). In her sample of mainstream science journals, however, 90% of citations were to articles in the same field (99% in the case of physics). Once again, parapsychology appears to be more scientific than mainstream science by this measure.

    (viii) Use of impressive sounding jargon: There is little doubt that many proponents of the paranormal, especially those promoting New Age therapies such as psychic healing, often use scientific-sounding terminology such as “vibrations”, “energy”, “fields”, “harmonization”, and so on, in ways that bear little resemblance to the precisely defined meanings that such terms have when used by scientists. However, such imprecise usage is, by and large, not a feature of articles published in peer-reviewed journals within the field.

    In general, parapsychology appears to meet the implicit criteria of science, to a greater or lesser extent, rather better than it meets the criteria of pseudoscience.

    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/267772045_Is_Parapsychology_a_Pseudoscience

  235. Pete Aon 23 Aug 2017 at 3:08 pm

    Enfant Terrible,

    Apply that to yourself, most importantly: in conjunction with Dr. Novella’s replies to you; and in conjunction with the content of the article on which you are commenting.

    Your comments serve as exemplars of Tribal Epistemology. Congratulations on playing a small role in the overall quod erat demonstrandum.

  236. bachfiendon 23 Aug 2017 at 5:22 pm

    Enfant Terrible,

    The philosopher Massimo Pigliucci included parapsychology as pseudoscience in his book ‘Nonsense on Stilts’.

    Regardless of whether parapsychology is pseudoscience, false science, fringe science or true science, Pigliucci notes (as we have kept on telling you and hardnose) parapsychology has the problem that it purports to detect small deviations from chance in large sets of data, yielding p-values less than 0.05 and ascribing it to whatever paranormal ability is being investigated.

    Pigliucci’s book is an old one – it was published in 2010. If it had been written a few years later, he probably would have used Bem’s studies as his example. He noted that parapsychology experiments have the problem that it’s actually very difficult to have a truly random presentation of choices to be made. He uses the example of a coin flip. If you toss a coin a thousand times, you’d expect a slight bias to either heads or tails, because of slight imperfections in the milling process. A parapsycholigist claiming that a subject predicting heads every time, and being right more than 50% of the time, is showing precognition or telekinesis is just wrong; the subject has just learned the bias of the setup.

    In Bem’s studies, it’s actually very difficult to have the target image randomly on right and left, even if it’s done by a computer. Computer generated ‘randomness’ isn’t random. One way of getting around this problem as Pigliucci notes was done in previous parapsychology studies was to do do control studies as a preliminary. You set a computer, programmed to detect whatever bias is in the system, to make the selections and see if you can demonstrate a ‘psi-ability’ in your test computer compared to your test subjects when you’ve done your study.

    Did Bem do this? If he did, would you be trumpeting that computers also have the psi ability of precognition, but just in artistic Apple computers, not nasty PCs running Windows?

  237. hardnoseon 23 Aug 2017 at 5:47 pm

    “You set a computer, programmed to detect whatever bias is in the system, to make the selections and see if you can demonstrate a ‘psi-ability’ in your test computer compared to your test subjects when you’ve done your study.”

    Bias in the randomness generator, if there was any, would not cause consistently positive results.

    Anyway, parapsychologists are extremely careful about randomization, and use RNG hardware, rather than RNG software.

    There is a long discussion of randomness in the Bem paper http://dbem.ws/FeelingFuture.pdf.

  238. hardnoseon 23 Aug 2017 at 5:49 pm

    And yes, he did:

    “I ran three experiments that simulated the experiment just reported, one using
    the internal PRNG of the programming language (REALbasic), one using Marsaglia’s PRNG
    algorithm, and one using the Araneus Alea I hardware-based RNG. Each experiment comprised
    100 sessions of 36 trials per session in which the same PRNG or RNG provided both the
    left/right response of a virtual participant and the subsequent left/right position of the target.
    These control experiments all yielded null results: The hit rates were 49.5% , 50.4%, and 49.5%
    for the internal PRNG, the Marsaglia PRNG, and the Araneus Alea I RNG, respectively, (all t
    values < 1). The corresponding correlations (phi) between the virtual participants’ input
    responses and the RNG’s target positions were -.00, .00, and -.01, respectively."

  239. bachfiendon 23 Aug 2017 at 7:24 pm

    Hardnose,

    The same computer using the same program is making the selections in Bem’s ‘control’ phase of the study. It’s necessary to use a completely different computer/program to avoid bias.

    It’s actually very difficult to produce true randomness with a computer. There will always be some bias, depending on the program which the computer can’t avoid because it can’t detect. Using the same computer to attempt to detect the bias afterwards when it couldn’t beforehand just doesn’t work.

    ‘Bias in the randomness generator, if there was any, would not cause consistently positive results’. But there is bias in the randomness generator (as I’ve noted). The Apple iPod has a pseudo-randomness generator in its shuffle function to avoid tracks being repeated.

    Humans are very good at detecting patterns even if they don’t occur all the time. The results weren’t ‘consistently positive’. The subjects didn’t get all their selections right – just one or two more than chance over 36 items. A bias in the randomness generator is enough of a pattern to be detected by a human if motivated.

  240. hardnoseon 23 Aug 2017 at 7:28 pm

    bachfiend,

    Just stop. You are grasping desperately to find something stupid in this research.

    I already explained, Bem did NOT use a software RNG.

    READ the article before you continue these lame attacks.

  241. bachfiendon 23 Aug 2017 at 9:19 pm

    Hardnose,

    ‘I already explained, Bem did NOT use a software RNG’. Regardless, the computer hardware has to use software to generate random numbers.

    You find Bem’s results convincing. The rationalists here don’t find them convincing, consisting as they do as an excess of 1 or 2 correct ‘guesses’ in 36.

    Pigliucci noted that if you do use a computer in the control phase of the study to make the choices, then if you’re relying on the p-value less than 0.05 you should be getting 5 positive results in 100 trials. A p-value less than 0.05 doesn’t exclude chance, it just means that the chance of you seeing that result by chance is less than 0.05.

    If you’re not seeing any positive trials in a sufficient number of control trials (as Bem has apparently done) then you’ve got problems. It means that your random number generator is incapable of generating true random numbers and your selector is incapable of detecting non-random numbers. If your random number generator is truly random, and your selector is also random, then you’d get 5% positive trials.

    If precognition was real, then businesses which actually do have true random number generators (ie casinos) would rapidly go bankrupt as their customers predict with regularity the next number to come up on the roulette wheel. An excess of 1 or 2 correct guesses in 36 would eliminate the house’s edge of the double ’00’. Casinos work very hard to ensure their machines don’t have a bias. If their machines do have a bias, then their customers would rapidly discover it (humans are very good in detecting patterns. John Steinbeck illustrated it in ‘the Grapes of Wrath’ when he had an employee in a service station noting that the slot machine there hadn’t made a payout for a certain time, was ‘due’ for a payout, so he went over and got a jackpot with just a few attempts – if the slot machine was truly random, then that wouldn’t have happened).

  242. BillyJoe7on 24 Aug 2017 at 12:44 am

    ET,

    You can google till your pants fall down.

    “Philosophy of physics, especially the direction of time & the interpretation of quantum theory; pragmatism & metaphysics; philosophy of language”

    How does that make Huw Price a physicist?
    His subject is the philosophy of physics.
    It says it right there in your own quote!

    “He…went on to study Mathematics, Physics and Philosophy at ANU, Oxford and Cambridge”

    Again, how does that make him a physicist?
    He is a philosopher of physics so of course he studied physics!
    I’ve got a Bachelor of Science from Melbourne University and one of my subjects was physics.
    Am I also a physicist?

    In any case, here is what Sean Carroll actually said – and this from your own quote!:

    “Many of the best philosophers of physics were trained as physicists, and eventually realized that the problems they cared most about weren’t valued in physics departments, so they switched to philosophy

    This does not describe Huw Price.
    His interests were always in philosophy – especially the philosophy of physics.
    He never worked as a physicist and then switched to philosophy.

    To be clear, I am not dissing Huw Price.
    He is not a fringe dweller like yourself. He works in the borderlines of science, as you would expect of a philosopher of science. Philosophers of science work on the borderlines of science because that’s where the action is. That’s where possible progress can be made. I imagine Sean Carroll would listen to his views because they are based in physics. I doubt, however, that Sean Carroll would waste his time with Daryl Bem.

  243. Nidwinon 24 Aug 2017 at 2:35 am

    @bachfiend

    If precognition was real there will be no games or gambling, the financial sector would pay a fortune for folks capable of precognition (imagine a broker or investment funds) and we would have a cure for most of the actual diseases meanwhile making huge scientific jumps and so on and so on.

    It’s simple, if precognition was a real thing we would know by now because the huge impact it would have on live on earth.

    Precognition has also the “philosophical” issue of the future impacting the past (present is an illusion) that changes again the future that again changes the past.

  244. bachfiendon 24 Aug 2017 at 4:25 am

    Nidwin,

    Well, of course predictions of future share prices are impossible, because the ‘premonitions’ are clouded by the presence of sceptics in share broker firms and investment funds, who prefer more scientific methods of predicting share price movements. Such as throwing darts at a dart board. Or peering at charts and trying to predict highs and lows. Or reading the innards of sacrificed chickens.

    It’s the reason why the psi trials never seem to work when sceptics are around. They destroy the psi abilities by their mere presence.

  245. Pete Aon 24 Aug 2017 at 7:35 am

    I’ve explained this before, but it’s worth explaining again.

    If we have a perfect random bit generator or a perfectly unbiased coin, this is what we will get (N is the number of coin flips; Pz is the probability of the bias in the result being zero):
    N=10; Pz= 252/1024 ≈ 24.6%
    N=16; Pz= 12870/65536 ≈ 19.6%

    N=100; Pz ≈ 7.96%
    N=10,000; Pz ≈ 0.8%
    N=1,000,000; Pz ≈ 0.08%

    So, if we flip a fair coin 100 times, there is a ~92.04% probability that the result will be biased. Flip the coin 1 million times and the probability of a biased result increases to ~99.92%!

    A random number generator which, on average, produces different results is seriously defective!

  246. Nidwinon 24 Aug 2017 at 8:00 am

    Pete A

    Is it even possible to create a perfect random generator, just a thought?

    Don’t you always need at least a system, a code, complex algorithm to generate random numbers that makes it impossible to generate a perfect one.

  247. hardnoseon 24 Aug 2017 at 9:10 am

    “Is it even possible to create a perfect random generator, just a thought?”

    “Don’t you always need at least a system, a code, complex algorithm to generate random numbers that makes it impossible to generate a perfect one.”

    No, they can use radioactive decay.

    You are all grasping desperately for reasons to not believe this research. Even the most tribal psi-bashers didn’t criticize the RNG used for these experiments.

  248. Pete Aon 24 Aug 2017 at 11:19 am

    Nidwin,

    There’s a barrage of tests for random number generators. However, the only way to know for sure [be 100% certain] that a generator is truly random is to analyse an infinite number of samples 🙁

    True randomness is sodding inconvenient because every sequence you can think of will eventually occur if you run an experiment or a system continuously. The last thing I’d want as a random input to an experiment is, say, the equivalent of 50 heads in a row, but it will occur. The reason is this: a truly random source of bits (or other numbers) has a set size of infinity; or looking at as a sequence of uncorrelated bit, a sequence length before its pattern repeats of infinity.

    Intuitively, the chance of getting 50 heads in a row is so unlikely that it isn’t worth considering (p≈8.9E-16). But, imagine a data transmission link running at 256 Gbit/s, continuously for 25 years. That’s a total of 2.0E+20 bits therefore sequences of 50 ones and 50 zeros will occur many times. We can expect to get up to 66 ones or 66 zeros during the lifetime of the link. These long runs of ones and zeros would screw up the receiver’s AGC loop and its timing and synchronisation loop, causing the receiver to drop frames while it recovered. Clearly, using a random number generator for the data scrambler and line coder in the transmitter would guarantee sporadic data loss at the receiver, thereby defeating the whole purpose of data scrambling and line coding. Instead, we must use an algorithm which is both random and constrained (strictly bounded).

    From the above, an experiment, or a system, that seems to require a truly random variable might be better off using instead, a strictly-bounded stochastic variable. Either type of variable will fulfil the requirement of being unpredictable and possessing the desired. But, a truly random variable, when it is sub-sampled in blocks of N samples, has a forever meandering and skewed inter-block probability density function (PDF); whereas a constrained stochastic variable can be designed such that its PDF has a much lower level of wander and skew, giving it a usefully better inter-block consistency.

    It’s easy to determine which type of random variable is best for the purpose of our experiment or system: If the experiment/system needs to be unpredictable skewed by extreme outliers then a truly random variable is required; otherwise use a constrained stochastic variable.

    Can the readers think of an experiment which would benefit from having its result skewed by extreme outliers?

  249. Pete Aon 24 Aug 2017 at 11:25 am

    Oops,

    Either type of variable will fulfil the requirement of being unpredictable and possessing the desired.

    should’ve been:

    Either type of variable will fulfil the requirement of being unpredictable.

  250. Enfant Terribleon 24 Aug 2017 at 11:32 am

    BillyJoe7,

    How does that make Huw Price a physicist? Again, how does that make him a physicist?

    Don’t make. But this is the same case for any person who abandoned physics for philosophy, since this person never got a degree in physics. And I never wrote that Price is a physicist.

    “I’ve got a Bachelor of Science from Melbourne University and one of my subjects was physics.
    Am I also a physicist?”

    Of course not. But I never said that Price was a physicist either.

    “His interests were always in philosophy – especially the philosophy of physics.”

    Always? Let’s see what Huw Price himself has to tell us about that:

    As an undergraduate at ANU, Canberra, in the mid-1970s, the philosophy of time played a large
    part in my decision to abandon mathematics for philosophy.

    So his interest was not always in philosophy.

    He also wrote:

    A couple of years later again, now a graduate student in Cambridge, I learned more about the physics of time asymmetry.

    So this seems to me that he has some training in physics. Anyway, I send him an email asking about this, if we could say that he has a training in physics, and I received an automatic answer saying: “I’m travelling for a few days – apologies for delays.” If he answers me I will let you know.

    And Sean Carroll wrote:

    there are some physics questions where philosophical input actually is useful. Foundational questions, such as the quantum measurement problem, the arrow of time, the nature of probability, and so on. Again, a huge majority of working physicists don’t ever worry about these problems. But some of us do! And frankly, if more physicists who wrote in these areas would make the effort to talk to philosophers, they would save themselves from making a lot of simple mistakes.

    I just would like to remember that your question was: “How on Earth does a link to a paper by a philosopher add to your claim that retrocausality is accepted by mainstream science?”

    Well… I think you now got your answer. And the increasing number of publications about retrocausality clearly shows that this is not a crazy idea (maybe ‘exotic’, but certainly not crazy) and is accepted in the mainstream like an idea that deserves respect. The new experiments published by the AIP clearly strenghs this view.

  251. hardnoseon 24 Aug 2017 at 1:05 pm

    Parapsychologists, in general, are extremely careful about randomization. But even if an RNG was slightly biased, there is no reason to think it would create false positive results. If the target was more likely to be on the left than the right, for example, we have no reason to think subjects would choose left more often that right anyway.

    So it’s just silly to get obsessed with randomization. Which, as I said, parapsychologists go all out to make as good as possible.

    As for ESP not making people rich in casinos, that is another lame argument. However, that doesn’t stop psi-deniers from using it, every single time, when they run out of other lame arguments.

    No one claims that ESP is an infallible super-power. The ESP demonstrated in Bem’s experiments, for example, is mostly subconscious. ESP is NOT our primary way of navigating the world. People don’t, in general, just turn on their ESP and become all-knowing.

    That is why parapsychologists use statistics, especially when subjects are normal people. There is no expectation their ESP will be strong.

    So forget about the casino argument.

    One final word about Bem’s research as it relates to this post — No, this research is not “crap,” as the blog author claims. No one except the most extreme tribal psi-deniers have said that.

    And no, if ESP is real they don’t have to re-write the physics textbooks. There is nothing in physics that would make ESP impossible or unlikely. Quantum entanglement has already been found in some biological systems, for example. It might have a role in all biological systems, for all we know right now.

  252. Pete Aon 24 Aug 2017 at 1:47 pm

    hardnose,

    “But even if an RNG was slightly biased…”

    What is it that you completely failed to understand originally during your self-proclaimed education in statistics, and you wilfully fail to understand despite having been corrected many times, about the statistics of truly random and totally unbiased numbers?

    A set of N 1-bit numbers, sampled from a truly random and totally unbiased random number generator, has a 75.4% probability of containing a bias when N=10. The probability rises when N is increased: when N=100 the probability is ~92.04%; when N=1 million the probability is ~99.92%.

    You are giving the increasingly strong impression that you do not begin to understand probability theory, which would explain your inability to understand statistical theory, information theory, and the derived methodology.

  253. bachfiendon 24 Aug 2017 at 4:55 pm

    Hardnose,

    ‘Quantum entanglement has already been found in some biological systems, for example. It might have a role in all biological systems, for all we know right now’.

    At last you’ve come up with a mechanism for psi, sort of, even if it’s the pseudoscientists’ favourite of quantum physics.

    Before you need to worry about a mechanism, you need to establish that the phenomenon is real. You find Bem’s studies convincing. The rationalists commenting here don’t find the studies convincing being small deviations from chance, which could easily be due to slight not easily detectable or removable flaws in the study methodology. Such as the random number generator not being truly random. If the RNG had a tendency to put the target on the left, wouldn’t the test subjects quickly learn to pick the left side explaining the slight increase in success?

    It’s not that some people, such as the artistic ones or believers in psi, have greater psi abilities. It’s just that they have better abilities to detect patterns.

    You’re prepared to give Bem the benefit of the doubt regarding p-hacking. How do you know that he isn’t p-hacking? You seem to think that whenever he tells his students to p-hack, it’s only in preliminary studies designed to produce questions to be answered in subsequent formal rigorous studies. Such as whether artistic people, or believers in psi, have greater psi powers than other people. Well, to derive such questions to have to do the study. And as Bem has noted, explaining the lack of replication of his studies, the chance of a successful replication of one of his studies, even if the psi ability is real, is actually low, not even 80%. You’d have to be contradicting Bem if you’re claiming that Bem’s small preliminary study with p-hacking was positive and his subsequent ‘rigorous’ study without P-hacking was also positive, which (as Bem himself notes) is unlikely to happen.

    The perfect RNG is the roulette wheel in a well managed casino, because they have the motive to ensure that it’s truly random.

    And anyway, quantum physics can’t explain psi. How large is a ‘thought’ capable of being conceived in a person’s brain or transferred from one person’s brain to another’s in a ganzfeld experiment? How many neurons are being used to produce a thought? Quantum effects are only detectable in very small systems, electrons, photons, systems up to including particles including up to 60 atoms. Anything larger, and there’s a loss of coherence.

    Quantum effects can explain the transfer of electrons in the respiratory chain in a neuron but it can’t explain the function of an entire neuron. Or the function of a web of neurons necessary to produce a ‘thought’.

  254. Pete Aon 24 Aug 2017 at 5:17 pm

    bachfiend,

    Yes. hardnose has previously replied to me

    “[Pete] The correct question to ask of statistical methods is: How strong is the effect?”

    Nonsense. Why would you ask how strong the effect is before you even know if it exists?

    Inferential statistics are used to decide if an effect PROBABLY exists.

    It is the depth of hardnose’s f*ckwittery that is amusing; its persistent derailment of comment threads is not amusing.

  255. Enfant Terribleon 24 Aug 2017 at 5:23 pm

    Bachfiend,

    “It’s not that some people, such as the artistic ones or believers in psi, have greater psi abilities. It’s just that they have better abilities to detect patterns.”

    Impossible, since each pair in Ganzfeld only do the experiment once, maybe two (rare, but possible). Not more than this.

  256. Pete Aon 24 Aug 2017 at 5:27 pm

    “[Enfant Terrible] Impossible, since each pair in Ganzfeld only do the experiment once…”

    LOL!

  257. hardnoseon 24 Aug 2017 at 5:39 pm

    Pete A,

    You completely failed to understand what I said. I said that even if an RNG were biased, there is no reason to suspect that bias would create false positive results. It would be just as likely create false negative results.

  258. hardnoseon 24 Aug 2017 at 5:43 pm

    “Before you need to worry about a mechanism, you need to establish that the phenomenon is real.”

    This is funny, considering one of the main arguments of psi-deniers is that there is no known mechanism.

    “If the RNG had a tendency to put the target on the left, wouldn’t the test subjects quickly learn to pick the left side explaining the slight increase in success?”

    No, they would not. Subjects weren’t getting any feedback. And depending on which type of experiment, there wouldn’t necessarily be a right answer.

  259. BillyJoe7on 24 Aug 2017 at 5:44 pm

    ET,

    I think you’ve lost track of the discussion.

    The discussion centered around whether Huw Price was a physicist who became a philosopher. I think we’ve established that he was never a physicist. Therefore, he does not fall into the category that Sean Carroll outlined in that quote you googled.

    Huw Price does seem to have had an initial interest in mathematics and logic, and he studied physics as part of a course at the Australian National University, and then his interest in time asymmetry in relation to non-locality versus retrocausality as interpretations of QM led him into the field of philosophy. But he was not a physicist turned philosopher as you now seem to agree. Which makes your Sean Carroll quote irrelevant.

    That was all I was saying.

    I agree with Sean Carroll’s quote regarding philosophy.
    But, you have to understand, that philosophers generate questions, but that these are answered by scientists (if they can be answered at all). Also the questions philosophers generate must be rooted in science to be of any use. You can’t just do philosophy in a vacuum, and you can’t just do philosophy and think you’ve finished (like Ian Wardell and Michael Egnor). Particle physicists have effectively ruled out PSI/ESP. Maybe your interest in Sean Carroll views on philosophy might lead you to exploring his views on parapsychology. If you promise to actually read and attempt to understand what he says – which is not controversial amongst particle physicist – and promise not to waste my time with “nonsense” as your only rely (as softnostril has done about four times now over as many years), I will supply you with some links.

  260. hardnoseon 24 Aug 2017 at 5:46 pm

    “Yes. hardnose has previously replied to me
    “[Pete] The correct question to ask of statistical methods is: How strong is the effect?”
    Nonsense. Why would you ask how strong the effect is before you even know if it exists?

    Inferential statistics are used to decide if an effect PROBABLY exists.

    It is the depth of hardnose’s f*ckwittery that is amusing; its persistent derailment of comment threads is not amusing.”

    Pete A,

    Your comment is obviously wrong. And what do you mean by “strong” anyway? You probably don’t know what a T test is.

  261. hardnoseon 24 Aug 2017 at 5:49 pm

    “Particle physicists have effectively ruled out PSI/ESP.”

    You keep saying this and it is ridiculous. Is this another brainless quote from Sean Carroll?

  262. Pete Aon 24 Aug 2017 at 5:55 pm

    hardnose,

    You completely failed to understand what I said. I said that even if an RNG were biased, there is no reason to suspect that bias would create false positive results. It would be just as likely create false negative results.

    Yes, which is precisely the reason why Daryl J. Bem advocates fishing the data in multiples ways — as has been pointed out to you so many times in the comments section of this website.

  263. Pete Aon 24 Aug 2017 at 6:09 pm

    My sincerest apologies to the readers for the excessive number of typos in my recent comments. I’m struggling to get the text to speech working reliably since installing the latest update patch for my computer operating system.

  264. mumadaddon 24 Aug 2017 at 7:13 pm

    ““Particle physicists have effectively ruled out PSI/ESP.”

    You keep saying this and it is ridiculous. Is this another brainless quote from Sean Carroll?”

    Imagine if we lived in an alternative reality in which magic was real. What would the Standard Model of physics look like then? Would the current model be more or less successful? Would particle physicists be getting annoyed at their inability to break the Standard Model with massively powerful particle colliders?

    We will never know! A single nutjob did a study that throws all of physics into doubt, and created a true false equivalence that can never be outweighed by evidence.

  265. bachfiendon 24 Aug 2017 at 7:21 pm

    Hardnose,

    “‘If the RNG had a tendency to put the target on the left, wouldn’t the test subjects quickly learn to pick the left side explaining the slight increase in success?’ No, they would not. Subjects weren’t getting any feedback. And depending on which type of experiment, there wouldn’t necessarily be a right answer’.

    You did read Bem’s 2011 paper, didn’t you?

    From the section ‘method’

    ‘This is an experiment that tests for ESP. It takes about 20 minutes and is run completely by computer. First you will answer a couple of brief questions. Then, on each trial of the two xperiment, pictures of two curtains will appear on the screen side by side. One of them has a picture behind it; the other has a blank wall behind it. Your task is to click on the curtain that you feel has the picture behind it. The curtain will then open, permitting you to see if you selected the correct curtain. There will be 36 trials in all. Several of the pictures contain explicit erotic images…’

    That sounds very much like ‘feedback’ to me. They make their choice, and then it’s revealed whether they were right or not. And then they’re shown the next picture, make another choice, and are then shown the ‘right’ answer. And so on. If the RNG isn’t truly random, and it’s extremely difficult to make a real RNG outside of a casino, humans are very good at picking patterns.

    They have to have feedback. Otherwise it’s not a test for precognition. If they don’t have feedback, then it’s a test for remote viewing.

    Enfant Terrible,

    I was suggesting that the ganzfeld experiments are invalidated by detection of patterns. I was suggesting that hardnose’s suggestion of quantum physics ‘woo’ isn’t a good one for the transfer of a thought from one person’s brain to another’s. Thoughts are just too large.

  266. Pete Aon 24 Aug 2017 at 7:25 pm

    hardnose,

    Pete A,

    Your comment is obviously wrong. And what do you mean by “strong” anyway? You probably don’t know what a T test is.

    FFS, desist from being a total muppet! Obviously, I was referring to the effect size, which is one of the two primary inputs to the Bayesian estimation of the probability that the effect actually exists.

    You previously stated

    Inferential statistics are used to decide if an effect PROBABLY exists.

    WTF do you think determines “if an effect PROBABLY exists” — rhetorical question because you have more than adequately demonstrated that, within the domains of probability theory, information theory, and statistical methodology, you don’t know your arse from your elbow: you are either pathetically clueless or you are a fake.

    If you are in possession of this revolutionary secret of science, why not prove it properly and be hailed as the new Newton?

    Of course, we know the answer. You can’t do it. You are a fake.
    —Richard Dawkins

  267. bachfiendon 24 Aug 2017 at 7:26 pm

    ET,

    There’s a typo’ in my last sentence. It should be ‘ganzfeld experiments aren’t invalidated by detection of patterns’.

  268. mumadaddon 24 Aug 2017 at 7:35 pm

    Look, everyone, it’s not like there are observable regularities in nature that enable us to build a coherent model of reality through a system of generating and testing predictions, then refining our model based on the results.

    Right?

    And it’s definitely not like we managed to hone that system to the extent of creating, for example:

    – a massively interconnected global communications network
    – vaccines
    – the Cassini probe
    – commercial air travel
    – heart transplants
    – etc

    It pales in significance next to the discoveries in magic, obviously:

    – all those myths that have since been explained, through proper methodological rigour, as effects of unguided natural forces
    – Aslan the talking lion..?

  269. hardnoseon 24 Aug 2017 at 7:57 pm

    [WTF do you think determines “if an effect PROBABLY exists”]

    It depends on the within-group variance relative to the between-group variance, and the size of the groups. A T test lets you know if the difference in the two means was probably because of a real effect.

    You said statistics show how strong an effect is.

  270. hardnoseon 24 Aug 2017 at 8:01 pm

    “I was suggesting that hardnose’s suggestion of quantum physics ‘woo’ isn’t a good one for the transfer of a thought from one person’s brain to another’s. Thoughts are just too large.”

    Why does quantum entanglement allow birds to navigate? Navigation is smaller than thoughts?

  271. hardnoseon 24 Aug 2017 at 8:02 pm

    “The correct question to ask of statistical methods is: How strong is the effect?”

    You are saying that only because you have no idea what a T test is.

  272. Pete Aon 24 Aug 2017 at 8:15 pm

    mumadadd,

    To which I’ll add: Humans have designed systems which have a fundamental bit error rate much lower than 10^(−9), and an end-user data error rate in the region of 10^(−19).

    These astonishingly tiny error rates would be impossible to achieve if even one human mind had the ability to influence electronic systems. And, of course, cryptographic algorithms, such as SHA 256, were designed specifically to detect ‘retrocausation’ (aka: ‘hacking’; ‘tampering with the data’; ‘nefarious activities’; ‘fraud’; ‘fake’; etc.)!

  273. Pete Aon 24 Aug 2017 at 8:23 pm

    harnose,

    “A t-test is most commonly applied when the test statistic would follow a normal distribution — Wikipedia”. Well, bits from a perfect random number generator have a uniform PDF. You really are a muppet 🙂

  274. bachfiendon 24 Aug 2017 at 9:20 pm

    Hardnose,

    ‘Why does quantum entanglement allow birds to migrate? Navigation is smaller than thoughts?’

    Quantum entanglement, if it’s the mechanism by which birds are capable of ‘seeing’ the Earth’s magnetic field and orientate themselves in regard to north and south, is a fascinating suggestive hypothesis. But it’s a far smaller phenomenon that the bird’s thought of migrating throughout the year.

    And it also doesn’t explain how the thought of migrating to a particular location manages to get into the brain of a novice migrating bird from the brain of an experienced migrator. The thought is actually communicated by teaching not quantum entanglement, which may help the bird to create a mental map of the world. The mental map of the world isn’t communicated from bird to bird by quantum entanglement.

    Anyhow. You still haven’t acknowledged that Bem’s study involved giving his subjects feedback. How did you manage to earn a PhD in experimental psychology if you can understand simple English (and one of Bem’s attractive features is that he writes very good and simple English – I’ve read papers in journals in my own field of expertise the meaning of which, even after multiple readings, is not clear)? Or does it mean that PhDs in experimental psychology don’t have much value?

  275. BillyJoe7on 25 Aug 2017 at 12:38 am

    Apparently the clueless troll has finally offered a rebuttal of particle physicist Sean Carroll’s claim that particle physics has effectively ruled out PSI/ESP.

    …wait…no…just another ad hominem like the last four times!

    It’s like a ant rearing up to attack a foot about to stamp it into the ground. 😀

  276. BillyJoe7on 25 Aug 2017 at 12:43 am

    And apparently the troll doesn’t understand the difference between “quantum phenomena detected at the macro level” and “quantum phenomena occurring at the macro level”.

  277. bachfiendon 25 Aug 2017 at 3:31 am

    BillyJoe,

    I’m more amused at the ‘clueless troll’s’ (sorry, hardnose’s) previous statements:

    ‘I have a PhD in experimental psychology, and that makes me more qualified than you to judge psychology experiments. All your opinions are second-hand and distorted, mostly from people who get physically ill from the idea that ESP could be real’.

    ‘No, they would not. Subjects (in Bem’s 2011 precognition study) weren’t getting any feedback. And depending on which type of experiment, there wouldn’t necessarily be a right answer’.

    When Daryl Bem in the 2011 paper on precognition writes in ‘methods’:

    ‘This is an experiment that tests for ESP. It takes about 20 minutes and is run completely by computer. First you will answer a couple of brief questions. Then, on each trial of the experiment, pictures of two curtains will appear on the screen side by side. One of them has a picture behind it; the other has a blank wall behind it. Your task is to click on the curtain that you feel has the picture behind it. The curtain will then open, permitting you to see if you selected the correct curtain’.

    Subjects in Bem’s 2011 weren’t getting any feedback? Sounds very much like feedback to me.

    Hardnose is incapable of judging psychology experiments despite his PhD in experimental psychology. I wonder how he managed to earn it? Perhaps his university should be asking for it back?

  278. SteveAon 25 Aug 2017 at 5:42 am

    “Hardnose is incapable of judging psychology experiments despite his PhD in experimental psychology. I wonder how he managed to earn it?”

    Perhaps it was the ‘Upstairs Hollywood Psychology School’.

    (an obscure Simpsons reference…)

  279. hardnoseon 25 Aug 2017 at 8:04 am

    “A t-test is most commonly applied when the test statistic would follow a normal distribution — Wikipedia”. Well, bits from a perfect random number generator have a uniform PDF. You really are a muppet ”

    Are you aware that your statements are irrational?

  280. hardnoseon 25 Aug 2017 at 8:06 am

    There were several different types of experiments. Oh horrors I forgot that one had feedback. I couldn’t possibly have a PhD in experimental psychology if I don’t have photographic memory for everything I ever read.

  281. hardnoseon 25 Aug 2017 at 8:24 am

    Sean Carroll says that telepathy is impossible, according to the currently known laws of physics. I think if we follow that logic, we would have to go a step further and say that wireless electronic communication is not possible either.

  282. Enfant Terribleon 25 Aug 2017 at 8:49 am

    BillyJoe7,

    “The discussion centered around whether Huw Price was a physicist who became a philosopher. I think we’ve established that he was never a physicist. Therefore, he does not fall into the category that Sean Carroll outlined in that quote you googled.”

    The issue was not if Price was a physicist, since I never said that he was a physicist. The real issue is to know if he had some training in physics (he would only be a physicist if he had finished the course). Let me remember you what Carroll wrote:

    the practice of philosophy of physics is continuous with the practice of physics itself. Many of the best philosophers of physics were trained as physicists, and eventually realized that the problems they cared most about weren’t valued in physics departments, so they switched to philosophy.

    So, the question is to know if Price had training in physics. Now, Huw Price answered me. First, this is the question I did to him:

    Dear Huw Price,

    I am reading a lot about retrocausality, and I just started to read your book, “Time’s Arrow & Archimedes’ Point”. I would like to know a little more about your background. You wrote:

    “I wanted the book to be interesting and useful to my philosophical colleagues and students, most of whom have no training in physics. So I aimed for a book which would be accessible to physicists with no training in philosophy and to philosophers with no training in physics.”

    My question is about you: would you say that you have training in physics? This is not clear to me.

    Here is his answer:

    A little – a couple of years of undergraduate physics.

    That’s settle the issue to me. He is clearly saying that he is a philosopher who has training in physics, at least, more than his peers. He could never have whished to become a physicist, but this is irrelevant. The point is his training in physics.

  283. BillyJoe7on 25 Aug 2017 at 9:12 am

    …lost child…lost child…anyone want to claim this lost child?
    ET?….ME?….IW?…no?…nobody want this lost child?

    Oh, come on, he’s not that ugly…only a little twisted and deformed…and a little slow in the brain box.
    Ah, mummy, there you are…thank goodness…please take your little boy home.

  284. BillyJoe7on 25 Aug 2017 at 9:13 am

    ^ad hominem – because there ain’t no argument to counter.

  285. BillyJoe7on 25 Aug 2017 at 9:17 am

    ET,

    Congratulations for finally coming around.
    It takes guts to admit you were wrong.

  286. Enfant Terribleon 25 Aug 2017 at 9:24 am

    BillyJoe7,

    “If you promise to actually read and attempt to understand what he says – which is not controversial amongst particle physicist – and promise not to waste my time with “nonsense” as your only rely (as softnostril has done about four times now over as many years), I will supply you with some links.”

    I have no problem in read skeptical material. You already noted that I read Blackmore, Wiseman and Carroll himself. In fact, I had his book, “The Big Picture”. If you think the material is better than what is in his book (very superficial about the paranormal, by the way), then you can send me the links. But remember to no put more than 3 links in each message, or your comment will go to moderation.

  287. bachfiendon 25 Aug 2017 at 11:10 am

    Hardnose,

    ‘There were several types of experiments. Oh horrors I forgot that one had feedback. I couldn’t possibly have a PhD in experimental psychology if I don’t have photographic memory for everything I ever read’.

    I referred to Bem’s 2011 precognition study having feedback. It was the first experiment reported (and one of the two using ‘precognition’ in its heading) and was entitled ‘precognitive detection of erotic stimuli’.

    A PhD candidate isn’t expected to remember everything he’s ever read, but he is expected to accurately cite his sources. You were too careless or too stupid not to go back and check Bem’s 2011 paper which evidently you consider a classic and making a convincing case for precognition.

  288. hardnoseon 25 Aug 2017 at 12:04 pm

    “A PhD candidate isn’t expected to remember everything he’s ever read, but he is expected to accurately cite his sources.”

    If I were writing my dissertation, that would be true. But I was responding to stupid comments on a blog.

  289. bachfiendon 25 Aug 2017 at 5:43 pm

    Hardnose,

    The habits you acquired as a PhD candidate should remain with you your entire life especially if they’re supposed to be in your field of expertise; experimental psychology.

    Admit it. You stuffed up big time. I’d noted that Bem had provided feedback to his subjects regarding his precognition experiment. The very first experiment entitled ‘precognitive detection of erotic stimuli’ explicitly stated that there was feedback to the subjects.

    It wouldn’t have taken much for you to have checked your facts before sticking your neck out and making a blatantly incorrect statement. Bem’s paper is easily available on his website.

    Agreed. There are ‘stupid comments’ on this blog. But they come from you (and Egnor, Ian Wardell, Enfant Terrible, and other proponents of ‘woo’).

  290. hardnoseon 25 Aug 2017 at 7:05 pm

    “The habits you acquired as a PhD candidate should remain with you your entire life especially if they’re supposed to be in your field of expertise; experimental psychology.”

    In the context of writing research papers, we are careful to avoid making mistakes. And our professors would read it and let us know if anything was wrong.

    IN CONTRAST — when writing anonymous comments on a blog we are usually in a hurry and we don’t bother hiring someone to make sure everything we said is perfect.

  291. Enfant Terribleon 25 Aug 2017 at 7:09 pm

    bachfiend,

    “It’s the reason why the psi trials never seem to work when sceptics are around. They destroy the psi abilities by their mere presence.”

    It wouldn’t have taken much for you to have checked your facts before sticking your neck out and making a blatantly incorrect statement.

    a) Savva’s paper with significant results in ganzfeld is easily available on internet.

    “Smith, M. D., & Savva, L. (2008). Experimenter effects in the ganzfeld. Proceedings of Presented Papers: The Parapsychological Association 51st Annual Convention, 238-249.”

    https://pt.scribd.com/document/135323387/The-Parapsychological-Association-51st-Annual-Convention-Proceedings-of-Presented-Papers

    b) Stanley Jeffers’ paper about micro-pk too:

    Smith, M. D., & Savva, L. (2008). Experimenter effects in the ganzfeld. Proceedings of Presented Papers: The Parapsychological Association 51st Annual Convention, 238-249.

    https://www.scientificexploration.org/docs/17/jse_17_4_freedman.pdf

  292. Enfant Terribleon 25 Aug 2017 at 7:11 pm

    Correcting reference (b):

    Freedman, M., Jeffers, S., Saeger, K., Binns, M., & Black, S. (2003). Effects of frontal lobe lesions on intentionality and random physical phenomena. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 17(4), 651-668.

  293. bachfiendon 25 Aug 2017 at 9:23 pm

    Enfant Terrible,

    I agree that sceptics didn’t destroy psi abilities in ganzfeld experiments in the Savva and Smith study, because they didn’t manage to show that psi existed in the first place. The p-value of 0.02 disappeared when the incomplete trials were excluded.

    You can’t destroy psi ability when it doesn’t exist in the first place.

    A p-value less than 0.05 doesn’t mean that the phenomenon being studied is true and it doesn’t exclude chance. You’re just a p-value fetishist.

    Hardnose,

    You’d written; ‘I have PhD in experimental psychology, and that makes me more qualified than you to judge psychology experiments. All your opinions are second-hand and distorted, mostly from people who get physically ill from the idea that ESP could be real’.

    You put your foot in your mouth big time. But even if you attempt to excuse yourself by claiming you’d forgotten what Bem had written in his ‘classic’ paper, you’re ignorant and illogical in doubling down and claiming that Bem’s precognition study didn’t provide feedback to his subjects, as a means of dismissing the objection that the random number generator mightn’t be random.

    ‘Precognition’ means that the subjects have to see the target after they’ve made their guess. If they’re not shown the target, then it’s a study of ‘remote viewing’. It’s such an obvious point, I’m surprised that someone with a PhD in experimental psychology and an interest in parapsychology would have made such a blatant error.

  294. hardnoseon 26 Aug 2017 at 12:04 am

    How come no one else has criticized the experiment the same way? They have searched for the tiniest possible defects, but didn’t notice what you found. Most likely because what you are saying is nonsensical BS.

  295. bachfiendon 26 Aug 2017 at 1:01 am

    Hardnose,

    I’m bemused at your last comment. What exactly exactly are you trying to say? It’s rather abstruse.

    The major problem with all parapsychology research is that they over-rely on p-values less than 0.05 as ‘confirming’ the existence of a phenomenon, with small effect size, due to either chance. Or flaws in the methodology design. Or both.

    You don’t need one explanation, when many apply.

    Parapsychologist believers live in an echo chamber similar to the one you accuse sceptics to be living it. Virtually all the comments you’ve made come directly from Bem’s 2011 paper, including bird navigation. You’ve apparently read Bem’s arguments sufficiently well to parrot his arguments, but not well enough to know the difference between ‘precognition’ and ‘remote viewing’ (actually, Bem in his discussion of the reasons for his trivial results does mention some other ‘explanations’, such as remote viewing – the subjects can ‘see’ what side the computer RNG has already set for each trial – and psychokinesis – the subject can affect the computer RNG to select a particular side for the picture).

    ‘Most likely because what you are saying is nonsensical BS’. Kettle, meet pot – ‘call everyone who disagrees with him ignorant or stupid’ (hardnose on numerous occasions).

    Intelligent people can believe in and persistently propound stupid things, something stupid usually aren’t capable of doing.

  296. BillyJoe7on 26 Aug 2017 at 3:21 am

    ET,

    “All we need to account for everything we see in our everyday lives are a handful of particles — electrons, protons, and neutrons — interacting via a few forces — the nuclear forces, gravity, and electromagnetism — subject to the basic rules of quantum mechanics and general relativity”
    (Sean Carroll)

    In the link below, the particle physicist, Sean Carroll, explains what he means when he says that “the laws underlying the physics of everyday life are completely understood”. He is careful to emphasise that he is not talking about the “physics of absolutely everything” but only the “physics of everyday life”. He is also careful to emphasise that he is not talking about how these laws “play out” in everyday life, but only the “underlying principles”.
    The proviso is that QFT (and GR) is correct. But QFT is the most successful theory in all of science.

    http://www.preposterousuniverse.com/blog/2010/09/23/the-laws-underlying-the-physics-of-everyday-life-are-completely-understood/

    If you have an objection after reading the above link, I suggest you read it again, because you have probably misunderstood what he was saying. If you still have an objection, then I suggest you read the article at the following link. Most of the objections to his first article were based on a misunderstanding of what he was saying. This follow up article lays bare these misunderstandings:

    http://www.preposterousuniverse.com/blog/2010/09/29/seriously-the-laws-underlying-the-physics-of-everyday-life-really-are-completely-understood/

    He then has a “final stab” at reiterating that he was talking about “the principles” underlying the “physics of everyday life”, not the “physics of absolutely everything” and not how these principles “play out” in everyday life. He ends by saying that these principles are complete and why they will not be added to in the future, adding that what he is saying is not controversial amongst particle physicists:

    http://www.preposterousuniverse.com/blog/2010/10/01/one-last-stab/

    These three articles set the scene.
    There are three more articles that expand upon these three.
    And three more articles that explore this state of affairs as it relates to paranormal phenomena.

  297. hardnoseon 26 Aug 2017 at 8:25 am

    “I’m bemused at your last comment. What exactly exactly are you trying to say? It’s rather abstruse.”

    What I am saying is the psi-deniers desperately wanted to find something wrong with Bem’s precognition research. They found that his methodology was correct, according to the accepted standards in psychology. So, they decided the accepted methodology was wrong.

    You, on the other hand, think you have discovered real defects in the research that no one else could find, no matter how desperately they looked.

    Who is probably wrong? You or everyone else? My guess is it’s YOU.

  298. BillyJoe7on 26 Aug 2017 at 8:33 am

    In this short article, Sean Carroll raises the concept of “Range of Validity” for a theory. For some theories like The Standard Model of QM, we know what that range is. And we know that it is “valid for all the particles and interactions that constitute our everyday existence”.

    http://www.preposterousuniverse.com/blog/2011/07/18/the-effective-field-theory-of-everyday-life-revisited/

    “No experiment ever done here on Earth has contradicted this model”
    Here it is in the form of an equation:

    https://www.preposterousuniverse.com/blog/2013/01/04/the-world-of-everyday-experience-in-one-equation/

    The following is about telekinesis, but it applies generally to all parapsychological phenomena.
    In a takedown of parapsychology, Sean Carroll delineates the “range of validity” of the standard model. He includes a graph illustrating that the standard model is “valid for all the particles and interactions that constitute our everyday existence”.

    http://www.preposterousuniverse.com/blog/2008/02/18/telekinesis-and-quantum-field-theory/

  299. BillyJoe7on 26 Aug 2017 at 8:40 am

    The final three articles:
    (the first is the same as the last of the previous set)

    QFT and parapsychology:
    http://www.preposterousuniverse.com/blog/2008/02/18/telekinesis-and-quantum-field-theory/

    QFT and the soul:
    https://www.preposterousuniverse.com/blog/2011/05/23/physics-and-the-immortality-of-the-soul/

    QFT and consciousness:
    https://www.preposterousuniverse.com/blog/2016/09/08/consciousness-and-downward-causation/

  300. JJ Borgmanon 26 Aug 2017 at 11:59 am

    “Who is probably wrong? You or everyone else? My guess is it’s YOU.”

    hehehe.

  301. RickKon 26 Aug 2017 at 3:05 pm

    $$, I know – irony overload.

  302. Pete Aon 26 Aug 2017 at 3:36 pm

    An experiment which has confirmed the human ability to affect random number generators (RNGs)…

    The Experiment
    1,000 trials of the bias that can be mentally induced in the RNG being used for the purpose of emulating 1,000 flips of a totally unbiased coin. Each of the 1,000 participants was asked to mentally will the computer to have a bias towards ‘heads’ during its emulation of 1,000 coin flips; and to repeat the test while mentally willing it to have a bias towards ‘tails’ during a different run of its 1,000 emulated flips. The head/tails bias order in which each participant was requested to influence the computer was chosen at random. The test results were subjected to a t-test.

    The T-test Results of the Experiment
    A. Effect size 0.106; P two-tail 0.0171.
    B. Effect size 0.123; P two-tail 0.0055.

    Although the effect size is low, the P value of 0.0055 in result B seems impressive. The difference between A and B is explained below.

    Discussion
    Of course the RNG wasn’t biased and of course it couldn’t be influenced by thoughts. The above was a lucky, but not a surprising, find during a fishing exercise within the multiple runs of the test which I’d created for the purpose of answering questions posted by readers of a previous article on this blog.

    However, the results serve to clearly demonstrate that using a p-value criterion of 0.05 is absurd when: the effect size is low; the prior probability is low; and/or there is no plausible explanation for the effect. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

    Would multiple, successful, replications of my experiment increase the likelihood that the effect is real? Yes and no. It depends on what exactly is meant by “the effect”. If it means, or even if it indirectly implies, the effect of people influencing RNGs or computers then the answer is a resounding No! If instead it simply means does the design of this experiment, when used under similar conditions, reliably produce a similar result then the answer would be: Yes, it seems to.

    I tested an extensively cut-down version of my experiment, based on Bem’s experiment as quoted by hardnose on 23 Aug 2017 at 5:49 pm: “… Each experiment comprised 100 sessions of 36 trials per session in which the same PRNG or RNG provided both the left/right response of a virtual participant and the subsequent left/right position of the target.” I set the spreadsheet to show the p-value to 3 decimal places then repeatedly used the keyboard shortcut which forces a re-calc of the sheet: I was quite surprised to find, after only circa 150 re-calcs, not one but two instances where the effect size was greater than 0.05 and the p-value shown was 0.000, meaning that it was less than 0.0005!

    The takeaway lesson being the sobering reminder that truly random numbers are a never-ending source of delightful surprises just waiting to be found. Most certainly, randomness and stochastic processes provide a never-ending source of ‘evidence’ just waiting to be touted by those who promote pseudoscience and/or its methods.

    Is a T-test a Valid Test for my RNG-based Emulation?
    Let’s investigate… I previously stated to hardnose: “‘A t-test is most commonly applied when the test statistic would follow a normal distribution — Wikipedia’. Well, bits from a perfect random number generator have a uniform PDF. You really are a muppet.”

    To which the muppet replied: “Are you aware that your statements are irrational?”

    One of the several prerequisites of the t-test is that the probability mass function of its inputs closely conform to the normal distribution, i.e., a Gaussian probability density function.

    The binomial distribution — when N=1000 as used in my tests — does indeed more than reasonably meet the prerequisite. Had I chosen a small value of N, such as the 36 used by Bem, then that would’ve been a case of totally abusing the t-test when the effect size is low, the prior probability is low, and/or the proposed hypothesis is awaiting confirmation via the due process of the scientific method.

    Why is there such a large difference between my T-test Results A and B?
    A. Effect size 0.106; P two-tail 0.0171.
    B. Effect size 0.123; P two-tail 0.0055.

    Result B shows not just an increase in the effect size by 16%, it shows a whopping increase in ‘the test result having the power to reject the null hypothesis’ by a factor of 0.0171/0.0055 ≈ 3.11!

    So, which result is correct, A or B? Both of the results are statistically correct, and they do not contradict each other when they are correctly applied. I shall leave it to the muppet to explain the reason, because the muppet persists in replying to my science- and evidence-based explanations with only ad hominem attacks, e.g.,

    “Pete A is just bloviating, trying to sound like he understands statistics. His bloviation has no relation to anything we were talking about.”

  303. bachfiendon 26 Aug 2017 at 4:57 pm

    Hardnose,

    I haven’t found anything wrong in Bem’s methodology that no one else hasn’t. If a medical researcher had published a clinical study including similar numbers of subjects to that used by Bem involving a novel form of treatment and demonstrated a very small effect, but with a ‘significant’ p-value, no one would be convinced.

    They would, or should, be concerned that the results were just due to chance. Or that there were slight difficult to detect or avoid flaws in the study design causing the small effects.

    You claim to find Bem’s findings convincing. The rationalists here don’t.

    It’s a problem that there’s no plausible mechanism for psi, which isn’t a problem if psi is real.

    The existence of dark matter is accepted because its effect is large; galaxy clusters are rotating much faster than they ought to based on their content of visible matter, there must be around 5 times as much ‘invisible’ dark matter making up around a quarter of the Universe – so there’s a need for new science, either a science as to what dark matter is or a new theory of gravity.

    The existence of AGW is accepted because, although it’s a small effect (adding 2-3 ppmv of CO2 per year to the atmosphere adds such a small amount of added heating to the Earth system compared to solar input of around 1365 Watts per m^2) the science of greenhouse gases is well understood.

    You’re in the position of arguing that the small effects Bem has claimed to have demonstrated are real. Just because other psychology studies investigating other phenomena use the same methodology and demonstrate similar slight effects for their investigated phenomena mean that they’re right too – and Bem’s study gets a free pass as a result.

    I’ve heard Steve Novella discussing psychological studies on SGU (usually in ‘science or fiction’) in which he always expresses doubts about the validity of the results even if they’re the ‘science’, usually along the lines of small effect size and conjectural causation.

    I think Steve Novella is perfectly correct.

  304. hardnoseon 26 Aug 2017 at 7:03 pm

    “You claim to find Bem’s findings convincing. The rationalists here don’t.”

    In the context of over a hundred years of parapsychology research, Bem’s findings are just more confirmation.

    And I would hardly call you people “rationalists.” Rationalists should be rational, at least occasionally.

    “I think Steve Novella is perfectly correct.”

    The fact that you think anyone can be “perfectly correct” shows how tribal you are.

  305. RickKon 26 Aug 2017 at 8:42 pm

    hardnose said: “In the context of over a hundred years of parapsychology research…”

    Which has been overwhelmingly filled with fraud, bias, anecdote and poor methodology – not unlike Chinese scientific research of acupuncture.

    There is ZERO credibility added to your conclusions, hardnose, by referring to “100 years of parapsychology research” – no more than adding “over 80 years of UFO research”.

    As I said early in this thread – extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence and you simply don’t have it. You just don’t. Not even close.

    How can you be so hopelessly un-critical of a conclusion that is as unsupported as it is contradictory to physics? The answer is simple – you’re personally invested in a fantasy and your worldview is built on a foundation of smoke and muddle.

    But as always – thanks for providing Neurologica with such a reliable illustration of the faulty thinking it strives to correct.

  306. hardnoseon 26 Aug 2017 at 9:20 pm

    “Which has been overwhelmingly filled with fraud, bias, anecdote and poor methodology”

    Where is your evidence for that claim? Parapsychology is known to be much more exacting than regular psychology, because they expect to be criticized by psi-deniers.

    “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”

    That refrain is constantly repeated. Psi is only an extraordinary claim if you are a materialist.

    “a conclusion that is as unsupported as it is contradictory to physics”

    It is only contradictory to physics according to Sean Carroll, who has a narrow-minded materialist tribal ideology.

  307. bachfiendon 26 Aug 2017 at 9:33 pm

    Hardnose,

    ‘in the context of over a hundred years of parapsychology research, Bem’s findings are just more confirmation’ that the size of psi effects are very small, with a tendency to disappear.

    Small effects, whether in medical treatment trials or parapsychology psi studies, need not be real. They can be due to chance or minor difficult to discern or remove flaws in the studies, regardless of whether it’s medical research or parapsychological psi studies.

    Steve Novella is perfectly correct in noting that small effects don’t mean much.

    Large effects (even if there isn’t a known mechanism) or small effects (with a known mechanism) are more likely to indicate that the phenomenon is real. But not necessarily.

  308. bachfiendon 26 Aug 2017 at 9:48 pm

    Hardnose,

    ‘Parapsychology is known to be much more exacting than regular psychology, because they expect to be criticised by psi-deniers’.

    Regular psychology (not to also mention evolutionary psychology) has its problems too and doesn’t escape frequent criticism for dodgy methodology in studies demonstrating small effects, and its ‘just so stories’.

  309. RickKon 26 Aug 2017 at 11:43 pm

    hardnose: “Psi is only an extraordinary claim if you are an adult.”

    There, I fixed it for you.

  310. BillyJoe7on 27 Aug 2017 at 12:53 am

    Has hardnose finally delivered a rebuttal of Sean Carroll’s argument against PSI?

    “It is only contradictory to physics according to Sean Carroll, who has a narrow-minded materialist tribal ideology”

    …nope…FALSE ALARM!…once again he has resorted to an ad hominem. 🙁

  311. bachfiendon 27 Aug 2017 at 1:58 am

    Hardnose suffers from double standards and motivated reasoning. He’s perfectly capable of being sceptical of psychology studies with findings he doesn’t like, but suspends his disbelief regarding studies with findings he likes, such as psi is real.

    For example, in the thread ‘cognitive biases in health care decision making’ dated January 13, 2017 he writes:

    ‘Kahneman and Tversky’s research was motivated from the beginning, as typical ‘progressive academics’. They wanted to see why the educated public believed ‘stupid’ things like religion. Many of their experiments are contrived to show that people are not good at formal logic and math. But, very often, what they really show is that natural and formal logic can result in different conclusions.

    And it goes on and on. I wonder why he brought up Kahneman and Tversky? Steve hadn’t mentioned them. I don’t know whether they were mentioned in the links – I don’t have the time to check, I’m off to the football!

  312. BillyJoe7on 27 Aug 2017 at 3:32 am

    bachfiend,

    West Coast v Adelaide?

    West Coast (your team?) should win but the margin will determine if they edge out Melbourne on percentage to be in the finals.

    Essendon (my team) defeated Fremantle a short time ago and are now in the finals given Melbourne’s loss yesterday. 🙂

    I didn’t go because I’m training for the Surfcoast Century in 2 weeks time – rain, hail, and wind in the Dandenongs today! 🙂

  313. bachfiendon 27 Aug 2017 at 6:22 am

    BillyJoe,

    Yes, that’s right. The Eagles won by the required margin and stay in the finals for at least a week, although I don’t expect them to last longer. I think Essendon have a much better chance. They look as though they’re got a good team this year.

  314. Pete Aon 27 Aug 2017 at 6:57 am

    QUOTE
    The perils of p-values
    Why more discoveries are false than you thought

    Prof. David Colquhoun, FRS, Chalkdust, Issue 02

    … The result is that if you claim a discovery on the basis that p = 0.047 you’ll be wrong at least 26% of the time (that’s for a prevalence of 0.5), and maybe much more often. For a prevalence of 0.1 (as in Figure 2) a staggering 76% of such tests will be false positives.

    Article: http://www.dcscience.net/Colquhoun-2015-chalkdust.pdf
    Chalkdust: http://chalkdustmagazine.com

  315. BillyJoe7on 27 Aug 2017 at 8:33 am

    bachfiend,

    Essendon plays Sydney who beat them a few weeks ago by a kicking a goal after the siren from a bad kick-out by Essendon, so they should have a chance. The game’s in Sydney, though, so that should favour Sydney. I won’t even be able to watch the game because I’ll be trying to finish that Surfcoast Century.

  316. bachfiendon 27 Aug 2017 at 8:49 am

    BillyJoe,

    Are you doing the 50 km or the 100 km? Or are you being sensible and just taking part in a relay? I did the Comrades’ Marathon in 1994 (the easy uphill 87 km one), the one Alberto Salazar won. The Surfcoast Century looks much tougher.

  317. BillyJoe7on 27 Aug 2017 at 9:42 am

    I’m not being sensible.
    I’m doing the 100km solo.

    I did the Rollercoaster Run earlier this year which is 43 km with 2.2 km vertical ascent and descent (starts and finishes in the same place). The Surfcoast Century has only 1.1km vertical ascent and descent over the 100 km, but it’s still going to be a pretty tough challenge. My training has been interrupted a few times with respiratory viral infections. No excuses though.

    The Comrades Marathon – 87 km uphill with a 12 hour cut off – sounds tough. It’s misnamed though. It’s an ultramarathon. The 43km took me just over 6 hours (7:30 cut off). The 100 km has a 20 hour cut off so it’s aimed at amateurs like myself 🙂

    I tell people “I’m not fast, but I can keep going”.
    I’ll need to for this one.

  318. bachfiendon 27 Aug 2017 at 4:30 pm

    BillyJoe,

    No, you’re wrong. The Comrades’ Marathon was easy. The Surfcoast Century sounds much harder. I don’t think I’d like to be running on a track in the dark.

  319. CKavaon 27 Aug 2017 at 9:09 pm

    What I am saying is the psi-deniers desperately wanted to find something wrong with Bem’s precognition research. They found that his methodology was correct, according to the accepted standards in psychology. So, they decided the accepted methodology was wrong.

    Bem’s article just served as a catalyst for statistical and methodological critiques that had been existing for DECADES. Here is a link to Cohen’s famous ‘The earth is round (p<.05)' article from 1994 (http://ist-socrates.berkeley.edu/~maccoun/PP279_Cohen1.pdf) pointing out problems with Bem's approach and p-value fetishism two decades before his paper was published (and yet he starts his article by saying that he is echoing criticisms that have been voiced since at least the 1930s…).

    You, on the other hand, think you have discovered real defects in the research that no one else could find, no matter how desperately they looked.

    Errr, hardnose I know it must be hard to keep track, but there is literally a list in this very comment thread of articles critiquing Bem’s statistical analyses that make the exact same kind of point as Pete A. Endlessly repeating your mantra that there are no critiques (with and without capitalisation) still won’t make it any truer.

    Who is probably wrong? You or everyone else? My guess is it’s YOU.

    Absolute comedy gold!

  320. Pete Aon 28 Aug 2017 at 3:14 am

    If we start from the position that the null hypothesis H₀ has not yet been rejected, this means that the effect has not yet been demonstrated to exist, or that the effect could exist but it is not caused by our proposed hypothesis H₁ — the cause may turn out to be: a yet-to-be-discovered H₂; an obscure experimental or measurement error (as per Sod’s Law); a natural Poisson temporal burst of the phenomenon and/or natural Poisson spatial clustering of the phenomenon; or a combination of these.

    Now, if we set alpha = 0.05 this means that we have written ourselves a cast-iron guarantee to obtain a type I error rate of at least 1 in 20 (a type I error frequency of 0.05). Performing multiple t-tests or other multiple tests on the data will yield a higher type I error rate. NB: This is the minimum type I error rate when the effect applies to the whole population. As Jacob Cohen explained in 1994, and David Colquhoun explained recently, when the effect applies to only some members of the whole population then the type I error rate skyrockets: even when our hypothesis H₁ is robustly true and our test methodology is robust.

    I presented the result from a type I error in a previous comment: Effect size 0.123; P two-tail 0.0055. It looks convincing because p=0.0055, however, it is a type I error therefore the effect size is not ‘significant’, it is erroneous! In fact, out of the 10 replications of 1,000 trials of 1,000 coin flips in my dataset, every test that shows an effect size accompanied by a p≤0.05 is a type I error. We know this is true simply because the source of the data for my test group and my control group was a RNG. Therefore, when I measure the overall effect size I must exclude from my measurement all of the data segments which yield p≤0.05. When I do this, the measured effect size is close to zero and overall p≫0.05, which is the correct answer because the null hypothesis is indeed true. If my null hypothesis and my methodology are sufficiently robust then, after the removal of type I errors, the p value should stay well above 0.5, not 0.05, whatever data I throw at it, whether it be random or real data, because my hypothesis H₁ was that my methodology was not sufficiently robust for its purposes. I did indeed manage to reject my chosen null hypothesis because my chosen null hypothesis combined with my test methodology wasn’t good enough to be the null hypothesis for its alternative hypotheses in the first place.

    Of course, had my initial stance been that my null hypothesis and my test methodology were sufficiently robust then my conclusion couldn’t be anything other than: The RNG in my computer has a genuine — small, but statistically significant — anomaly.

  321. BillyJoe7on 28 Aug 2017 at 7:06 am

    bachfiend,

    Okay, I didn’t immediately realise the Comrades Marathon is a road race. Yes, trial runs are much harder, but they are also much more enjoyable and rewarding. I ran four road marathons in successive years (one per year) in my late twenties/early thirties. But, after converting to trail running, I would not even think of running another road race (except the Great Train Race which is at least partly a trail run). I am fortunate that I live on the suburban fringe at the foot of Mt Dandenong. I am there nearly every weekend. But you have just reminded me that I need to practise some night running (with that headlamp I purchased a couple of weeks ago!) before Saturday week.

  322. Enfant Terribleon 28 Aug 2017 at 11:28 am

    Hi, BillyJoe7

    thanks for Carroll’s articles. The things, at least for me, only start to get intesreting in the last 3 articles, specially the first two of the last three articles, since the issues of paranormal phenomena and life after dead are directly addressed. Let’s see life after dead first:

    a)https://www.preposterousuniverse.com/blog/2011/05/23/physics-and-the-immortality-of-the-soul/

    a1)If you claim that some form of soul persists beyond death, what particles is that soul made of? What forces are holding it together? How does it interact with ordinary matter?

    a2)The questions are these: what form does that spirit energy take, and how does it interact with our ordinary atoms? Not only is new physics required, but dramatically new physics. Within QFT, there can’t be a new collection of “spirit particles” and “spirit forces” that interact with our regular atoms, because we would have detected them in existing experiments. Ockham’s razor is not on your side here, since you have to posit a completely new realm of reality obeying very different rules than the ones we know.

    In the book “Consciousness and the Physical World”, by Douglas M. Stokes (May, 2006), he wrote:

    Levin (2000) argues that dualist interaction would involve a violation of the law of the conservation of energy. However, the noted philosopher Karl Popper has suggested that the mind may have its own source of (presumably physical) energy. Under this view, the mind would be a sort of quasiphysical object that might be capable of greater influence on the brain than that allowed by the Heisenberg uncertainty principle of quantum mechanics. Popper even went so far as to assert that the law of energy is only “statistically valid” (Popper & Eccles, 1977, p.541). Without going to this extreme, it
    could be argued that mind is capable of exerting some force on some of the material particles in the brain. Also, we are a long way from having measured with precision every minute energy transaction in human brains. In the process of doing so, it is conceivable that some unexpected energy transaction may be observed. If science should progress to the point where the action of spheres of consciousness on energy transactions within the brain can somehow be mathematically (or otherwise) described, this might be a victory for the contention that immaterial minds can exert physical force. If such spheres of consciousness are identified with known material particles and system, the
    physicalists could claim victory. If not, the dualists could so declare.

    If spheres of consciousness could exert some sort of physical force, it is likely that they would be declared as a new form of physical matter or energy, resulting in a victory for the physicalists. If the present day physicalists opine that all physical particles have already been discovered, this may only be evidence for the psychological tendency toward premature closure, in that they fervently wish to believe that they already possess virtually complete understanding of the universe. But such a declaration could only be the worst form of arrogance in view of the fact, already noted, that physicists have only recently discovered the existence of dark energy, which is now believed to comprise three-quarters of the matter-energy in the universe.

    Many writers (e.g., Beck, 1994; Bohr, 1958; Eddington, 1935; Hameroff, 1994; Hodgson, 1991, 2005a; Leggett, 1987a, 1987b; Margenau, 1984; Penrose, 1994; Squires, 1990; Stapp, 1992, 1996; Walker, 2000) have noted that the classical deterministic theory of Newtonian physics has been replaced with the indeterminism of quantum mechanics, in which many possible futures may arise from a given present state of the universe, and have suggested that the conscious mind or “free will” may act on the brain by selecting a particular quantum state (i.e. forcing the quantum mechanical state vector to “collapse” to a desired outcome). In fact, Eccles (1953, p. 285) noted that the brain is just “the sort of machine a ‘ghost’ could operate,” as its functioning is dependent on minute electrical
    potentials and the motions of neurotransmitters and calcium ions. Thus, in Eccles’ view, at least as expressed in his later writings (e.g., Eccles, 1989), changes in macroscopic brain activity may be brought about without violating the limits of indeterminacy allowed under the theory of quantum mechanics.

    A similar view has been expressed more recently by physicist Henry Stapp (2005b), who asserts that quantum mechanical laws must be used to describe the process of exocytosis (the emission of neurotransmitters into the synaptic cleft), citing empirical research in support of this assertion (Schwartz, Stapp & Beauregard, 2005). In particular, Stapp notes that the “quantum Zeno effect” (maintaining a quantum state through repeated observation) provides a means whereby conscious minds could act on the physical brain, namely by holding the brain in a particular state. He cites William James’ observation that the role of conscious attention is to preserve brain states in support of this view. He also notes that Pashler (1998) has observed that consciousness may act as
    an information-processing bottleneck in this regard.

    Contrary views have been expressed by Jaswal (2005) and Clark (2005a), among others, who argue that any such influence on quantum mechanical processes would lead to a violation of the statistical predictions of quantum mechanics and the principle that the outcome of quantum mechanical processes are randomly determined. Such influence would therefore constitute a violation of the laws of physics.

    First of all, it should be noted, as many observers have argued, that description of the universe afforded by the laws of quantum mechanics is incomplete. Also, no one has provided, or likely ever will provide, a complete description of the quantum state of any brain at any time. We may discover new entities or processes that may be identified with the so-called “hidden variables” that determine the outcomes of quantum processes. Also, quantum mechanical outcomes may indeed be random in simple physical systems, but may be less random in certain complex systems, such as human brains, in which the observing consciousnesses may have a more vested interest. It may also be that such
    consciousnesses enjoy a closer physical proximity to physical brains, on the view that quasi-physical spheres of consciousness may be, at least, temporarily, somehow “stuck” in physical brains.

    Thus, it might turn out that the outcomes of quantum processes inside complex systems such as brains are not randomly determined but are governed by fields of consciousness, whereas those in simpler systems are not so governed. Also, many parapsychological researchers, going back to Schmidt (1969, 1970), have produced evidence that conscious minds may be capable of determining, or at least biasing, the outcomes of quantum processes, as will be discussed in more detail in subsequent chapters.

    Having discussed the general framework, we will now consider specific versions of dualistic interaction that have been proposed in recent times. Thus discussion will be an introductory one, and a more detailed discussion of some of the philosophical and scientific issues raised by modern models of dualistic interaction will be postponed until Chapters 2, 5 and 7.

    Now, we already have seen that “there can’t be a new collection of “spirit particles” and “spirit forces” that interact with our regular atoms, because we would have detected them in existing experiments” is silly. And that “How does it interact with ordinary matter?” has many possibilities too. I suggest you to read the book, pages 36-43.

    The book is avaliable here (but without the number of the pages): http://www.newdualism.org/papers/D.Stokes/ConsciousnessandthePhysicalWorld-book.htm

  323. Enfant Terribleon 28 Aug 2017 at 12:17 pm

    b) http://www.preposterousuniverse.com/blog/2008/02/18/telekinesis-and-quantum-field-theory/

    b1) any new forces that might be lurking out there are either (far) too short-range to effect everyday objects, or (far) too weak to have readily observable effects.

    “Roll (2003) has postulated that poltergeist effects may be produced through the focal person’s influence on the “zero point energy” field pervading the universe, thus temporarily freeing the object from the force of gravity. He also cites measurements indicating weight changes in two poltergeist agents, possibly indicating a transfer of mass-energy between the agent and the affected object.”

    For more details:

    http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.596.8715&rep=rep1&type=pdf

  324. Enfant Terribleon 28 Aug 2017 at 1:17 pm

    Hi, BillyJoe7,

    this is an article by a physicist:

    https://www.scientificexploration.org/docs/14/jse_14_2_klauber.pdf

  325. bachfiendon 28 Aug 2017 at 8:33 pm

    Enfant Terrible,

    I don’t take much notice of what isolated physicists say or write, even if it’s related (vaguely or not) to their field of expertise. It’s easy to find physicists propounding views sympathetic to personal, not evidence based, beliefs.

    I usually use the example of Oliver Manuel, tenured professor of nuclear chemistry at the University of Minnesota (and a favourite in the AGW denial community) who believes that the sun formed as a result of accretion of matter on the core of a supernova, it has a core of iron and that the main source of the sun’s energy is neutron-neutron repulsion, not nuclear fusion. And somehow or another, AGW isn’t happening.

    If physicists are going to come up with conjectural quantum mechanisms for phenomena such as psi or poltergeists, it’s first necessary to ensure that the phenomena actually distinguish in the first place.

    It’s not a problem that there’s no known mechanism for psi. It’s a problem that the evidence for psi is so slight and unconvincing, with studies purporting to show its existence relying on such tiny effects, which are more economically explicable by just chance or minor defects in the study methodology.

  326. BillyJoe7on 29 Aug 2017 at 7:31 am

    ET,

    I am not convinced that you have understood Sean Carroll’s arguments at all.

    You have not offered a single rebuttal of any of his arguments.
    All you’ve done is quote holus bolus from some book you’ve read which doesn’t address Sean Carroll’s arguments at all. The book, in turn, references material from as far back as 1935, with the most recent being 2005.
    (I am assuming the whole of your first comment is a quote from a book you’ve read. If that is not the case please indicate where the quote ends and your comment begins)

    ———————————————-

    I have highlighted parts of your quote/comment that indicate to me that you have not understood and therefore not addressed Sean Carroll’s argument:

    “Also, we are a long way from having measured with precision every minute energy transaction in human brains”

    “If the present day physicalists opine that all physical particles have already been discovered, this may only be evidence for the psychological tendency toward premature closure, in that they fervently wish to believe that they already possess virtually complete understanding of the universe”

    “But such a declaration could only be the worst form of arrogance in view of the fact, already noted, that physicists have only recently discovered the existence of dark energy, which is now believed to comprise three-quarters of the matter-energy in the universe”

    “it should be noted, as many observers have argued, that description of the universe afforded by the laws of quantum mechanics is incomplete”

    “no one has provided, or likely ever will provide, a complete description of the quantum state of any brain at any time”

    Here is Sean Carroll:

    Obviously there are plenty of things we don’t understand. We don’t know how to quantize gravity, or what the dark matter is, or what breaks electroweak symmetry. But we don’t need to know any of those things to account for the world that is immediately apparent to us. We certainly don’t have anything close to a complete understanding of how the basic laws actually play out in the real world — we don’t understand high-temperature superconductivity, or for that matter human consciousness, or a cure for cancer, or predicting the weather, or how best to regulate our financial system. But these are manifestations of the underlying laws, not signs that our understanding of the laws are incomplete. Nobody thinks we’re going to have to invent new elementary particles or forces in order to understand high-Tc superconductivity, much less predicting the weather.

    So a large swathe of your post is totally irrelevant to Sean Carroll’s argument.
    It was taken care of in the first few paragraphs of the first link I gave you.
    Did you even read it, or understand it.
    Did you read or understand what was written in the second link where he painstakingly goes through all the objections again which you’ve blindly repeated in your post.

    ————————

    The rest of your post consist of wild speculations by various philosophers and scientists.
    They are all highly qualified as all wild speculations must be.
    I have highlighted these qualifiers below.

    “Karl Popper has suggested that the mind may have its own source of (presumably physical) energy. Under this view, the mind would be a sort of quasiphysical object that might be capable of greater influence on the brain than that allowed by the Heisenberg uncertainty principle of quantum mechanics”

    “it could be argued that mind is capable of exerting some force on some of the material particles in the brain.

    “Also, we are a long way from having measured with precision every minute energy transaction in human brains. In the process of doing so, it is conceivable that some unexpected energy transaction may be observed”

    If science should progress to the point where the action of spheres of consciousness on energy transactions within the brain can somehow be mathematically (or otherwise) described, this might be a victory for the contention that immaterial minds can exert physical force.

    If such spheres of consciousness are identified with known material particles and system

    If spheres of consciousness could exert some sort of physical force, it is likely that they would be declared as a new form of physical matter or energy,

    “the conscious mind or “free will” may act on the brain by selecting a particular quantum state.

    “in Eccles’ view…changes in macroscopic brain activity may be brought about without violating the limits of indeterminacy allowed under the theory of quantum mechanics.

    “Stapp notes that the “quantum Zeno effect” provides a means whereby conscious minds could act on the physical brain, namely by holding the brain in a particular state”

    “quantum mechanical outcomes may indeed be random in simple physical systems, but may be less random in certain complex systems, such as human brains, in which the observing consciousnesses may have a more vested interest”

    “It may also be that such consciousnesses enjoy a closer physical proximity to physical brains, on the view that quasi-physical spheres of consciousness may be, at least, temporarily, somehow “stuck” in physical brains”

    “Thus, it might turn out that the outcomes of quantum processes inside complex systems such as We may discover new entities or processes that may be identified with the so-called “hidden variables””.

    “many parapsychological researchers…have produced evidence that conscious minds may be capable of determining, or at least biasing, the outcomes of quantum processes”

    So, against Sean Carroll’s summary of non-controversial quantum physics based on fifty years of experimental data, all of which is consistent with and supportive of QFT, we have some wild speculative ideas.
    This cannot possibly constitute an argument against Sean Carroll or QFT.

    ——————————

    But this bit intrigued me.
    (You must have accidentally included the following quote, because it argues that wild speculation cannot possibly argue against QFT)

    “Contrary views have been expressed by Jaswal (2005) and Clark (2005a), among others, who argue that any such influence on quantum mechanical processes would lead to a violation of the statistical predictions of quantum mechanics and the principle that the outcome of quantum mechanical processes are randomly determined. Such influence would therefore constitute a violation of the laws of physics”

    Oops!

    ———————————-

    “Now, we already have seen that “there can’t be a new collection of “spirit particles” and “spirit forces” that interact with our regular atoms, because we would have detected them in existing experiments” is silly. And that “How does it interact with ordinary matter?” has many possibilities too”

    I assume this is your only contribution to your post.
    “Spirit particles”? “Spirit forces”? “Spheres of influence”?
    Against QFT?
    Give me a break ET!

    “I suggest you to read the book, pages 36-43.”

    I suggest you actually read and understand what Sean Carroll is saying in those first three links.
    Your quoted arguments are either irrelevant or consist of wild speculation which cannot possibly refute an argument based on the most successful theory in all of science – QFT.

  327. Enfant Terribleon 29 Aug 2017 at 12:36 pm

    BillyJoe7,

    “You have not offered a single rebuttal of any of his arguments.”

    Really? Let’s see:

    a) “Within QFT, there can’t be a new collection of “spirit particles” and “spirit forces” that interact with our regular atoms, because we would have detected them in existing experiments.”

    Rebuttal 01: “we are a long way from having measured with precision every minute energy transaction in human brains. In the process of doing so, it is conceivable that some unexpected energy transaction may be observed.[…] no one has provided, or likely ever will provide, a complete description of the quantum state of any brain at any time. We may discover new entities or processes that may be identified with the so-called “hidden variables” that determine the outcomes of quantum processes.”

    Rebuttal 02: “Right-handed electrons and quarks exist. We know because they have been detected via the electromagnetic force. But we can not detect right-handed neutrinos in such a way because they do not interact electromagnetically. Because we can not detect right-handed neutrinos weakly, there is essentially no way to know if these particles even exist. Yet, there could be untold trillions of them passing every minute through each of us and through every known detector. If left-handed neutrinos are almost ghostlike, then right-handed neutrinos are fully so” (Source: https://www.scientificexploration.org/docs/14/jse_14_2_klauber.pdf)

    Rebuttal 03: Lymphatic vessels in the brain, which shows that the brain can have many things still not detected: http://www.businessinsider.com/brain-immune-system-connection-lymphatic-vessel-2015-6

    b) “Nobody thinks we’re going to have to invent new elementary particles or forces in order to understand high-Tc superconductivity, much less predicting the weather.”

    But many think we will have to do precisely this regarding counsciousness. One example is Paul Nunez (Source: Brain, Mind, and the Structure of Reality [2010]) Another example is Benjamin Libet. Or Donald R. Forsdyke.

  328. Enfant Terribleon 29 Aug 2017 at 12:42 pm

    c) “So, against Sean Carroll’s summary of non-controversial quantum physics based on fifty years of experimental data, all of which is consistent with and supportive of QFT, we have some wild speculative ideas.”

    Speculative? Yes, sure. But possible. That’s the point. Paul Nunez wrote:

    Scientific books tread very carefully over speculative issues, mostly for good reason. But, we are faced here with the formidable puzzle of the mind, the most profound of human enigmas, presenting high barriers to genuine scientific inquiry. Plausible attempts to illuminate this so-called hard problem will demand much wider speculation than is normally comfortable […]. No apology is offered here for speculation; rather, my aim is first to distinguish speculative ideas from more reliable knowledge domains. Secondly, metrics are needed to distinguish the really wild ideas from those that are only a little crazy. In this and in the following chapters, I consider a spectrum of speculative ideas, with probability identified as an important measure of human ignorance.

  329. Enfant Terribleon 29 Aug 2017 at 1:27 pm

    bachfiend,

    “It’s a problem that the evidence for psi is so slight and unconvincing”

    Blackmore disagree. At least for telepathy in Ganzfeld.

    “with studies purporting to show its existence relying on such tiny effects, which are more economically explicable by just chance or minor defects in the study methodology.”

    I would like to remember you that the methodology both believers and skeptics helped to create. And chance can’t explain the results either, since all concerning and artistic population are positive and significant.

  330. Pete Aon 29 Aug 2017 at 4:12 pm

    [Enfant Terrible] Rebuttal 01: “we are a long way from having measured with precision every minute energy transaction in human brains. In the process of doing so, it is conceivable that some unexpected energy transaction may be observed.[…] no one has provided, or likely ever will provide, a complete description of the quantum state of any brain at any time. We may discover new entities or processes that may be identified with the so-called “hidden variables” that determine the outcomes of quantum processes.”

    We are a long way from having measured, with precision, every minute energy transaction in the computing device with which you wrote your comment. Perhaps you are a poltergeist, or the entropy reduction resulting from you using your young computing device, has thrown a greater amount of entropy (disorder) into its environment, which, in exceptional cases, originates poltergeist disturbances. — Brovetto, P., & Maxia, V. (2008). Entropy Increase in Vacuum: A Conjecture About the Mechanism of Poltergeist Phenomenon. NeuroQuantology, 6(2).Avaliable at:
    https://neuroquantology.com/index.php/journal/article/viewFile/172/172

    “NeuroQuantology is a quarterly peer-reviewed interdisciplinary scientific journal that covers the intersection of neuroscience and quantum mechanics.” — http://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/tribal-epistemology/#comment-366736

  331. bachfiendon 29 Aug 2017 at 4:42 pm

    Enfant Terrible,

    As has been pointed out to you on numerous occasions, reliance on p-values less than whatever number you regard as ‘significant’ is just magical thinking. It does not mean that the phenomenon being studied is real. Physicists don’t use 0.05 as their significance level, using instead 5-sigma, which corresponds to a one in 3.5 million chance of similar results occurring by chance.

    There are major problems with experimental methodologies not just in parapsychology, but also in ‘standard’ psychology and medical clinical trials regarding outcomes of therapeutics.

    If Blackmore disagrees, then she’s got problems.

    I notice that you’ve wet your pants concerning the recent discovery of meningeal lymphatics (which aren’t in the brain). The brain and meninges have different embryological origins. The brain is neuroectodermal. The meninges, including the blood vessels and lymphatics, are mesodermal.

    I’m not certain what you mean by Benjamin Libet thinking we’ll have to ‘invent new elementary particles or forces’ to understand consciousness. It doesn’t sound like something Libet would say. And anyway – it’s not a matter of inventing new elementary particles or forces. They exist or they don’t.

  332. Pete Aon 29 Aug 2017 at 7:17 pm

    [Enfant Terrible] I would like to remember you that the methodology both believers and skeptics helped to create. And chance can’t explain the results either, since all concerning and artistic population are positive and significant.

    The hypotheses used in a plethora of statistical tests — especially within the field of parapsychology — are extremely simple, therefore they ought to be very easy to comprehend by laypersons [those without professional or specialized knowledge in a particular subject]:

    H₁ [our presupposed hypothesis]: the arithmetic mean scores will show a statistically significant difference, using our chosen parameters, including our chosen alpha, and our chosen test methodology;

    H₀ [our contrived null hypothesis for H₁]: the arithmetic mean scores will not show a statistically significant difference, using our chosen parameters, including our chosen alpha, and our chosen methodology.

    Yes, it really is that simple. Whether or not the arithmetic mean scores, collected from only the micro-percentage or the milli-percentage of the whole population[1] who actually partook in the experiment, is statistically significant: which is entirely different from a real effect being pertinent to the general population.

    [1] one micro-percent of 7.5E+09 is 75 people; one milli-percent of 7.5E+09 is 75 thousand people; one percent of 7.5E+09 is 75 million people.

    I shall leave the readers to ponder these astute cautionary words:

    If your experiment needs statistics, you ought to have done a better experiment.
    — Ernest Rutherford, British physicist.

  333. BillyJoe7on 30 Aug 2017 at 12:32 am

    ET,

    Rebuttal 01: “we are a long way from having measured with precision every minute energy transaction in human brains. In the process of doing so, it is conceivable that some unexpected energy transaction may be observed.[…] no one has provided, or likely ever will provide, a complete description of the quantum state of any brain at any time. We may discover new entities or processes that may be identified with the so-called “hidden variables” that determine the outcomes of quantum processes.”

    You don’t need “a complete description of the quantum state of any brain”. All you need to know is that the brain is made up of the same elementary particles as everything else, operated on by the same forces, obeying the same rules of quantum mechanics and general relativity. And, of course, the fact that there are no new particles or forces waiting to be discovered in the range that can affect our everyday lives.

    Rebuttal 02: “Right-handed electrons and quarks exist. We know because they have been detected via the electromagnetic force. But we can not detect right-handed neutrinos in such a way because they do not interact electromagnetically. Because we can not detect right-handed neutrinos weakly, there is essentially no way to know if these particles even exist. Yet, there could be untold trillions of them passing every minute through each of us and through every known detector. If left-handed neutrinos are almost ghostlike, then right-handed neutrinos are fully so”

    To say that “trillions of neutrinos pass through us every minute” is to say that neutrinos do not interact with us. And if they don’t interact with us then they can’t effect our everyday experiences. This is exactly one of Sean Carroll’s points. He even mentions those neutrinos at one point. But you haven’t actually read or understood the articles at those links you requested have you?

    “Rebuttal 03: Lymphatic vessels in the brain, which shows that the brain can have many things still not detected”

    The brain is made up of a few elementary particles, interacting through a few forces, through the rules of quantum mechanics and general relativity. Just like everything else. Physicists know what they know, and know what they don’t know. They know that all possible unknown particles and forces lie outside the range that can effect our everyday lives. Otherwise they would have been found by now in our particle accelerators. This is not controversial.

    “But many think we will have to do precisely this regarding counsciousness”

    It is QFT, the most successful theory in all of science supported by fifty years of experimental data, or the wild speculative musings of a few philosophers and scientists.

    “Speculative? Yes, sure. But possible. That’s the point.”

    The point is that it is NOT possible unless you prove QFT is wrong.
    Good luck with that.

    “Paul Nunez wrote:
    Scientific books tread very carefully over speculative issues, mostly for good reason. But, we are faced here with the formidable puzzle of the mind, the most profound of human enigmas, presenting high barriers to genuine scientific inquiry. Plausible attempts to illuminate this so-called hard problem will demand much wider speculation than is normally comfortable […]. No apology is offered here for speculation; rather, my aim is first to distinguish speculative ideas from more reliable knowledge domains. Secondly, metrics are needed to distinguish the really wild ideas from those that are only a little crazy. In this and in the following chapters, I consider a spectrum of speculative ideas, with probability identified as an important measure of human ignorance.”

    There is nothing wrong with speculation, even wild speculation, even crazy ideas.
    The trouble is holding onto wildly speculative and crazy ideas when they have been ruled out.
    If physics has already ruled it out, you are wasting your time.

  334. Enfant Terribleon 30 Aug 2017 at 11:48 am

    BillyJoe7,

    “All you need to know is that the brain is made up of the same elementary particles as everything else, operated on by the same forces, obeying the same rules of quantum mechanics and general relativity. And, of course, the fact that there are no new particles or forces waiting to be discovered in the range that can affect our everyday lives. […] The brain is made up of a few elementary particles, interacting through a few forces, through the rules of quantum mechanics and general relativity. Just like everything else. Physicists know what they know, and know what they don’t know. They know that all possible unknown particles and forces lie outside the range that can effect our everyday lives. Otherwise they would have been found by now in our particle accelerators. This is not controversial.”

    Really? Ok. Now, read this:

    Imagine you have a physical collection of items without consciousness. It could be a bunch of billions of neurons in state A. But let’s have it in a simpler form. Let’s call it NaOH and HCl (sodium hydroxide and hydrochloric acid), before they react. And then, all of a sudden, this collection changes into a new form that, surprisingly enough, is conscious! It could be a bunch of billions of neurons in state B. But then again, let’s have it in a simpler form. Let’s call it NaCl and H2O. The physical (chemical) equation is this:

    NaOH + HCl = NaCl + H2O.

    Ok, where is consciousness in the equation? Cannot find it? Neither can I in Quantum Mechanics, Relativity, or String Theory (and neither can anyone else, for that matter…). The only way to find it, it seems, would be to violate quantities (and to do so artificially – in ad hoc style):

    NaOH + HCl = NaCl + H2O and CONSCIOUSNESS.

    This, in a nutshell, is the problem and the mystery of consciousness.

    If you or Carroll can solve the problem above, you both can receive the Nobel.

    “To say that “trillions of neutrinos pass through us every minute” is to say that neutrinos do not interact with us. And if they don’t interact with us then they can’t effect our everyday experiences. This is exactly one of Sean Carroll’s points. He even mentions those neutrinos at one point. But you haven’t actually read or understood the articles at those links you requested have you?”

    Sure. I was calling your attention that there are things in our Universe that we can’t detect in no physical way. Klauber uses this same example, and mentions a specific particle that is completly a ‘ghost’. But he says: “We know individual consciousness and its attendant physical body interact in ways we still do not fully understand. Could that same consciousness not also interact, in still less understood ways, with all but impalpable, but nontheless equally real, trans-physical bodies?”

    So, again, the problem is consciouness. Benjamin wrote:

    The generally held assumption that mind and brain can interact indicates from the outset that two different phenomenological entities exist. Conscious mind can only be regarded as a subjective experience, which is accessible only to the individual who has it. Thus, it can only be studied by reports given by the subject her/himself. It cannot be observed or studied by an external observer with any type of physical device. In this sense, subjective experience (the conscious mind) appears to be a non-physical phenomenon. Indeed, it was recognized as far back as Gottfried Leibniz (1646–1716) that if one could look into the brain and observe all its nerve cell activities, one would not see anything to indicate the existence of a conscious mind. […] Eccles realized that some sort of field would have to be postulated to account for the integrative aspects of the mind. For the elements in the brain that give rise to the field, Eccles (1994) postulated the existence of organized bundles of neurons that he called ‘‘psychons’’ (see Wiesendanger, 2006). Each psychon could represent a mental event or process. Eccles, in collaboration with Beck, proposed that synaptic probability for release of its neural transmitter is affected by random quantum inputs (Beck and Eccles, 1992, 1998, 2003). Such inputs could not be detected by any physical measurement and could thus be a mental action that is not externally apparent. A field of appropriate psychons, acting together, would produce an
    integrated mental experience.

  335. Niche Geekon 30 Aug 2017 at 12:44 pm

    Enfant Terrible,

    Could you please apply your NaOH + HCl = NaCl + H2O model to digestion? Can you apply it to a hurricane?

  336. Enfant Terribleon 30 Aug 2017 at 12:56 pm

    bachfiend,

    “As has been pointed out to you on numerous occasions, reliance on p-values less than whatever number you regard as ‘significant’ is just magical thinking. It does not mean that the phenomenon being studied is real. Physicists don’t use 0.05 as their significance level, using instead 5-sigma, which corresponds to a one in 3.5 million chance of similar results occurring by chance.”

    No problem.

    Storm et al. (2010) meta-analyzed 30 studies that had been conducted from 1997 to 2008, contributed by 36 different investigators, comprising 1,648 trials, within a larger metaanalysis of free-response ESP studies conducted during that period. They selected for inclusion only ganzfeld studies that had more than two participants, used a random number generator or a random number table for target selection, and provided enough information to calculate direct hits. The result was a mean Z = 1.16, Stouffer’s Z = 6.34, ES = 0.152, and p = 1.15 × 10–10, for their 30-study heterogenous database; and a mean Z = 1.02, Stouffer’s Z = 5.48, ES = 0.142, and p = 2.13 × 10–8, for their 29-study homogenous database (in which the authors removed outliers using the stem-and-leaf plot method).

    p = 2.13 × 10-8, or odds against chance of 47 million to 1.

  337. Pete Aon 30 Aug 2017 at 1:02 pm

    BillyJoe,

    ET and hardnose are clearly demonstrating at least three things:
    1. their abject failure to understand, from first principles, that which they write about;
    2. their abject failure to properly read, let alone understand, their chosen sources;
    3. their abject failure to properly read, let alone understand, our science- and evidence-based replies.

    I never write my comments using the mistaken belief that I am, perhaps, able to enlighten ET, HN, IW, ME, et al.; I write my comments for the benefit of the silent majority of the readers; and I am more than happy to let these readers decide for themselves who are, and who are not, the f*ckwits amongst the regular commentators on Dr. Novella’s articles.

    To those who believe that humans and some other animals have parapsychological sensory mechanisms, I have the following to say…

    Read Dr. Novella’s article 40 Years of Voyager; then watch the video to which the commentator “pdeboer” linked Detailed look at how the 70m DSS43 NASA Canberra Deep Space dish is used to talk to the Voyager 2 probe 17 billion km from earth; then read and comprehend — at least the profound essence of — this relevant NASA document:

    DESCANSO Design and Performance Summary Series
    Article 4
    Voyager Telecommunications
    Roger Ludwig and Jim Taylor
    Jet Propulsion Laboratory,
    California Institute of Technology
    Pasadena, California
    https://descanso.jpl.nasa.gov/DPSummary/Descanso4–Voyager_new.pdf

    The Voyager Telecommunications system was founded upon what was, and still is, well-established information theory. The profound essence of the document is not simply that the Voyager mission has proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that what was known in 1977 was correct; established theories are also required to have enough power to make reasonably useful predictions. The above document includes some of the predictions that were essential to the long-term success of the Voyager mission.

    Now, let’s compare the 1977 Voyager Telecommunications system to the 40-years-later current findings from the field of parapsychology research, which is mainly, if not all, about the transfer of information from senders to receivers. This is a perfectly fair comparison because, as hardnose wrote on 26 Aug 2017 at 7:03 pm: “In the context of over a hundred years of parapsychology research, Bem’s findings are just more confirmation.

    So, after over a hundred years of parapsychology research, where are the measurements of such things as: transmit power level; receive power level; antenna isotropic gain; the equivalent noise temperature of the receiver; the symbol SNR; the symbol error rate; the bit-level SNR; the bit-level error rate; and just estimations of the complexity of the coding and forward error correction algorithms involved in parapsychological communications. Rhetorical questions, obviously!

  338. hardnoseon 30 Aug 2017 at 1:12 pm

    BillyJoe7:
    “The brain is made up of a few elementary particles, interacting through a few forces, through the rules of quantum mechanics and general relativity. Just like everything else. Physicists know what they know, and know what they don’t know. They know that all possible unknown particles and forces lie outside the range that can effect our everyday lives. Otherwise they would have been found by now in our particle accelerators. This is not controversial.”

    You know what you don’t know, except for the things you don’t know that you don’t know.

    https://phys.org/news/2014-01-discovery-quantum-vibrations-microtubules-corroborates.html

    “The recent discovery of quantum vibrations in “microtubules” inside brain neurons corroborates this theory, according to review authors Stuart Hameroff and Sir Roger Penrose.”

  339. arnieon 30 Aug 2017 at 4:19 pm

    ET,
    You really complicate things for yourself by imagining “consciousness” as some kind of elusive entity that HAS “an attendant physical body”. The evidence, however, all points to, and thus is the plausible view to hold, that “consciousness”, which all of us on this blog clearly experience, is one of the very many, often interrelated, activities of the brain.

    You expend a lot of unnecessary and evidence-free wild speculation trying to justify your ideologically-based belief to the contrary. That’s fine, if it stimulates or satisfies you to try to make something out of nothing (in terms of evidence) in some way but it goes nowhere and is actually pretty boring and tiring for some of us.

    You and HN are caught in the same exercise drum that does exercise your conscious cognition but to no meaningful avail.

  340. bachfiendon 30 Aug 2017 at 4:38 pm

    Hardnose,

    “‘The recent discovery of quantum vibrations in ‘microtubules’ inside brain neurons corroborates this theory according to review authors Stuart Hameroff and Sir Roger Penrose”.

    No, it doesn’t. Their hypothesis was that quantum vibrations occur in microtubules in neurons, and quantum vibrations in microtubules in neurons ‘explains’ consciousness somehow. Finding that quantum vibrations occur doesn’t mean that the second follows.

    I could hypothesise that the sun rises in the east and that this explains consciousness. It’s confirmed that the sun rises in the east, therefore it explains consciousness? Right?

    Enfant Terrible,

    I don’t accept your premise that Sorm’s meta-analysis is convincing. Rounder et al (2013) has a rebuttal of Storm et al (2010) in the Psychological Bulletin. They concluded that Storm’s data indicated odds that psi is true is no greater than 330:1 instead of billions to one, which they don’t consider convincing, particularly since there will be unreported negative replication studies.

  341. BillyJoe7on 30 Aug 2017 at 5:17 pm

    BillyJoe7:
    “The brain is made up of a few elementary particles, interacting through a few forces, through the rules of quantum mechanics and general relativity. Just like everything else. Physicists know what they know, and know what they don’t know. They know that all possible unknown particles and forces lie outside the range that can effect our everyday lives. Otherwise they would have been found by now in our particle accelerators. This is not controversial.”

    Hardnose:
    “The recent discovery of quantum vibrations in “microtubules” inside brain neurons…”

    BillyJoe7:
    “The microtubules of the brain are made up of a few elementary particles, interacting through a few forces, through the rules of quantum mechanics and general relativity. Just like everything else. Physicists know what they know, and know what they don’t know. They know that all possible unknown particles and forces lie outside the range that can effect our everyday lives. Otherwise they would have been found by now in our particle accelerators. This is not controversial”

    How easy was that!

  342. Enfant Terribleon 30 Aug 2017 at 6:00 pm

    arnie,

    “The evidence, however, all points to, and thus is the plausible view to hold, that “consciousness”, which all of us on this blog clearly experience, is one of the very many, often interrelated, activities of the brain.”

    Really?

    Where does consciousness come from? For most scientists and laypeople, it is axiomatic that something in the substance of the brain — neurons, synapses and gray matter in just the right combination — creates perception, self-awareness, and intentionality.

    Yet, despite decades of neurological research, that “something” — the mechanism by which this process is said to occur — has remained frustratingly elusive. This is no accident, as the authors of this book argue, given that the evidence increasingly points to a startling fact: Consciousness may not, in fact, reside in the brain at all.

    http://www.apa.org/pubs/books/4316171.aspx

    Donald R. Forsdyke published an aticle in 2015 in the journal Biological Theory about this issue.

    Forsdyke, D. R. (2015). Wittgenstein’s Certainty is Uncertain: Brain Scans of Cured Hydrocephalics Challenge Cherished Assumptions. Biological Theory, 1-7. Link: http://rifters.com/real/articles/Forsdyke-2015-BrainScansofHydrocephalicsChallengeCherishedAssumptions.pdf

  343. Enfant Terribleon 30 Aug 2017 at 6:11 pm

    bachfiend,

    “I don’t accept your premise that Sorm’s meta-analysis is convincing. Rounder et al (2013) has a rebuttal of Storm et al (2010) in the Psychological Bulletin. They concluded that Storm’s data indicated odds that psi is true is no greater than 330:1 instead of billions to one, which they don’t consider convincing, particularly since there will be unreported negative replication studies.”

    And you know there is a rebuttal of the rebuttal… don’t you?

    http://www.deanradin.com/FOC2014/Storm2013reply.pdf

  344. bachfiendon 30 Aug 2017 at 6:40 pm

    Enfant Terrible,

    I’m perfectly aware that there’s a rebuttal of the rebuttal. I found and read your reference when I found Rounder’s rebuttal. The fact remains that Storm’s meta-analysis isn’t ‘convincing’.

    It’s also infantile to assert that because consciousness is complex, that physical explanations can then be replaced by assertions that it can be ‘explained’ by ‘simple’ mechanisms such as quantum physics. Or novel undiscovered elementary particles and forces. Or whatever. When it can’t.

  345. arnieon 30 Aug 2017 at 7:31 pm

    Et,
    You’re building your case on false and illogical assumptions. You are assuming consciousness is a THING in the SUBSTANCE of the brain. and that it must RESIDE somewhere. That’s very simplistic and concrete thinking on your part. Consciousness is not a thing in residence in a substance. Consciousness is what the brain, a an extremely complicated part of the neurological system, simply DOES, among other of its many activities, such as thought, memory, etc. You elevate that activity out of its context by imagining it to be a terribly unique and “hard problem”. How the brain does everything that it does will take a long time and very rigorous, piece by piece, step by step scientific process. You are trying to short circuit all the scientific investigation involved by jumping to wild, magical and/or metaphysical speculations to fit your a priori ideological biases. There is a way to get to understanding what the brain does and how, including consciousness, but it will take serious and creative investigative work to build the evidence needed. None of it was easy so far nor will be in the near and distant future, but there is absolutely no scientific reason to single out consciousness as the uniquely “hard problem”. Good evidence accumulation of such a complex organ is very hard work. Get it? No? Why am I not surprised?

  346. hardnoseon 30 Aug 2017 at 7:47 pm

    HN:
    “‘The recent discovery of quantum vibrations in ‘microtubules’ inside brain neurons corroborates this theory according to review authors Stuart Hameroff and Sir Roger Penrose”.

    bachfiend:
    “No, it doesn’t. Their hypothesis was that quantum vibrations occur in microtubules in neurons, and quantum vibrations in microtubules in neurons ‘explains’ consciousness somehow. Finding that quantum vibrations occur doesn’t mean that the second follows.”

    Listen, they did not say it explains consciousness. Their theory was that consciousness somehow involve quantum effects (in other words, “woo”). They hypothesized microtubules inside neurons, based on their theory, and then these microtubules were found.

    This does not prove anything, it just contributes evidence. I don’t know why you can’t see that, it must be tribal epistemology.

    Ideas about quantum consciousness have been around a while, and you “Skeptics” always laugh at them. Then someone shows you scientific evidence, and you can’t even see it.

    TRIBAL.

  347. chikoppion 30 Aug 2017 at 9:00 pm

    [hardnose] Their theory was that consciousness somehow involve quantum effects (in other words, “woo”). They hypothesized microtubules inside neurons, based on their theory, and then these microtubules were found.

    This does not prove anything, it just contributes evidence. I don’t know why you can’t see that, it must be tribal epistemology.

    I don’t get this. Evidence of what? Quantum effects aren’t woo. At a small enough scale quantum effects are present in all matter. The memory and other micro components of a computer wouldn’t function were it not for quantum effects. Nor, correct me if I’m wrong, would photosynthesis.

  348. hardnoseon 30 Aug 2017 at 9:08 pm

    “Quantum effects aren’t woo.”

    You call ideas about quantum consciousness “woo.” All the time.

  349. bachfiendon 30 Aug 2017 at 9:36 pm

    Hardnose,

    You want ‘simple’ ideas, such as quantum phenomena within ultramicroscopic particles such as electrons and microtubules, to explain macroscopic features such as consciousness in order to avoid having to try to understand how complex systems, such as the 100 billion neurons and similar number of astrocytes within the human brain , produce consciousness.

    It’s been said that if the human brain was simple enough to understand, then humans would be too simple to understand.

    Quantum effects are very important at all levels of the Universe, but they cancel out over scales greater than about 60 atoms, which is an extremely small scale. It’s very difficult, impossible in fact, to discern a signal from one collection of 60 atoms within a neuron when the signals from numerous other collections of 60 atoms in the same and other neurons are completely different. There’s no ‘quantum entanglement’ between separate collections of 60+ atoms, which would be necessary for the hypothesis of ‘quantum consciousness’ to work.

  350. tb29607on 30 Aug 2017 at 9:57 pm

    Apologies if this has already been discussed (300+ posts proved too much for my attention span) but I am curious if the study of quantum vibrations in microtubules of neurons also looked for quantum vibrations in microtubules of other cells in the body?
    Many types of cells have microtubules, if they all display quantum vibrations (and I see no reason why cell type would alter the presence of quantum vibrations), then every white blood cell, cell lining the respiratory tract, and cell lining the intestinal tract (amongst many others), should display consciousness.

  351. bachfiendon 30 Aug 2017 at 10:28 pm

    tb29607,

    It’s obvious to everyone (with exception of hardnose, who believes that bacteria are ‘intelligent’, capable of directing mutations according to need) that one neuron can’t accomplish anything on its own in producing macroscopic effects such as thought, movement and consciousness.

    He’s seen the ‘quantum’ in ‘quantum vibrations’, confused it with ‘quantum entanglement’, and decided it also allows numerous neurons to be quantum entangled, causing consciousness. Although, he also thinks bacteria are conscious too.

  352. tb29607on 30 Aug 2017 at 11:16 pm

    bachfiend,

    Mostly I just wanted to draw attention to the ridiculousness (and juvenile humor) of a bunch of sentient cells choosing to live in my colon.

  353. bachfiendon 30 Aug 2017 at 11:37 pm

    tb29607,

    I realise you were being ‘faeces’tious (to coin a new word), but it is ridiculous, isn’t it?

  354. chikoppion 31 Aug 2017 at 12:21 am

    [hardnose] You call ideas about quantum consciousness “woo.” All the time.

    A “quantum” is the smallest discreet value of a thing. A photon is the smallest discreet value of electromagnetism. The “quantum effects” being measured are the interactions of known physical forces. That there may be quantum level effects contributing to brain function would still be completely compatible with monism. “Quantum effects” don’t suggest some hitherto unknown substance or field and they don’t circumvent the laws of physics.

  355. Pete Aon 31 Aug 2017 at 1:10 am

    Looking to the quantum level in an attempt to explain consciousness is as stupid as looking to the quantum level in an attempt to explain a house or a car. It is the fallacy of composition. Here’s an example…

    Which part of your computing device enables you to post comments on this blog? If you remove parts from your device you won’t be able to post comments so it must be the hardware, right?

    Well, there are many different types of hardware, various different operating systems, and various web browsers therefore it isn’t the hardware per se, it isn’t the operating system per se, and it isn’t the application software per se. The fact that the semiconductor-based hardware operates at the quantum level does not lead to the conclusion that the overall functionality is an emergent property of quantum level interactions.

    Those who claim that high-level functionality is an emergent property of the low-level interactions have explained nothing whatsoever, because the claim applies to everything. E.g., Humans are an emergent property of the universe. This simplistic way of thinking never produces useful output.

    Hopefully, the readers can now understand why attempting to explain consciousness, parapsychological phenomenon, a computer, or any other macro-scale object, using a bottom-up approach — such as an appeal to quantum vibrations in microtubules — is an exercise in futility. Although it’s great fun observing the same people committing the fallacy of composition ad nauseam.

  356. bachfiendon 31 Aug 2017 at 3:26 am

    Or to put it in another way, quantum effects are very important in explaining how the atoms of an asteroid are held together, but quantum effects are not at all important in explaining the trajectory of the asteroid (the quantum effects are averaged out to zero). Nor why it would completely ruin your day if it fell on your head.

  357. Pete Aon 31 Aug 2017 at 4:44 am

    bachfiend,

    That’s an excellent summary of quantum effects. Yes, quantum effects asymptotically approach zero as the scale increases from the microscopic to the macroscopic. Their extremely small effects within the macroscopic scale are just random noise.

    The only instance I can think of in which people can see the result of a quantum-level ‘Poisson process’ is the photon shot noise in digital imaging. We can see the noise simply because the photon arrival rate is quite low at each incredibly tiny image sensor pixel: circa 1 micrometre on small sensor, which is only a bit larger than the wavelength of a photon of red light (~0.7 micrometre)!

  358. BillyJoe7on 31 Aug 2017 at 8:11 am

    ET,

    “I was calling your attention that there are things in our Universe that we can’t detect in no physical way”

    And I was calling your attention to the fact that “things in our Universe that we cannot detect in any physical way” are things that, therefore, cannot interact with us and that therefore cannot have any affect on our everyday lives. They might have an effect in black holes or dark matter, but black holes and dark matter do not affect our everyday lives. Things we cannot detect and therefore cannot interact with us also cannot be an explanation for “hypothesised” PSI/ESP.

    “Imagine you have a physical collection of items without consciousness. It could be a bunch of billions of neurons in state A. And then, all of a sudden, this collection changes into a new form that, surprisingly enough, is conscious! It could be a bunch of billions of neurons in state B.”

    There is never a point in time when you can say that, before this point in time, there was no consciousness and, after this point in time, there is consciousness. Consciousness evolves in a system. By analogy, there never a point in time when you can say that, before this time, this person was an adolescent and, after this point in time, this person is an adult.

    “But let’s have it in a simpler form. Let’s call it NaOH and HCl (sodium hydroxide and hydrochloric acid), before they react. Let’s call it NaCl and H2O [after they react]. The…equation is this:
    NaOH + HCl = NaCl + H2O.
    Ok, where is consciousness in the equation?…The only way to find it, it seems, would be to violate quantities:
    NaOH + HCl = NaCl + H2O and CONSCIOUSNESS”

    How about:
    NaOH(liquid) + HCl(liquid) = NaCl(solid) + H2O(liquid)
    How did we get liquid from solid? And when do we get a solid? Do we have a solid after one atom of NaCl is produced. No. Then how many atoms? Who knows or cares. But we do eventually have something we can identify as a solid. It’s like adolescence into adulthood. Did adolescent ET suddenly become adult ET at 9pm on a Friday afternoon? But somehow now you are an adult and some time ago you were an adolescent.
    Same with consciousness.

    “This, in a nutshell, is the problem and the mystery of consciousness”

    QM can explain why a table is solid (we couldn’t do that before QM)
    QM cannot yet explain consciousness, but that doesn’t mean you can conjure up any wild speculative story about consciousness – especially when it is already ruled out by physics.

    “If you or Carroll can solve the problem above, you both can receive the Nobel”

    Let me know when a parapsychologist wins the prize.
    Hint: he will have to disprove QFT!

    “Klauber…says: “We know individual consciousness and its attendant physical body interact in ways we still do not fully understand. Could that same consciousness not also interact, in still less understood ways, with all but impalpable, but nonetheless equally real, trans-physical bodies?”

    No, we don’t know that.
    Dualists believe that.
    Could ten angels dance on the head of a pin?
    And trans-physical bodies? Trans-physical bodies!

    “Benjamin wrote:
    The generally held assumption that mind and brain can interact”

    That is not the generally held assumption.
    That is the dualist’s assumption.

    “In this sense, subjective experience…appears to be a non-physical phenomenon”

    Like digestion presumably.
    There is no reason to believe it doesn’t belong in the category: Natural/Material/Physical.
    And there is no evidence for the category: Supernatural/Immaterial/Nonphysical.

    “Indeed, it was recognized as far back as Gottfried Leibniz (1646–1716) that if one could look into the brain and observe all its nerve cell activities, one would not see anything to indicate the existence of a conscious mind”

    Well that settles it then.
    We can’t look into the brain and see consciousness. |:
    That’s really cute.

    “Eccles realized that some sort of field would have to be postulated to account for the integrative aspects of the mind”

    If it was to have any effect on our everyday experience, that “field of consciousness” would have to interact with the particles and forces of The Standard Model in the range that could affect our everyday experience. The experiments have been done and there are no such forces or particles in the range that could affect our everyday experience.

    “For the elements in the brain that give rise to the field, Eccles (1994) postulated the existence of organized bundles of neurons that he called ‘‘psychons’’. Each psychon could represent a mental event or process. Eccles, in collaboration with Beck, proposed that synaptic probability for release of its neural transmitter is affected by random quantum inputs. Such inputs could not be detected by any physical measurement and could thus be a mental action that is not externally apparent. A field of appropriate psychons, acting together, would produce an integrated mental experience.”

    The brain consists of the same elementary particles as everything else.
    If there is anything else that cannot be detected by any physical measurement, then it also cannot affect the brain’s function and therefore cannot affect our everyday experience.
    You are wasting your time with stuff that has already been excluded by firmly established science.

  359. Ian Wardellon 31 Aug 2017 at 8:29 am

    Hardnose said:
    “Listen, they did not say it explains consciousness. Their theory was that consciousness somehow involve quantum effects (in other words, “woo”). They hypothesized microtubules inside neurons, based on their theory, and then these microtubules were found”.

    Hmm . .that’s interesting. Suggests they might well be on the right track then.

  360. BillyJoe7on 31 Aug 2017 at 8:29 am

    FACT CHECK.

    hardnose: “Stuart Hameroff and Sir Roger Penrose…hypothesized microtubules inside neurons, based on their theory, and then these microtubules were found”

    Microtubules were discovered by transmission electron microscopy in the late 1950s.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9126634

    Roger Penrose wrote his book “The Emperor’s New Mind” in which he introduced his idea regarding the connection between quantum physics and consciousness via microtubules in 1989

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Penrose#Physics_and_consciousness

  361. hardnoseon 31 Aug 2017 at 9:07 am

    “Looking to the quantum level in an attempt to explain consciousness is as stupid as looking to the quantum level in an attempt to explain a house or a car.”

    You are all so much more knowledgeable than Penrose and Hameroff.

    You are almost godlike in your ability to understand and know all about consciousness and everything in the universe.

  362. hardnoseon 31 Aug 2017 at 9:19 am

    “Microtubules were discovered by transmission electron microscopy in the late 1950s.”

    Fine, whatever, quantum vibrations in microtubules were discovered recently.

    https://phys.org/news/2014-01-discovery-quantum-vibrations-microtubules-corroborates.html

  363. hardnoseon 31 Aug 2017 at 9:20 am

    “Looking to the quantum level in an attempt to explain consciousness is as stupid as looking to the quantum level in an attempt to explain a house or a car.”

    The quantum level has been shown to have a role in photosynthesis and bird navigation.

    Stop showing off your extreme ignorance.

  364. Enfant Terribleon 31 Aug 2017 at 9:57 am

    bachfiend,

    “The fact remains that Storm’s meta-analysis isn’t ‘convincing’.”

    Isn’t convincing for who? And why isn’t convincing?

    There have been 8 independent, published Ganzfeld meta-analyses since 1985. And with the exception of the Milton-Wiseman meta-analysis, all of them have reported statistically significant effects well below the 1% level. Moreover, the Milton-Wiseman meta-analysis was later shown by statistician Jessica Utts to have used a fundamentally flawed statistical estimate of the effect size and significance level of the combined results. Utts showed that if you use a method that weighs each study by trial size (e.g. the exact binomial test), then the overall results are significant at the 4% level. Maaneli Derakhshani wrote to Wiseman to ask for his response to Utts’ critique, and he confirmed to him that it was a valid criticism. So when one considers this, it turns out that 8/8 Ganzfeld meta-analyses since 1985 have found results that are statistically significant below the 5% level. Ergo, the results of the meta-analyses have actually been quite reliable.

    “It’s also infantile to assert that because consciousness is complex, that physical explanations can then be replaced by assertions that it can be ‘explained’ by ‘simple’ mechanisms such as quantum physics. Or novel undiscovered elementary particles and forces. Or whatever. When it can’t.”

    Well, what exactly are you trying to say here?

  365. Pete Aon 31 Aug 2017 at 10:36 am

    I have mentioned some of this before in a different thread…

    To those who believe that PSI/ESP effects exist in a form that can influence animal brains and electronic RNGs, the onus is entirely upon you to explain why there is zero empirical evidence that anyone can influence by far the most sensitive quantum-level measuring apparatus that we have, including cryogenically cooled: cosmic microwave backgound detectors; radio telescopes; infrared light detectors; visible light detectors; X-ray detectors; etc. Not only these extraordinarily sensitive instruments and their electronics, but also the even more sensitive: kilometre-scale interferometers; the astonishingly accurate optical clocks and their electronics; and the strong cryptography algorithms running on transistorised — quantum level — computer hardware.

    The human brain operates at circa 37° Celsius, 310 kelvin: an infrared individual photon disturbance energy level of circa 133 millielectronvolt; and an overall infrared noise power level of a few watts. The cosmic microwave background is circa 2.7 kelvin and its individual photon energy is circa 660 microelectronvolt — which has been accurately measured and mapped, not estimated!

    Clearly, we have a plethora of measuring instruments which are, at the very least, 100 times more sensitive to signals than is a human brain operating at circa 37° Celsius. Our instruments can detect the minutest of signals in the range from microhertz to exahertz — orders of magnitude beyond the range of frequencies which can penetrate through our skull and influence our brain functions.

    As I’ve explained, the microscopic components of our brain are inundated with a few watts of infrared photons. For comparison, the Voyager Telecommunications 70 metre communications dish is sensitive to signals as weak as -170 dBm per Hz, circa 1.7E-20 watts at 160 bit/s — a staggering 20 orders of magnitude below the wideband thermal noise generated within a human brain!

  366. Pete Aon 31 Aug 2017 at 11:26 am

    hardnose,

    “[Pete A] Looking to the quantum level in an attempt to explain consciousness is as stupid as looking to the quantum level in an attempt to explain a house or a car.”

    The quantum level has been shown to have a role in photosynthesis and bird navigation.

    Stop showing off your extreme ignorance.

    If the quantum level fluctuations didn’t exist then neither our planet nor us would exist. What was it that you wilfully and tiresomely fail to understand about the fallacy of composition.

    FFS, atoms and molecules — therefore their underlying quantum mechanics — play a role in houses, cars, photosynthesis, and bird navigation.

    If quantum mechanics decided to stop working, your house would become a heap of dust, as would your car, plants would stop photosynthesising, and birds wouldn’t be able to navigate.

    As I previously stated: Those who claim that high-level functionality is an emergent property of the low-level interactions have explained nothing whatsoever, because the claim applies to everything. E.g., Humans are an emergent property of the universe. This simplistic way of thinking never produces useful output.

    Dr. Hardnose, PhD, You are an exemplar of your ideology, which after more than 100 years of ‘research’, has not manged to produce a useful output.

  367. Enfant Terribleon 31 Aug 2017 at 11:30 am

    “And I was calling your attention to the fact that “things in our Universe that we cannot detect in any physical way” are things that, therefore, cannot interact with us and that therefore cannot have any affect on our everyday lives. ”

    No! Some particles, like right-handed neutrinos, certainly cannot interact with us. But the non-physical can interact with us, and can affect our every days lives. Paul Nunez wrote:

    Consciousness may be viewed from both the inside and out. The internal experience is fundamentally private; only you can be certain that you are actually conscious. External observers may affirm your consciousness based on language, purposeful behavior, attention to the environment, body language, facial expressions, and so forth. External observers can be quite wrong, however. Discrepancies between internal and external views may occur with dreaming subjects, the nonverbal right hemisphere of a split brain patient, and with the locked-in patents discussed in Chapter 2. Locked-in patients may provide false negative results to external consciousness tests; patients in vegetative states may provide false positives. Neuroimaging methods may be required to sort this out. In addition, neither internal nor external observers may have direct access to the unconscious, which nevertheless receives information from the external world and provides important influences on the brain’s conscious entities.

    Benjamin Libet wrote:

    There is no doubt that cerebral events or processes can influence, control and presumably ‘produce’ mental events, including conscious ones. The reverse of this, that mental processes can influence or control neuronal ones, has been generally unacceptable to many scientists on (often unexpressed) philosophical grounds. Yet, our own feelings of conscious control of at least some of our behavioural actions and mental operations would seem to provide prima facie evidence for such a reverse interaction, unless one assumes that these feelings are illusory. Eccles (1990; Popper and Eccles, 1977) proposed a dualistic solution, in which separable mental units (called psychons) can affect the probability of presynaptic release of transmitters. Sperry (1952, 1985. 1980) proposed a monistic solution, in which mental activity is an emergent property of cerebral function; although the mental is restrained within a macro-deterministic framework, it can ‘supervene’, though not ‘intervene’, in neuronal activity.[…]A chief quality or attribute of the conscious mental field (CMF) would be that of a unified or unitary subjective experience. A second attribute would be a causal ability to affect or alter neuronal function. […] The putative CMF would not be in any category of known physical fields, such as electromagnetic, gravitational, etc. The conscious mental field would be in a phenomenologically independent category; it is not describable in terms of any externally observable physical events or of any known physical theory as presently constituted. In the same sense as for all subjective events, the CMF would be detectable only in terms of the subjective experience, accessible only to the individual who has the experience. An external observer could only gain valid direct evidence about the conscious mental field from an introspective report by the individual subject. In this respect the conscious mental field would differ from all known physical fields, whose existence and characteristics are derived from physical observations. […] The CMF may be viewed as somewhat analogous to known physical fields. For example, a magnetic field is produced by electric current flowing in a conductor, but it can in turn influence the flow of the current. However, as indicated, the CMF cannot be observed directly by external physical means.

    “There is never a point in time when you can say that, before this point in time, there was no consciousness and, after this point in time, there is consciousness. Consciousness evolves in a system. By analogy, there never a point in time when you can say that, before this time, this person was an adolescent and, after this point in time, this person is an adult.”

    Well, some ‘adults’ have the mind of a child… Anyway, we know how a child becomes an adult. But how do the materialist’s molecules and structures give rise to subjective experience? Simply stating that some (unknown) configuration of neuronal activities equals consciousness (subjective experience) avoids or begs the problem.

    Nunez also wrote:

    Some things, especially fundamental entities, are so hard to define that we must settle for circular definitions. For example, electric charge is a fundamental property of elementary particles and can be defined only in terms of its behavior when exposed to external environments consisting of electric fields and other charges. Knowledge of a particle’s charge provides predictive information about how the particle will behave in certain circumstances. This observed behavior essentially defines charge. Similarly, an elementary particle’s spin is defined in terms of its behavior when exposed to magnetic fields; no more fundamental definition of spin is currently available. Since we are unable to define consciousness in terms of more fundamental properties, a plausible working conjecture is that consciousness itself is fundamental.

    Energy is another fundamental property but appears in much broader contexts than charge. Chemicals contain stored energy associated with chemical bonds; such energy is released in chemical reactions. Physical objects as well as electromagnetic and gravitational fields possess energy. Gravitational energy is transferred to heavy elements and stored as mass in the collapse of supernovae; this stored nuclear energy may be released later in radioactivity and fission bombs. A typical definition of energy is the amount of work that can be performed by a force; work is the integral of force over distance. Force is the action of one object upon another, but such action is actually due to interactions of microscopic electric fields in the molecular structures. An electric
    field is defined as the force on a unit charge. You see the problem; the definitions are circular. We say that charge and energy are fundamental properties because, as far as we know, they cannot be reduced to secondary aspects of some more comprehensive entity. The definitions of charge, mass,
    energy, and electromagnetic field are, in fact, inherently circular, providing only interrelationships between several fundamental entities.

    By contrast to energy and charge, the electrical conductivity of a material is not fundamental because it may be explained in terms of interactions of mobile charge carriers (electrons or ions) with the more stationary molecular or atomic structures. Some future generation of scientists may verify the existence of an entity X, perhaps occurring at sub electron scales, and discover that properties
    like charge and spin are simply different realizations of the more fundamental thing X. String theory (at quantum scales) is one such candidate, suggesting that elementary particle properties result from the vibrations of tiny strings; in this view, different string overtones are manifested as different particles.

    To me, consciousness seems more analogous to fundamental physical properties like charge and energy than secondary properties like electrical conductivity, temperature, pressure, strength of chemical bonds, and so forth.

    Given this argument, I posit that any serious study of consciousness must adopt a conceptual framework that allows for the possibility that consciousness is a fundamental property of the universe. We will not be alone in this view; for example, Max Planck had this to say in 1931: I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness… Critics may point to the many known neural correlates of consciousness, those features of brain function that change when some aspect of consciousness changes. My reply is that, yes, science will discover more and more neural correlates, but in the absence of new kinds of fundamental information, will these achievements ever bring us closer to understanding the hard problem of consciousness? In the following sections, I pose this basic question in several contexts.

  368. hardnoseon 31 Aug 2017 at 12:25 pm

    “It’s also infantile to assert that because consciousness is complex, that physical explanations can then be replaced by assertions that it can be ‘explained’ by ‘simple’ mechanisms such as quantum physics.”

    Quantum physics is simple????

  369. hardnoseon 31 Aug 2017 at 12:30 pm

    Pete A,

    No you missed the whole point of everything. Penrose and Hameroff hypothesize that quantum vibrations in microtubules have some kind of role in consciousness.

    Sean Carroll says it’s impossible for quantum level events to have a role in our macro level experience.

    However, quantum level events have been shown to have a role in photosynthesis and bird navigation.

    What other macro level processes they might have a role in is not yet known. Maybe all.

    Sean Carroll is obviously wrong, please stop quoting him.

    Penrose and Hameroff could be on the right track, and no one has a good reason to say they can’t be.

    If Penrose and Hameroof are on the right track, then “quantum woo” might very well be involved in ESP.

    So please try to be more logical.

  370. Pete Aon 31 Aug 2017 at 12:34 pm

    Good grief! The muppet doesn’t even understand plain English.

  371. hardnoseon 31 Aug 2017 at 12:51 pm

    No YOU don’t understand, at all, what Penrose has been saying.

  372. chikoppion 31 Aug 2017 at 12:53 pm

    [ET] In this respect the conscious mental field would differ from all known physical fields, whose existence and characteristics are derived from physical observations. […] The CMF may be viewed as somewhat analogous to known physical fields. For example, a magnetic field is produced by electric current flowing in a conductor, but it can in turn influence the flow of the current. However, as indicated, the CMF cannot be observed directly by external physical means.

    Think about the actual implications of this position for like half-a-second.

    To say that a field cannot be observed is to say that it does not interact with other fields. Therefore, there could be absolutely no interaction between “mind” and matter. If there were any interaction whatsoever it would produce an observable phenomena in the form of matter, energy, entropy, etc. behaving inconsistently to known physics.

    If, for instance, the Higgs field didn’t interact with other fields there would be no mass. It is the interaction with other fields that makes the Higgs “observable.”

    As Pete expounded on above, we’ve become really good at measuring infinitesimal variation in energy. If there is a field out there that interacts with the stuff that makes up planets, particles, or people, then it must be detectable through that interaction.

  373. hardnoseon 31 Aug 2017 at 1:19 pm

    Biological fields represent a higher level of organization than physical fields.

  374. chikoppion 31 Aug 2017 at 1:35 pm

    Angels represent a higher strata of the celestial tower than fairies.

  375. Pete Aon 31 Aug 2017 at 2:02 pm

    Dr. Hardnose, PhD, wrote:

    Penrose and Hameroff hypothesize that quantum vibrations in microtubules have some kind of role in consciousness.

    What other macro level processes they might have a role in is not yet known. Maybe all.

    Penrose and Hameroff could be on the right track, and no one has a good reason to say they can’t be. [Epic failure to grasp even the most fundamental epistemic logic.]

    If Penrose and Hameroof are on the right track, then ‘quantum woo’ might very well be involved in ESP.

    Clearly, Dr. Hardnose has a PhD which entirely lacks the Ph.

    Dr. Hardnose also seems to be suffering from another problem: he replied to me: “Sean Carroll is obviously wrong, please stop quoting him.”

    I haven’t quoted Sean Carroll therefore it would be impossible for me to stop quoting him.

    Dr. Hardnose, PhD, you really are nothing other than a muppet. As I’ve suggested previously, you aren’t anywhere near smart enough to be even an average Internet troll.

    Please show us the empirical measurements of ESP/PSI. You can start with the symbol SNR and symbol error rate — you damn well know the values: the relevant statistics been documented; you have claim to have the qualifications to understand statistics; and you have repeatedly claimed that I do not understand statistics, especially the t-test.

  376. Pete Aon 31 Aug 2017 at 2:19 pm

    It appears to me that I’m in dire need of getting the spext to teech converter to work reliably on my computer!

  377. BillyJoe7on 31 Aug 2017 at 2:27 pm

    Hardnose,

    “The quantum level has been shown to have a role in photosynthesis and bird navigation.
    Stop showing off your extreme ignorance”

    The irony.

    Events occurring at the quantum level (i.e. involving quantum entities) can affect and therefore be observable at the macro level, but they do not occur at the macro level (i.e. they do not involve macroscopic objects).

    Every quantum experiment uses recording devices which are affected by what is occurring at the quantum level. That is how they get recorded! The interference pattern recorded on photographic plates in quantum experiments is caused by events occuring at the quantum level. But those same quantum events do not occur at the macro level. Those interference patterns disappear when molecules consisting of as little as fifty atoms are used.

  378. BillyJoe7on 31 Aug 2017 at 2:35 pm

    The Geiger counter has been around for over a hundred years recording radioactive decay.
    This is not earth shattering news!

  379. hardnoseon 31 Aug 2017 at 2:50 pm

    “But those same quantum events do not occur at the macro level. Those interference patterns disappear when molecules consisting of as little as fifty atoms are used.”

    Birds can use information from quantum entanglement to navigate. This is known, and you can easily look it up.

    This means there can be an interface between quantum level events and a biological system.

    I don’t see why you keep arguing against this. Oh, wait — tribal epistemology.

  380. Pete Aon 31 Aug 2017 at 2:57 pm

    Dr. Hardnose, PhD,

    It is a sad reflection on yourself that you need to be constantly reminded of salient facts, such as the statement made by BillyJoe7 earlier in this thread: “There are 10^27 atoms in an average cat.”

    You wilfully repeatedly commit the fallacy of composition:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallacy_of_composition

  381. hardnoseon 31 Aug 2017 at 3:37 pm

    And you willfully repeatedly commit the fallacy of stupidity.

  382. hardnoseon 31 Aug 2017 at 3:40 pm

    I know that the quantum level underlies all of macro reality. Who doesn’t know that. But people like Sean Carroll have been saying the quantum level is not perceived on the macro level. However we now have good reasons to think that it is.

    The fallacy of composition has nothing to do with what is being said here.

  383. bachfiendon 31 Aug 2017 at 3:46 pm

    Hardnose,

    You still don’t get the point. Birds may use quantum entanglement to ‘see’ the Earth’s magnetic field. But the bird’s ability to create a mental map of part of the Earth’s geography within many neurons within its brain and its decision to migrate aren’t determined by quantum events. They’re determined by networks of neurons.

    Enfant Terrible,

    You’re a p-value fetishist, and have virtually conceded the point. Meta-analysis of ganzfield studies aren’t ‘convincing’ if they’re showing p-values less than 0.05. A 4 or 5% chance that the null hypothesis is due to chance doesn’t mean that the studied phenomenon is real. It still could be true to chance or flaws in the study methodology.

    I don’t have any problems with the idea that mental properties can affect the physical structure of the brain. You only have to look at the brains of professional musicians (or anyone who has spent years acquiring a skill). A professional violinist has greatly expanded cerebral representation for fine motor control employed in playing the violin and enhanced tonal appreciation.

    There’s no need to invoke immaterial mechanisms to explain mental processes affecting physical structures.

  384. hardnoseon 31 Aug 2017 at 4:03 pm

    “Birds may use quantum entanglement to ‘see’ the Earth’s magnetic field.”

    Yes quantum entanglement is part of the bird’s sensory system. And we don’t know what other sensory systems might use quantum processes.

    So the idea that ESP would contradict the laws of physics is just dumb. Science has barely started to understand how QE and biological systems can interact.

    And we also have no reason to think entanglement is restricted to the sensory system. It might also be involved in all apsects of consciousness, as Penrose and Hameroff hypothesize.

  385. RickKon 31 Aug 2017 at 4:49 pm

    A meta-analysis of bad studies doesn’t make a good study. A dozen meta-analyses of the same st of studies doesn’t make a good study. 50 meta-analyses of the always-positive Chinese studies on TCM or acupuncture doesn’t make the underlying studies any less dubious.

    This discussion is absurd.

    ESP studies are not even close to even hinting that the flow of time can be thwarted by human thought or that thought patterns from one human can transmit to another with no sensory contact.

    Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

    First get the data. Demonstrate a robust effect in big, repeatable studies sufficiently rigorous to convince hardened skeptics, THEN go look for a mechanism.

    The hardnose epistemological method (speculate on imaginary mechanisms and challenge skeptics to disprove them) is a great way to waste time and blog space and to perpetuate UFO myths and Elvis sightings, but it’s completely useless for advancing human understanding.

  386. chikoppion 31 Aug 2017 at 5:09 pm

    [hardnose] This means there can be an interface between quantum level events and a biological system.

    Quantum tunneling is an effect that is utilized in the process of photosynthesis. The fact that the macro system incorporates quantum effects at an atomic level does not somehow transfer the quantum behavior to the system. Plants don’t exist as both waves and particles or suddenly appear on the opposite side of solid walls.

    This is what the others are explaining. The fact that quantum effects may be incorporated into the structure of a neuron does not transfer to the greater system an ability to behave in a quantum manner. Macro systems don’t generate “quantum fields” or some such hand-waving.

    There’s also the shifting of the goalposts to “you can’t prove it isn’t true,” which isn’t very illuminating.

  387. Enfant Terribleon 31 Aug 2017 at 5:21 pm

    bachfiend,

    “You’re a p-value fetishist, and have virtually conceded the point. Meta-analysis of ganzfield studies aren’t ‘convincing’ if they’re showing p-values less than 0.05. A 4 or 5% chance that the null hypothesis is due to chance doesn’t mean that the studied phenomenon is real. It still could be true to chance or flaws in the study methodology.”

    All of the meta-anlysis have reported statistically significant effects well below the 1% level. The only exception is M&W’s meta-analysis. Even in this case (4%), there was the inclusion of negative experiments that deviated so widely from the PRL norm that should be considered exploratory, and not a replication.

  388. Pete Aon 31 Aug 2017 at 5:31 pm

    Dr. Hardnose, PhD minus the Ph,

    You replied to me: “And you willfully repeatedly commit the fallacy of stupidity.”

    You previously said to me: “Sean Carroll is obviously wrong, please stop quoting him.”

    I repeat: “I haven’t quoted Sean Carroll therefore it would be impossible for me to stop quoting him.”

    I shall leave it to the readers to decide which of us is the most stupid.

  389. bachfiendon 31 Aug 2017 at 5:37 pm

    Hardnose,

    ‘Yes quantum entanglement is part of the bird’s sensory system. And we don’t know what other sensory systems might use quantum processes’.

    We know that quantum processes are involved at the very tiniest levels in everything, not just biological systems. We know, hardnose, we know. There’s no conjecture involved. Quantum processes are involved in holding together the atoms of an asteroid, but at the macroscopic level, above the very tiniest level, quantum effects aren’t important. Quantum effects aren’t important in determining the trajectory of an asteroid or the fact that you’ll have a real terrible day if one fell on your head. The quantum interactions between an electron in your brain and an electron in the asteroid play absolutely no part in making you very, very unhappy.

    I’ve asked you before – how big is a thought? How can a thought in one person’s brain be ‘quantum entangled’ with the thought in another person’s brain? Or, how could a thought be transmitted from one person’s brain to another person’s brain by telepathy, some force other than electromagnetic waves (which has been disproved as a mechanism).

    Either there’s quantum entanglement of thoughts or there’s a completely novel physical force ‘explaining’ something (telepathy) that’s not known to actually exist. First of all demonstrate that it exists with a sufficiently high level of certainty (5-sigma at least), then we can start discussing mechanisms.

  390. bachfiendon 31 Aug 2017 at 5:46 pm

    Enfant Terrible,

    Stop digging yourself into a hole. ‘Significant’ p-values in meta-analysis of crappy studies (just because parapsychology studies use the same flawed methodology of standard psychology studies doesn’t make them anywhere ‘good’) aren’t convincing.

    At least you don’t seem as bad as hardnose, who’s happy to reject the studies of Tversky and Kahneman (because he doesn’t like the results) but completely accepts those of Daryl Bem (because he does like them, agreeing as they do with his worldview).

  391. BillyJoe7on 31 Aug 2017 at 5:51 pm

    hardnose,

    I know you will remain obstinately and wilfully ignorant, so this is for everyone else really.

    “Birds can use information from quantum entanglement to navigate”
    But a bird cannot become quantum entangled with another bird.

    “This is known, and you can easily look it up”
    It is an hypothesis awaiting confirmation, but no big deal, I can accept it as valid for our purposes.

    “This means there can be an interface between quantum level events and a biological system”
    This is not earth shattering news! And it’s irrelevant to the argument!

    “I don’t see why you keep arguing against this”
    Nobody is arguing against it. It’s irrelevant to the argument.

    “But people like Sean Carroll have been saying the quantum level is not perceived on the macro level”
    Are you lying now, or is it because haven’t read or understood anything he has said.

    “However we now have good reasons to think that it is”
    No, we know that it is. Geiger counters. Photographic plates in quantum experiments.

    “And we don’t know what other sensory systems might use quantum processes”
    And we don’t care because it is irrelevant to the argument.

    “So the idea that ESP would contradict the laws of physics is just dumb”
    Non sequitur. This is a different argument. See below…

    “Science has barely started to understand how QE and biological systems can interact”
    But science has excluded PSI/ESP because all particles or forces in the range that could affect our everyday lives have been accounted for. That is the argument. You need to disprove QFT. Good luck.

    “And we also have no reason to think entanglement is restricted to the sensory system”
    And all the reason to think that it does not involve macroscopic objects.

    “It might also be involved in all apsects of consciousness” (“might” and “all” 😀 )
    But that does nothing for ESP/PSI. That has already been excluded by QM.

  392. JJ Borgmanon 31 Aug 2017 at 5:57 pm

    “And you willfully repeatedly commit the fallacy of stupidity.”

    hehehe.

    I’ve heard of the Appeal to Stupidity, but not that. That does have the characteristics of an Ad Hominem, however.

    “No you missed the whole point of everything.”

    hehehe.

    Reductio ad Absurdum? Absolute and all encompassing. A favorite tool of this one.

    “Fine, whatever,…”

    hehehe.

    A concession? Very unusual for this one.

  393. BillyJoe7on 31 Aug 2017 at 6:02 pm

    Why is a table solid?

    We had no idea before QM.
    Quantum level events have an effect at the macroscopic level – solidity.
    This is NO BIG DEAL.

  394. BillyJoe7on 31 Aug 2017 at 6:14 pm

    ET,

    You really going to have to do better than drag out your Gish Gallop of quotes.

    And you can’t defeat Sean Carroll’s argument by arguing against someone else’s argument.
    But, of course, you have no idea that you are doing that.
    Maybe that’s how you got to “psi”, “ESP”, “poltergeists”, “ghost forces”, “ghost particles”, and “fields of consciousness”.

    You have your head in the clouds and your feet in the air.
    It’s a bit hard to talk to someone in that condition.

  395. hardnoseon 31 Aug 2017 at 9:36 pm

    “science has excluded PSI/ESP because all particles or forces in the range that could affect our everyday lives have been accounted for.”

    You aren’t paying attention, as usual. Quantum entanglement affects birds’ everyday lives.

    Entanglement is not a particle or force that has been accounted for.

  396. bachfiendon 31 Aug 2017 at 10:53 pm

    Hardnose,

    ‘You aren’t paying attention, as usual. Quantum entanglement affects birds’ everyday lives’.

    No, it doesn’t. You haven’t been paying attention. Quantum entanglement doesn’t affect birds’ everyday lives. It’s averaged out at scales larger than the very small.

    Answer my question; how big is a thought or a mental map of part of the Earth’s geography? How many qubits would be needed to represent a thought or a mental map? Elementary particles can demonstrate quantum entanglement. Immaterial objects, such as thoughts and mental maps (if you’re right), or networks of neurons (if we rationalists are right) can’t show quantum entanglement.

  397. JJ Borgmanon 01 Sep 2017 at 2:55 am

    “Entanglement is not a particle or force that has been accounted for.”

    Au contraire.

    See: https://arxiv.org/pdf/quant-ph/0206187.pdf

    Dust off your algebra first.

  398. BillyJoe7on 01 Sep 2017 at 6:52 am

    hardnose,

    “You aren’t paying attention, as usual”
    It cracks me up when you make statements that only apply to yourself. 😀

    “Quantum entanglement affects birds’ everyday lives”

    Depends what you mean.
    (But, of course, you have no idea what your mean 😀 )

    If you mean that two bird brains can be entangled, the answer is NO.
    If you mean that entanglement and other events that occurs at the quantum level have an affect at the macroscopic level, then you aren’t saying anything:

    – Tables are solid because of interactions at the quantum level.
    – Geiger counters beep because of events occurring at the quantum level.
    – Photographic plates display interference patterns because of events occurring at the quantum level.
    – Birds navigate because of events at the quantum level.

    This is actually true of everything macroscopic.
    There is always underlying quantum activity.
    You don’t have an argument here but you’re too ignorant to recognise it.

    “Entanglement is not a particle or force that has been accounted for”

    Entanglement involves particles.
    And all the particles that could affect our everyday lives have been accounted for.
    Entanglement is an even stupider argument than ET’s “ghost forces”, “ghost particles”, and “fields of consciousness” because there is no entanglement between brains, so entanglement can’t possibly explain ESP/PSI.
    ESP/PSI would need to work through a quantum field and involve particles and forces.
    And all the particles and forces that could affect our everyday lives have already been accounted for.

    You need to disprove QFT.
    (Is it sinking through yet?)

  399. Pete Aon 01 Sep 2017 at 9:10 am

    Those who make appeals to quantum mechanics in their attempts to bolster their beliefs do not have enough knowledge of fundamental principles to gain an inkling as to what it is that they don’t know that they don’t know.

    Within the combined realms of science and mathematics, there are:
    1. established known knowns (e.g. 2+2=4);
    2. pending known unknowns (e.g. a definitive description of dark matter);
    3. unknown unknowns.

    Science is the never-ending process of surfacing items in the pool of unknown unknowns, into the stream of pending known unknowns, and painstakingly filtering this stream using the scientific method into the pool of known knowns.

    Science, mathematics, and their methods include a wonderful epistemically-robust tool within their vast toolbox of exquisitely-crafted tools: not just the mechanisms for self-correction, but also a very warm welcome given to each person who can demonstrate that an established known known is incorrect, or that a pending known unknown has a solution. Everyone is welcome, it is not limited to academics. E.g., Emily Rosa when she aged nine:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emily_Rosa

    Compare Emily’s contribution to science to the contributions being made by Enfant Terrible and Dr. Hardnose, PhD. I invite the readers to carefully think about the results from more than 100 years of parapsychology research, and the outpourings of its true believers (such as ET and HN), in the context of science, and in the context of Tooth Fairy science:

    You could measure how much money the Tooth Fairy leaves under the pillow, whether she leaves more cash for the first or last tooth, whether the payoff is greater if you leave the tooth in a plastic baggie versus wrapped in Kleenex. You can get all kinds of good data that is reproducible and statistically significant. Yes, you have learned something. But you haven’t learned what you think you’ve learned, because you haven’t bothered to establish whether the Tooth Fairy really exists.
    — Dr. Harriet Hall, MD.

  400. hardnoseon 01 Sep 2017 at 10:05 am

    “If you mean that entanglement and other events that occurs at the quantum level have an affect at the macroscopic level, then you aren’t saying anything:”

    Not long ago, physicists did not think biological systems could be influenced directly by quantum level events. But recent research has shown this happening in photosynthesis and bird navigation.

    We are not talking about the same thing here. You probably know what I am talking about but you want to distract from the point.

    Sean Carroll and others like him have been denying direct influences on biological systems from the quantum level. This is because they want to insist that “quantum woo” is not relevant to our everyday experiences.

    We do not yet know how much more of this kind of thing will be discovered, or to what extent “quantum woo” is relevant to our everyday macro level of reality.

    The strangeness of the quantum level does not resemble the everyday world of our sense. For example, on the quantum level things can be connected even when there is no “physical” connection between them.

    The mechanistic world of our everyday experience is probably an illusion, and the underlying reality is not mechanical. It is not made of little particles bouncing against each other.

  401. Pete Aon 01 Sep 2017 at 10:52 am

    “[hardnose] The strangeness of the quantum level does not resemble the everyday world of our sense. For example, on the quantum level things can be connected even when there is no ‘physical’ connection between them.”

    Good grief! You really are a muppet. You don’t know your arse from your elbow; the domain difference between a set and a sequence; the domain difference between a set of probabilities and their outcomes in a different domain; a particle and its eigenvector in Hilbert space; etc., etc.

    Obviously, you did not even begin to understand the core essence of the NASA document to which I linked. The Voyager Telecommunications system manages to obtain not just frequency lock, but phase lock — coherence — despite the circa 17 billion kilometre separation between the probes and their earth station.

    NB: This macroscopic-scale far-distance entirely-predictable coherence was achieved by scientists working in fields of applied science and mathematics; it was not achieved by any of the muppets researching and/or promoting parapsychology. FFS!

  402. chikoppion 01 Sep 2017 at 11:08 am

    [hardnose] We do not yet know how much more of this kind of thing will be discovered, or to what extent “quantum woo” is relevant to our everyday macro level of reality.

    The strangeness of the quantum level does not resemble the everyday world of our sense. For example, on the quantum level things can be connected even when there is no “physical” connection between them.

    The mechanistic world of our everyday experience is probably an illusion, and the underlying reality is not mechanical. It is not made of little particles bouncing against each other.

    No one thinks of sub-atomic matter as “little particles bouncing against each other.” Particles are discreet packets of energy (excited states) within a field, some of which (fermions) are subject to the exclusion principle.

    Quantum effects refer to the behavior of matter and energy at a finite scale. “Quantum woo” refers to inventing quantum effects that either do not exist or do not apply at a macro scale, or inventing particles/fields, in an attempt to justify unfounded speculation.

    A quantum is a discreet unit of matter/energy, such as a photon or electron. Quantum effects impact the behavior of matter at the scale of individual particles. Quantum effects are probabilistic behaviors of quanta at that scale. It’s still “mechanistic,” considering that at the quantum scale particles also behave and interact as waves. That’s why it’s called “quantum mechanics.”

    Before you can posit “consciousness” as a field you’re going to have to first demonstrate that it exists through its interaction with other fields, such as mass, electromagnetism, gravity, or the nuclear forces. Then, to invoke quantum behavior, you’ll have to identify the related particles or force carriers (quanta) of that field (cf. Higgs Boson).

    In other words, we have a set of particles and fields. Before you can add anything to that set you have to first demonstrate that it exists. Until and unless that is done the explanation for observed phenomena, including consciousness, need to be addressed through the known set of forces.

  403. Enfant Terribleon 01 Sep 2017 at 11:12 am

    BillyJoe7,

    “And you can’t defeat Sean Carroll’s argument by arguing against someone else’s argument.”

    Carroll wrote that telekinesis couldn’t happen as far we know:

    It’s certainly true that there is much we don’t know about thought and consciousness and neuroscience, but the fact remains that we understand the laws of physics in the brain regime perfectly well. To believe otherwise, you would have to imagine that individual electrons obey different laws of physics because they are located in a human brain, rather than in a block of granite. But if you don’t care about violating the laws of physics in regimes where they have been extensively tested, then anything does in fact go. […]If parapsychologists followed the methodology of scientific inquiry, they would look what we know about the laws of physics, realize that their purported subject of study had already been ruled out, and within thirty seconds would declare themselves finished.

    But Richard D. Mattuck created a theory which shows that telekinesis is indeed possible:

    https://app.box.com/s/vh2wxf1256xakhm84mpiskwy38qqto45 (pages 49-65).

    So Carroll’s argument collapses.

  404. Pete Aon 01 Sep 2017 at 11:28 am

    [chikoppi] A quantum is a discreet unit of matter/energy, such as a photon or electron. Quantum effects impact the behavior of matter at the scale of individual particles. Quantum effects are probabilistic behaviors of quanta at that scale. It’s still “mechanistic,” considering that at the quantum scale particles also behave and interact as waves. That’s why it’s called “quantum mechanics.”

    Precisely!

  405. Enfant Terribleon 01 Sep 2017 at 11:43 am

    BiilyJoe7,

    “there is no entanglement between brains, so entanglement can’t possibly explain ESP/PSI.”

    Wrong.

    a) https://f1000researchdata.s3.amazonaws.com/manuscripts/8650/878559db-ef8b-400d-9a2e-8e5d4eb905fc_6755_-_patrizio_tressoldi_v5.pdf?doi=10.12688/f1000research.6755.5

    This study investigated EEG correlates of social interaction at distance between twenty-five pairs of participants who were not connected by any traditional channels of communication. Each session involved the application of 128 stimulations separated by intervals of random duration ranging from 4 to 6 seconds. One of the pair received a one-second stimulation from a light signal produced by an
    arrangement of red LEDs, and a simultaneous 500 Hz sinusoidal audio signal of the same length. The other member of the pair sat in an isolated sound-proof room, such that any sensory interaction between the pair was impossible. An analysis of the Event-Related Potentials associated with sensory stimulation using traditional averaging methods showed a distinct peak at approximately 300 ms, but only in the EEG activity of subjects who were directly stimulated. However, when a new algorithm was applied to the EEG activity based on the correlation between signals from all active electrodes, a weak but robust response was also detected in the EEG activity of the passive member of the pair, particularly within 9 – 10 Hz in the Alpha range. Using the Bootstrap method and the Monte Carlo emulation, this signal was found to be statistically significant.

    b) http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1877042815018406

    In order to show that there is communication at subliminal, unconsciously level, between spatially and sensory isolated subjects, ever since 1965 (Duane and Behrendt, 1965), more experimental studies have been conducted. Such experiment usually analyses the phenomenon of brain connectivity within one pair inducer and receiver subject. […] The connectivity studied in this experiment may be defined as the connection, without any physical mediation, between two neuronal networks belonging to two different brains. […] Using the program ASAEEG for the analysis of EEG signals, we analysed the occurrence of common patterns at the inducer and receiver subjects with temporal correlation statistically significant.

  406. Pete Aon 01 Sep 2017 at 11:47 am

    Enfant Terrible,

    Every argument — and the whole of science, mathematics, epistemology, and reason — would collapse if you insist that the definition of “possible” means: has a probability of an infinitesimal level above zero.

    However, such idiocy is commonly known as shifting the burden of proof, wilful ignorance, and/or wilful obscurantism, depending on the context in which such idiocy is being deployed.

  407. Enfant Terribleon 01 Sep 2017 at 11:56 am

    bachfiend,

    “‘Significant’ p-values in meta-analysis of crappy studies (just because parapsychology studies use the same flawed methodology of standard psychology studies doesn’t make them anywhere ‘good’) aren’t convincing.”

    Again, the methodoly is constructed with the help of skeptics and magiciains. You can’t complain about the methodology. Even skeptics got positive results.

  408. Pete Aon 01 Sep 2017 at 12:21 pm

    Enfant Terrible,

    Why do you persist in promoting a branch of Tooth Fairy science via the comments section of Dr. Novella’s NeuroLogica Blog. Dr. Novella has replied to you enough times to make it clear to you, and to the readers, that you are wrong about many things.

    If you were in possession of PSI/ESP abilities then you would would be in possession of the knowledge that your comments serve only the purpose of increasingly confirming that you are nothing other than a hopelessly lost f*ckwit.

  409. hardnoseon 01 Sep 2017 at 12:31 pm

    “This macroscopic-scale far-distance entirely-predictable coherence was achieved by scientists working in fields of applied science and mathematics; it was not achieved by any of the muppets researching and/or promoting parapsychology.”

    Well we all know that things can interact at a distance with no physical connection.

    Quantum entanglement is one more way. One more nail in the coffin of your materialist tribal ideology.

  410. Pete Aon 01 Sep 2017 at 12:45 pm

    “Well we all know that things can interact at a distance with no physical connection.”

    Oh, I didn’t know that electromagnetic fields are non-physical.

  411. chikoppion 01 Sep 2017 at 1:28 pm

    [hardnose] Well we all know that things can interact at a distance with no physical connection.

    Nope. Not “things.” QFT isn’t a blank check.

    Bosons (e.g., photons, W/Z, Higgs) are force carriers. They mediate interaction via the fundamental forces by traveling between particles. That’s why the speed of light is relevant.

    The Standard Model explains such forces as resulting from matter particles exchanging other particles, generally referred to as force mediating particles. When a force-mediating particle is exchanged, at a macroscopic level the effect is equivalent to a force influencing both of them, and the particle is therefore said to have mediated (i.e., been the agent of) that force.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_Model

    [hardnose] Quantum entanglement is one more way. One more nail in the coffin of your materialist tribal ideology.

    Ugh. Quantum entanglement and all the mechanics of QFT ARE a component of “materialism.”

    “Materialism” does not mean “tiny little objects.”

  412. hardnoseon 01 Sep 2017 at 1:28 pm

    “I didn’t know that electromagnetic fields are non-physical.”

    They are not physical. What the heck do you mean by “physical” anyway?

    And we know that gravity is not physical.

  413. Pete Aon 01 Sep 2017 at 1:29 pm

    Dr. Hardnose, PhD,

    I hope that you will amply explain to the readers either: how the entirely passive, physical, shaped metal object — termed an orthomode junction — actually works in the non-physically connected Voyager Telecommunications system; or your reasons why passive shaped metal objects are superfluous to communications systems which have no physical connection.

  414. Pete Aon 01 Sep 2017 at 2:30 pm

    “[hardnose] And we know that gravity is not physical.”

    Perhaps you missed the replicated discoveries of the Higgs boson and gravitational waves.

    NB: Gravity waves were discovered long before gravitational waves. Both phenomena are physical phenomena.

  415. Enfant Terribleon 01 Sep 2017 at 3:48 pm

    Pete A,

    “Dr. Novella has replied to you enough times to make it clear to you, and to the readers, that you are wrong about many things.”

    Dr. Novella certainly learned a few things from me. And I learned somethings from him.

    “If you were in possession of PSI/ESP abilities then you would would be in possession of the knowledge that your comments serve only the purpose of increasingly confirming that you are nothing other than a hopelessly lost f*ckwit.”

    Maybe. But you know that I know the skeptic’s literature. Many times better than the skeptics. If I am a hopelessly lost f*ckwit, this shows that the skeptics are not doing a good job in enlight me.

  416. Enfant Terribleon 01 Sep 2017 at 4:08 pm

    chikoppi,

    “Before you can posit “consciousness” as a field you’re going to have to first demonstrate that it exists through its interaction with other fields, such as mass, electromagnetism, gravity, or the nuclear forces.”

    I don’t think this is the only way…

    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/20454712_Field_Model_of_Consciousness_Eeg_Coherence_Changes_as_Indicators_of_Field_Effects

    Changes in EEG coherence patterns were used to test a field model that posits a common field of “pure consciousness” linking all individuals. In ten trials, EEG was concurrently measured from pairs of subjects, one practicing Transcendental Meditation (TM) and the TM-Sidhi technique of “Yogic Flying” (YFg)–said to enliven the proposed field of consciousness–and the other performing a computer task. Box-Jenkins ARIMA transfer function analysis indicated that coherence changes in the YF’s 5.7-8.5 Hz band, the band sensitive to TM and YFg, consistently led coherence changes in the other subject’s 4.7-42.7 Hz band. A clear relationship was seen among subjective reports, coherence patterns, and strength of intervention effects. These data support a field model of consciousness. Alternate explanations are explored.

  417. Pete Aon 01 Sep 2017 at 4:15 pm

    Enfant Terrible,

    By all means ask us to explain any of the technical terms in the NASA document to which I linked, that you do not understand. It is important for you, and for other readers, to understand what is, and what is not, possible to achieve within the constraints imposed by our universe.

    NB: The constraints imposed by our universe are absolute, they are not constraints imposed by physicists and mathematicians.

  418. chikoppion 01 Sep 2017 at 5:58 pm

    [chikoppi] Before you can posit “consciousness” as a field you’re going to have to first demonstrate that it exists through its interaction with other fields, such as mass, electromagnetism, gravity, or the nuclear forces.”

    [Enfant Terrible] I don’t think this is the only way…

    “Changes in EEG coherence patterns were used…”

    What does an electroencephalogram measure?

    The answer to “I don’t know what this is” is not “whatever the hell I want it to be.”

  419. bachfiendon 01 Sep 2017 at 6:20 pm

    Enfant Terrible,

    You did read your cited 1990 paper on consciousness field theory, didn’t you? Talk about very dodgy evidence, terrible statistics, non-reporting of results (for a start, the authorsstate that there was a clear relationship between ‘subjective reports’ and coherence patterns – with nothing further).

    For a p-value fetishist, most of the p-values actually reported are dead negative, well above 0.05.

    It’s just a tiny crap study.

    You’re just a desperate believer grasping at anything you think supports your woo worldview.

  420. hardnoseon 01 Sep 2017 at 10:15 pm

    “You’re just a desperate believer grasping at anything you think supports your woo worldview.”

    And you aren’t?

  421. hardnoseon 01 Sep 2017 at 10:18 pm

    “Gravity waves were discovered long before gravitational waves. Both phenomena are physical phenomena.”

    And how are these waves “physical?” What are these waves waving in?

  422. bachfiendon 01 Sep 2017 at 10:38 pm

    Hardnose,

    Evidence, evidence, evidence trumps all woo worldviews.

  423. Pete Aon 02 Sep 2017 at 5:20 am

    Dr. Hardnose failed to learn that water and other fluids are indeed physical.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravity_wave

  424. BillyJoe7on 02 Sep 2017 at 5:22 am

    hardnose,

    “Not long ago, physicists did not think biological systems could be influenced directly by quantum level events. But recent research has shown this happening in photosynthesis and bird navigation”

    And now they think it is possible because now there is some evidence that it may be true.
    Welcome to science.

    “Sean Carroll and others like him have been denying direct influences on biological systems from the quantum level”

    From 7 years ago:
    https://www.preposterousuniverse.com/blog/2010/02/05/quantum-photosynthesis/

    The idea is both simple and awesome: you want to transport energy through an “antenna protein” in a plant cell to the “reaction-center proteins” where it is chemically converted into something useful for the rest of the plant. Obviously you’d like to transport that energy in the most efficient way possible, but you’re in a warm and wet environment where losses are to be expected. But the plants somehow manage the nearly impossible, of sending the energy with nearly perfect efficiency through the judicious use of quantum mechanics.

    My point was that these processes are occurring at the QUANTUM level and that the processes occurring at the quantum level produce EFFECTS at the macroscopic level. These processes are NOT occurring at the MACROSCOPIC level.
    Sean Carroll from the same link:

    your car is a giant macroscopic object that can’t really be in two places at once, even though the world is governed by quantum mechanics at a deep level. And the reason for that is decoherence — even if you tried to put your car into a superposition of “take the freeway” and “take the local roads,” it is constantly interacting with the outside world, which “collapses the wave function” and keeps your car looking extremely classical.

    “This is because they want to insist that “quantum woo” is not relevant to our everyday experiences”

    But the reason they insist that “quantum woo” is not relevant is NOT because quantum level events cannot have any effect at the macroscopic level, but because they know that any particles and forces that remain to be discovered lie outside the range where they could affect our everyday experiences.

    “The strangeness of the quantum level does not resemble the everyday world of our sense”

    There are many features of quantum world that are counterintuitive, which simply means that they are not found in the macroscopic world of our everyday experiences (see above). But that is exactly what some forms of “quantum woo” propose – that quantum events OCCUR at the macroscopic level of our everyday experience (entanglement of two brains).

    “The mechanistic world of our everyday experience is probably an illusion, and the underlying reality is not mechanical”

    Of course it is “mechanical”. It’s called quantum MECHANICS! 😀
    The results of every experiment in quantum mechanics are entirely predictable – more so than for any other branch of science. Perform a double slit delayed choice experiment a million times and you’ll always get the same result.

    “It is not made of little particles bouncing against each other”

    You were saying this ever since you first started commenting on this blog. It was asinine then, and it’s asinine now. “Materialism”, “physicalism”, “mechanism” is not a game of billiards.

  425. BillyJoe7on 02 Sep 2017 at 8:46 am

    Even illusions are mechanistic:

    The bars in this illusion are straight:

    https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/#jp-carousel-213338

    You might have to enlarge this one to get the saccadic eye movement effect:

    https://mobile.twitter.com/AkiyoshiKitaoka/status/903135794990161921/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwhyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com%2F

    Interestingly, if we saw everything that was out there, we wouldn’t see anything at all.

  426. BillyJoe7on 02 Sep 2017 at 10:02 pm

    hardnose,

    “Well we all know that [entangled quantum particles] can interact at a distance with no physical connection”

    You are not doing physics here. You are doing philosophy. You are interpreting quantum physics. And there are many interpretations of quantum physics. So, no, we don’t “know that [entangled quantum particles] can interact at a distance with no physical connection”. Another interpretation is the “many worlds interpretation of quantum physics”. In this interpretation, there is no interaction between the particles. In this interpretation every possibility is realised in a different world and we happen to be in one that gives the results that we find. In this interpretation there is no “spooky action at a distance”. You might not like this interpretation, but you can’t pretend that “instantaneous action of the measured particle on another particle that could be on the other side of the universe” doesn’t carry any baggage.

    “Quantum entanglement is one…more nail in the coffin of your materialist tribal ideology”

    Then maybe we should just do physics and drop the philosophising because no one really wins when they philosophise about quantum physics (see above).

  427. BillyJoe7on 03 Sep 2017 at 12:32 am

    hardnose,

    “They [electromagnetic fields] are not physical. What the heck do you mean by “physical” anyway?
    And we know that gravity is not physical. And how are [gravity waves and gravitational waves] “physical?””

    Again, you are doing philosophy here. Or arguing semantics. Or maybe you don’t understand physics.
    So, let’s see what physics has to say about these phenomena and see if we can get an handle on what we each mean by “physical”.

    Gravity

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravity

    Gravity is most accurately described by the general theory of relativity which describes gravity…as a consequence of the curvature of spacetime caused by the uneven distribution of mass.

    Physicists have measured the curvature of spacetime caused by the uneven distribution of mass. It is real. The equations derived from the theory of general relativity describe how physical objects behave in curved spacetime. And it accurately describes the precession of the perihelion of mercury, which had not been possible before.
    This description of gravity surely puts it firmly into the natural/material/physical category

    Gravity waves

    https://www.livescience.com/53683-gravitational-waves-vs-gravity-waves-know-the-difference.html

    Gravity Waves are physical perturbations driven by the restoring force of gravity in a planetary environment. In other words, gravity waves are specific to planetary atmospheres and bodies of water. In the case of atmospherics, as air blows across an ocean and then encounters an island, for example, that air will be forced to rise. Downwind from the island, the air will be forced to a lower altitude by gravity, but its buoyancy will work against gravity forcing it aloft again. The result is often a region of oscillating air in the atmosphere that can produce clouds in the waves’ crests as moisture from lower altitude condenses. Also, in the case of oceans, surface gravity waves form at the atmosphere/water interface; wind blows the surface out of equilibrium causing the restoring force of gravity to force the surface back down, while the water’s buoyancy pushes it back up. Wind-driven waves, tides and tsunamis are all examples of gravity waves.

    This description of gravity waves surely puts it firmly into the natural/material/physical category.

    Gravitational waves

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravitational_wave

    Have a look at the physics of gravitational waves in the above link.
    They have been observed.
    They have been described in terms of wavelength, amplitude, frequency, and speed.
    They travel at the speed of light.
    Physicists know what are sources of gravitational waves:
    – two objects orbiting each other.
    – a spinning non-axisymmetric planetoid.
    – a supernova.
    Physicists know what are NOT sources of gravitational waves:
    – an isolated non-spinning solid object moving at a constant velocity
    – a spinning disk
    – a spherically pulsating spherical star
    And they know how to distinguish sources form non-sources:

    “the third time derivative of the quadrupole moment of an isolated system’s stress–energy tensor must be non-zero in order for it to emit gravitational radiation

    You and I won’t understand what this means, but physicists (and other commentators here) do.
    Physicists know that gravitational waves carry energy, momentum, and angular momentum away from their sources and they can measure this.
    And there are mathematical equations that describe all of the features of gravitational waves.
    And finally:

    Gravitational waves have two important and unique properties.
    First, there is no need for any type of matter to be present nearby in order for the waves to be generated by a binary system of uncharged black holes.
    Second, gravitational waves can pass through any intervening matter without being scattered significantly. Light from distant stars may be blocked out by interstellar dust [but] gravitational waves will pass through essentially unimpeded.
    These two features allow gravitational waves to carry information about astronomical phenomena heretofore never observed by humans, and as such represent a revolution in astrophysics.

    So, are gravitational waves physical?
    If, in the light of the above, you disagree perhaps you can explain to us what you mean by “physical”.

  428. BillyJoe7on 03 Sep 2017 at 1:08 am

    hardnose: “What are these waves waving in?”

    They wave in empty space.

    (And, if you object that empty space is nothing, then you will have to concede that physicists have an answer to the question “how can you get something from nothing” – ie virtual particles in empty space – but I have an inkling you may not want to go there).

    Gravitational waves distort matter in a wavelike manner:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravitational_wave#Introduction

    And the distortion has been measured:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_observation_of_gravitational_waves#Event_detection

    Which actually provided direct evidence of their existence:

    More detailed statistical analysis of the signal, and of 16 days of surrounding data from 12 September to 20 October 2015, identified GW150914 as a real event, with a significance of over 5.1 sigma[48] or a confidence level of 99.99994%.

  429. hardnoseon 03 Sep 2017 at 9:24 am

    Describing something does not mean you understand it. Waves waving in nothing is not understood by physics, only described.

  430. Pete Aon 03 Sep 2017 at 9:36 am

    hardnose, The flag planted on the surface of the moon waved for a while in the vacuum of space. What was it waving in, what caused it wave, what caused it stop waving?

  431. hardnoseon 03 Sep 2017 at 1:02 pm

    Pete A.,

    Come on, don’t try to be stupid. Any physical object can “wave” in empty space. We were not talking about physical objects.

    Electromagnetic and gravity waves wave in empty space. We cannot say these are “physical” things. They are more like concepts than things.

    And lots of physicists would agree, although it is not the view of the mainstream herd.

  432. chikoppion 03 Sep 2017 at 2:06 pm

    [hardnose] Electromagnetic and gravity waves wave in empty space. We cannot say these are “physical” things. They are more like concepts than things.

    “Physical” does not mean “a solid state of matter.” Electromagnetism is a physical force. It’s the predominant reason that macro objects act “solid,” despite the fact they are composed of mostly “empty” space. It isn’t a concept. The wi-fi signal from your router or light emanating from your screen aren’t conceptual.

    What Pete is explaining to you is that waves do not exist independent of a medium. A wave is nothing more than the transfer of energy through a medium. It is a dynamic description of energy distribution in that medium.

    Electromagnetic, gravitational, strong nuclear, weak nuclear. These are fields – the mediums (present even in “empty” space) that “wave.”

  433. Pete Aon 03 Sep 2017 at 2:19 pm

    hardnose,

    The very thing that caused the flag to start waving in empty space was the kinetic energy transferred to it from the person who planted it. It is impossible to move an object which has mass without injecting energy into it. Energy can be neither created nor destroyed, therefore the flag had no option other than to release its surplus of injected kinetic energy by waving for as long as it took to convert its excess energy into a different form of energy. Some of it was transferred to the Moon down its flexible flagpole, the rest of it was converted into heat via the friction within the fabric of the flag and via the friction within the material of the pole.

    Your stupidity is amply demonstrated by your abject rejection of the core principles of epistemic logic, mathematics, and science. Which is utterly disgraceful behaviour for those who claim to have obtained a PhD: Doctor of Philosophy.

    An uneducated person who claims to have a PhD is both a fake and a f*ckwit. Good fakes and f*ckwits end up having lucrative careers peddling woo, but you are wholly incapable of becoming a good enough fake and/or a good enough f*ckwit to achieve that.

  434. Pete Aon 03 Sep 2017 at 4:04 pm

    It is sometimes difficult to picture, let alone understand, how extremely little the majority of the supposedly educated people actually know about logic, mathematics, and science.

    I present below a hypothetical experiment that has a counter-intuitive scientific result. I hope that it causes some of the readers to seriously question their understandings of electricity and basic electric circuits, and to seriously question a few other areas of their accumulated ‘knowledge’. But most of all, I sincerely hope that some of the readers manage to enjoy my essay, because science is supposed to be fun to learn and discuss…

    We use hypothetical electrical wire, which is superconducting (has zero electrical resistance) at the range of temperatures typically found on Earth, to construct an insulated two-core electric cable having a length of circa 300 million metres: the distance that light and electricity travel in one second. We attach one end of the cable to a traditional filament lightbulb, and the other end to a battery and a switch. When we close the switch, the electricity has to travel through each of the two wires in the cable: a total distance of 2 times 300 million metres, which takes 2 seconds at the speed of light for the electricity to complete the full circuit. Therefore, the bulb should illuminate 2 seconds after switching on the power. However, we notice that the bulb illuminates circa 1 second, not 2 seconds, after closing the switch. (NB: This is scientifically true, it isn’t a trick in my hypothetical experiment.)

    WTF is going on? Is the electric current flowing through the wires at twice the speed of light? We set an oscilloscope to trigger its timebase when the switch is closed, and connect its measuring probe to the terminals of the light bulb. The oscilloscope confirms that the battery power starts arriving at the bulb circa 1 second after closing the switch. But, we know from basic physics that after closing the switch, negatively charged electrons start flowing out of the negative terminal of the battery, through the total length of 600 million metres of wire plus the light bulb, then return to the positive terminal of the battery, which is the actual physical completion of the electric circuit; and this takes 2 seconds, not 1 second!

    Okay, so after 1 second, the electrons from the negative battery terminal have reached the bulb therefore it’s no surprise that the bulb illuminates after 1 second. The surprise is the fact that it takes another 1 second for the current to return to the positive terminal of the battery, through the second 300 million metres of wire. During this second, zero current has arrived at the positive battery terminal, which is no different from not bothering to connect the positive wire to the positive terminal in the first place! So, if we open the switch just before the current returns to the positive terminal, we will have managed to illuminate the bulb for at least 1 second without having passed any current through the battery. Zero current through the battery for two seconds is zero joules of energy drain from the battery, but energy was delivered to the bulb for at least 1 second.

    The above experiment is an entirely physical experiment: battery, switch, wires, light bulb, electrons (known physical particles), and an oscilloscope to confirm the timing.

    Using introductory-level physics to think about this entirely physical, very simple, electric circuit, leads us down the garden path to drawing an inescapable conclusion, which seems to be intuitively correct, yet also bizarre. I don’t think that it’s possible to resolve this dilemma without breaking some of the core principles we were taught during our high school, even college, education.

    This electron-flow model of electricity is overly-simplistic for the purposes of explaining the transfer of energy from a source to its recipient(s) at the macroscopic scale, even from a battery to a light bulb; but it is a good model for explaining things at the microscopic scale, such as quantum-level electron shot noise.

    Why does this electron-flow model lead to a bizarre conclusions when the connecting wires are of considerable length?

    The negative terminal of the battery has a surplice of electrons and the positive terminal has a deficit of electrons, hence the voltage difference between its terminals. Closing the switch applies the battery voltage to our near-end of the cable, which generates an electric field between the pair of wires, and this electric field propagates along the pair at (close to) the speed of light.

    It’s easier to picture this if we imagine that the cable is 300 million segments, each having a length of 1 metre. The battery supplies enough electrons to build the electric field on the first 1 metre segment. Then it supplies the same number of electrons to build the electric field on segment two, etc. This flow of electrons is an electric current, and we know from high-school physics that a current travelling through a conductor generates a magnetic field (hence motors do indeed actually work). So there isn’t just an electric field propagating along the cable, it is a propagating electromagnetic field, and its energy is being supplied by the battery: energy = voltage x current x time. So, if we open the switch 1 second after closing it, the energy already put into the cable during that 1 second will start to appear at the light bulb; its filament will absorb the energy and convert it into enough heat to illuminate the bulb for 1 second.

    So, even the most basic of physically-connected electrical circuits would not, and could not, function in the absence of the wave propagation of energy via electromagnetic fields, and their discrete packets of physical energy quanta: photons!

    I hope you enjoyed the above, and if you have any questions I shall be more than happy to answer them.

  435. Pete Aon 03 Sep 2017 at 4:33 pm

    Minor correction: if the negative terminal of the battery has a “surplice” then it is overdue for replacement! I intended to write “surplus”.

  436. hardnoseon 03 Sep 2017 at 4:36 pm

    “What Pete is explaining to you is that waves do not exist independent of a medium.”

    Oh, well now it makes perfect sense. Empty space is a medium, of course.

    Some of you here are good at blathering lots of details, hoping no one will notice it’s all BS.

  437. Pete Aon 03 Sep 2017 at 5:13 pm

    hardnose,

    The completely empty space to which you are referring does indeed manifest itself in reality: such as vast emptiness within the space between your ears.

  438. chikoppion 03 Sep 2017 at 5:46 pm

    [hardnose] Oh, well now it makes perfect sense. Empty space is a medium, of course.

    That’s just it. “Space” isn’t empty. For someone who bangs on so incessantly about “materialism,” I’m surprised this is such difficult a concept for you to grasp.

    A magnet, just like a star, generates a magnetic field (yes, even in “empty” space). If you lay a paper on the magnet and sift iron filings down on it those filings will align to the field produced by the magnet.

    What medium do you think those lines of force exist in?

    If there were such a thing as a “field of consciousness,” would it be necessary for it to exist in some other medium or would it be the medium itself?

    As for BS, yeah. I guess that’s why there are no GPS systems, or cellular communication, or gravitational telescopes, or superconducting materials, or lasers, or LEDs, or particle colliders, or interferometers. Because none of those things, or other discoveries too numerous to count, could work if the basic principles of physics were BS.

  439. hardnoseon 03 Sep 2017 at 6:09 pm

    “none of those things, or other discoveries too numerous to count, could work if the basic principles of physics were BS.”

    I never said the basic principles of physics were BS, and you know it.

    Electromagnetic fields and waves exist in empty space, there is no medium. At least, current physics says there is no medium.

    What I called BS is your inane blathering of irrelevant details.

    Calling me stupid does not prove you are smart.

  440. Pete Aon 03 Sep 2017 at 6:19 pm

    “[hardnose] Electromagnetic fields and waves exist in empty space, there is no medium. At least, current physics says there is no medium.”

    Psychics are a plenty, but there is no medium 🙂

    You really are a muppet.

  441. bachfiendon 03 Sep 2017 at 6:30 pm

    Hardnose,

    ‘Electromagnetic fields and waves exist in empty space, there is no medium. At least, current physics says there is no medium’.

    There is no empty space. Space contains a plethora of virtual particles, which flash into and out of existence. Interactions between elementary particles, the transmission of forces, is mediated by gauge bosons, force particles, such as the photon, which mediates electromagnetic forces. Electromagnetic waves result from the quantum physics probability of finding a particle at different locations.

    The medium that forces are transmitted between elementary particles is the virtual particles.

    A hypothetical consciousness or intelligence field would also need to be mediated by virtual force particles, which would be the medium for transmitting the forces. And forces transfer energy.

    There’s no evidence that the fields or force particles exist. Your parapsychology studies purporting to show the fields exist are just crap.

  442. hardnoseon 03 Sep 2017 at 7:02 pm

    And your pretense at being all-knowing is just crap.

  443. bachfiendon 03 Sep 2017 at 7:28 pm

    Hardnose,

    And your pretence at being all-non-knowing is just crap.

  444. chikoppion 03 Sep 2017 at 8:01 pm

    [hardnose] And your pretense at being all-knowing is just crap.

    There is a big difference between being “all knowing” and simply acknowledging what is known. I don’t understand why you feel as though you need to constantly claim everything is a complete mystery and everyone, especially the “experts,” is completely ignorant.

    [hardnose] Electromagnetic fields and waves exist in empty space, there is no medium. At least, current physics says there is no medium.

    The field is the medium for the electromagnetic force. It is what waves. Here’s what “physics” says.

    An electromagnetic field (also EMF or EM field) is a physical field produced by electrically charged objects. It affects the behavior of charged objects in the vicinity of the field. The electromagnetic field extends indefinitely throughout space and describes the electromagnetic interaction. It is one of the four fundamental forces of nature (the others are gravitation, weak interaction and strong interaction).

    The field can be viewed as the combination of an electric field and a magnetic field. The electric field is produced by stationary charges, and the magnetic field by moving charges (currents); these two are often described as the sources of the field. The way in which charges and currents interact with the electromagnetic field is described by Maxwell’s equations and the Lorentz force law.

    From a classical perspective in the history of electromagnetism, the electromagnetic field can be regarded as a smooth, continuous field, propagated in a wavelike manner; whereas from the perspective of quantum field theory, the field is seen as quantized, being composed of individual particles.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromagnetic_field

  445. Pete Aon 03 Sep 2017 at 8:22 pm

    Dr. Hardnose, D (PhD minus the Ph) believes many things which lack empirical evidence, including that the universe consists of information, and that humans and some other animals have the ability to exchange not just current information, but also have the ability to receive information from the future.

    The muppet provides no explanation for the transfer mechanism, nor provides any empirical evidence of the reliable transfer of this information.

    The only empirical evidence this muppet has provided over the years is his relentless desire to scorn members of the skeptical community, and those who dedicate their lives to turning theoretical science into applied science — even the people who’ve been the enablers for the very technology that the muppet uses in his pathetic attempts to dismiss our knowledge of how things actually work.

    I can only begin to imagine the deep resentment that festers within those who dreamed of having a career in parapsychology, painstakingly obtained their PhD, then faced the harsh reality that they aren’t anywhere near to being smart enough to fulfil their dream.

    I’m sure the muppet knows full well that if all of the skeptics and all of the applied scientists died tonight, parapsychology would be the same BS tomorrow as it is today, and has always been.

    The muppet is also fully aware that parapsychology is not science, in the same way that homeopathy is not medicine. The only people who benefit from these alternatives to science are the fakes, charlatans, and frauds.

    The truly successful charlatans have no fear of scientists and skeptics, but the wannabe charlatans detest those who raise public awareness of scams.

  446. JJ Borgmanon 04 Sep 2017 at 1:57 am

    “Calling me stupid does not prove you are smart.”

    hehehe.

    you really don’t get a lot. like the whole finger pointing thing. think about it, doctor.

  447. Enfant Terribleon 04 Sep 2017 at 10:05 am

    bachfiend,

    “For a p-value fetishist, most of the p-values actually reported are dead negative, well above 0.05.
    It’s just a tiny crap study.”

    In page 208, we find:

    “This represents six replications of the same experiment; the chi-square test for significance of repeated experiments was highly significant (X(12) = 35.8, p < .001)

    And don't forget the 2 studies in 2015:

    a) https://f1000researchdata.s3.amazonaws.com/manuscripts/8650/878559db-ef8b-400d-9a2e-8e5d4eb905fc_6755_-_patrizio_tressoldi_v5.pdf?doi=10.12688/f1000research.6755.5

    b) http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1877042815018406

    And this reanalysis in 2017:

    c) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5490474.1/pdf/f1000research-6-12461.pdf

    "The above procedure results in a Stouffer Z = 2.705, p = 0.006 (two-tailed)."

  448. Ian Wardellon 04 Sep 2017 at 11:04 am

    One of the problems with arguing with people about the evidence for psi, “life after death”, a “God” and so on is that people *presuppose* some variety of materialism or “physicalism” in all their arguments when disputing the evidence. Hence, any evidence will never be deemed sufficient since it conflicts with their implicit metaphysical presuppositions regarding the nature of reality. Thus, they more or less beg the question.

    What would be more interesting is if they could justify their conviction that materialism is correct. If they cannot, and indeed it is reasonable to believe in psi *prior* to looking at the scientific evidence for it, then the evidence will be deemed to be more than sufficient to establish the reality of psi beyond any reasonable doubt.

  449. Pete Aon 04 Sep 2017 at 1:19 pm

    Ian,

    I was taught that psi exists during my childhood, and believed it for most of my life. So I do presuppose that it exists. But when I looked at the evidence I started to question my belief.

    I’m not claiming that it doesn’t exist, the problems are that the measured effect size is very weak and it is highly inconsistent. Therefore from the point of view of it being an information system, it’s akin to having a television system that displays random noise with an occasional flicker of a vague pattern that’s open to interpretation. Nobody would want to use such a crappy system.

    From a technical (logistical?) point of view, if humans have this ability then how do we send or receive one useful message without it being swamped by the combined brain activity of circa 7.5 billion humans on Earth, let alone the combined brain activity of all the other animals.

    I think you often confuse theoretical science and applied science. Those who work in applied science are not overly concerned with how things actually work at the fundamental level, but they are deeply passionate about: how well things work; fitness for purpose; reliability; durability; cost-benefit ratio and risk-benefit ratio; human factors and ergonomics; and other practical things. E.g., it isn’t necessary to understand quantum mechanics in order to build a factory that makes filament light bulbs — even though the light emitted from the bulbs is a quantum-mechanical stochastic process. However, the manufactured light bulbs are required by law to be fit for their intended purpose.

    The burden of proof is owned by the claimant(s).

  450. JJ Borgmanon 04 Sep 2017 at 1:42 pm

    “What would be more interesting is if they could justify their conviction that materialism is correct. If they cannot, and indeed it is reasonable to believe in psi *prior* to looking at the scientific evidence for it, then the evidence will be deemed to be more than sufficient to establish the reality of psi beyond any reasonable doubt.”

    So, you’d replace begging the question on one side of the argument with begging the question on the other side? Interesting. To rephrase: just have faith.

    For myself, lack of evidence (especially personal anecdotal) of those things, lack of plausibility, lack of mechanism is enough. You seem to fail to grasp that many, or even most, of us are agnostic about “psi, “life after death”, a “God” and so on”. Weak evidence (mostly of the woo variety) doesn’t move the scale for us.

    Maybe you’re right. Maybe evidence of those things will be evident one day. Til then, I’ll go with what is plainly evident under known facts.

  451. hardnoseon 04 Sep 2017 at 2:55 pm

    Pete A:

    “his relentless desire to scorn members of the skeptical community, and those who dedicate their lives to turning theoretical science into applied science — even the people who’ve been the enablers for the very technology that the muppet uses”

    You really think members of the skeptical community have been the ENABLERS FOR TECHNOLOGY??!!!!

    I don’t care if you call me a muppet, I have been called a lot worse here. What I do mind is your complete and absolute misunderstanding of everything I have ever said here.

    I have NEVER criticized technology, or the scientific method. I have to repeat that so much I am beyond tired of having to say it.

    I have criticized the worship of science, which is sometimes called scientism, and the worship of experts, so often seen at this blog.

    You are not skeptics at all, you are worshipers of anything the seems to resemble science or technology.

    DO YOU REALLY THINK the engineers who developed the internet and the web were from the New England Skeptical Society? Or Skepdic or CSICOP, or any of your other cults?

    DO YOU REALLY THINK most engineers are atheists/materialists like you? Even most scientists would disagree with you.

    You are a CULT, a TRIBE. You value tribe membership over science and reason.

  452. hardnoseon 04 Sep 2017 at 2:57 pm

    “if humans have this ability [ESP] then how do we send or receive one useful message without it being swamped by the combined brain activity of circa 7.5 billion humans on Earth, let alone the combined brain activity of all the other animals.”

    You are assuming there are no filters. How is that assumption warranted?

  453. Pete Aon 04 Sep 2017 at 3:27 pm

    “[hardnose] You really think members of the skeptical community have been the ENABLERS FOR TECHNOLOGY??!!!!

    I never said that: It is a figment of your imagination.

  454. Pete Aon 04 Sep 2017 at 3:29 pm

    “[hardnose] You are assuming there are no filters. How is that assumption warranted?”

    I never said that: It is a figment of your imagination.

  455. bachfiendon 04 Sep 2017 at 3:58 pm

    Enfant Terrible,

    The first study from 2015 to me looks like a negative study with an unconvincing transfer of an EEG signal. The second study is just a crap paper with inadequate documentation. The review by Dean Radon is just crap, meaning nothing.

    You remain a p-value fetishist. I’m not convinced by any of the research you’ve linked to.

  456. chikoppion 04 Sep 2017 at 4:01 pm

    [hardnose] DO YOU REALLY THINK most engineers are atheists/materialists like you? Even most scientists would disagree with you.

    Most “engineers” (and scientific researchers) don’t much give a whit about philosophical excuses in their work. They trade in what is provable and demonstrable.

    Maybe you could give some examples of technology or accomplishments that are based on “non-materialist” science (whatever that is)?

  457. Enfant Terribleon 04 Sep 2017 at 4:51 pm

    Bachfiend,

    ” I’m not convinced by any of the research you’ve linked to.”

    Well, creationists says the same thing when I send to them studies concerning evolution. I wonder why…

    In any case, maybe these studies can change your mind:

    a) Ullman, M. (1966). An experimental approach to dreams and telepathy: methodology and preliminary findings. Archives of general psychiatry, 14(6), 605-613.

    https://app.box.com/s/p7ky28p5bzks0q7usucpw432l2z8ro4t

    b) Ullman, M., Krippner, S., & Feldstein, S. (1966). Experimentally-induced telepathic dreams: two studies using EEG-REM monitoring technique. International Journal of Neuropsychiatry, 2,pp. 420–37.

    https://app.box.com/s/vmwiwzmoaq1i8tz2awghghqknbc33r2g

    c) Krippner, S. (1968). An experimental study in hypnosis and telepathy. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 11(1), 45-54.

    https://app.box.com/s/quuqqnprwr8pczd1uv0yxhf56atp7z0t

  458. Pete Aon 04 Sep 2017 at 4:51 pm

    bachfiend,

    One of the studies to which ET linked states:
    QUOTE
    Brain to brain connectivity during Distal Psycho-informational Influence sessions, between spatially and sensory isolated subjects
    Aliodor Manolea
    University of Bucharest, Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences, 90 Panduri street, Bucharest, Romania “CAROL I” National Defense University, 68-72 Panduri street, Bucharest, Romania
    PSIWORLD 2014

    3. Method

    3.2. Instruments
    The experiment comprised the simultaneous exposure of the inducer subjects to visual stimuli with affective significance and the measurement of the effect of the presumed distal psycho-informational transfer to the receiver subjects (Manolea, 2013b). The brain activity of both categories of subjects was monitored using wireless EEG headphones (MINDWAVE Neurosky) with one channel, which communicated with a data acquisition system equipped with three portable computers, having the time synchronised via internet, on which the LINUX operating system run. On a master computer run PSYCHOPY software (Peirce, 2008), which managed the development in time of the experiment in what the exposure to visual stimuli with affective content is concerned. The visual stimuli were displayed simultaneous for all inducer subjects on eight monitors, using a video distributor. On the corresponding monitors, the receiver subjects could see only a cross marking in the centre of the black screen. [my emphasis] The electrode of each EEG headphone was placed in the area of the prefrontal lobe of each subject, in the Fp1 point the 10-20 international scheme of placing the EEG electrodes on the human scalp.
    END of QUOTE

    So, instead of the recievers being adequately isolated from their inducers, it provides a temporal cue/link between the recievers and their inducers.

    The findings confirm the bleedin’ obvious: People resopond more quickly to “visual stimuli with affective significance” than to “a cross marking in the centre of the black screen”.

  459. Enfant Terribleon 04 Sep 2017 at 4:57 pm

    d) Krippner, S., & Ullman, M. (1969). Telepathic perception in the dream state: Confirmatory study using EEG-EOG techniques. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 29, 915-918.

    https://app.box.com/s/5u31o0t391ynfo4b4zi036baqh1lrzmj

    e) Krippner, S. & Ullman, M. “Telepathy and dreams: A controlled experiment with electro-encephalogram-electro-oculogram monitoring.” Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease 151 (1970): 394-403.

    https://app.box.com/s/hou32vac0b605tw5fu1limuxvmsl5d6c

    f) Ullman, M., & Krippner, S. (1970). An experimental approach to dreams and telepathy: II. Report of three studies. American Journal of Psychiatry, 126(9), 1282-1289.

    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/18852785_An_Experimental_Approach_to_Dreams_and_Telepathy_II_Report_of_Three_Studies

  460. chikoppion 04 Sep 2017 at 4:59 pm

    Rather than a Gish Gallop of links to suspect results, maybe the better course would be to commit to presenting the three articles of research you find most convincing?

  461. bachfiendon 04 Sep 2017 at 5:00 pm

    chikoppi,

    Agreed. Personally, I don’t give a stuff regarding what scientists believe in their personal life. I don’t take much notice of ‘authority’. I’ll accept some scientific work as being ‘true’ (as far as anything in science can ever be considered true) if the evidence seems robust and plausible enough, not because it’s coming from an authority.

    There have been enough well respected scientists who have gone off the deep end into woo, such as Linus Pauling and his belief in the efficacy of vitamin C in preventing the common cold.

    Hardnose has rather touching faith in authority (for example James Shapiro) if they somehow appear to be supporting his worldview.

  462. Enfant Terribleon 04 Sep 2017 at 5:21 pm

    g) Krippner, S., Hickman, J., Auerhahn, N., & Harris, R. (1972). Clairvoyant perception of target material in three states of consciousness. Perceptual and motor skills, 35(2), 439-446.

    https://app.box.com/s/sbnvnunkzl6f4dhprf7dcg2ft9ibx6om

    h) Glick, B. S., & Kogen, J. (1973). Clairvoyance in hypnotized subjects: Some positive results. Psychiatric Quarterly, 47(2), 276-284.

    https://app.box.com/s/fzoessjhjqujckomq430ekqg9ml58vy0

    i) Dalton, K., Steinkamp, F., & Sherwood, S. J. (1999). A dream GESP experiment using dynamic targets and consensus vote. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 93 (2), pp. 145-166.

    https://koestlerunit.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/dalton-steinkamp-sherwood-1999a.pdf

  463. Enfant Terribleon 04 Sep 2017 at 5:40 pm

    chikkopi,

    “maybe the better course would be to commit to presenting the three articles of research you find most convincing?”

    It’s very hard to choose, but I like very much (e), (f) and (i). There are other two that are not in the list but I like very much too:

    j) Graff, Dale E. (2007). Explorations in precognitive dreaming. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 21(4), 707-722.

    https://www.scientificexploration.org/docs/21/jse_21_4_graff.pdf

    k) Graff, D. E., & Cyrus, P. S. (2017, May). Perceiving the future news: Evidence for retrocausation. In AIP Conference Proceedings (Vol. 1841, No. 1, p. 030001). AIP Publishing.

    http://aip.scitation.org/doi/pdf/10.1063/1.4982772

    There are others that I like concerning life after death, but that’s for another occasion.

  464. Pete Aon 04 Sep 2017 at 5:48 pm

    Enfant Terrible,

    I’ve already demolished one of your references. You long-ago achieved zero credibility so the only thing that you are achieving is confirming your relentless inability to comprehend the aphorism: When you are in a hole, it’s best to stop digging.

  465. hardnoseon 04 Sep 2017 at 6:15 pm

    “Maybe you could give some examples of technology or accomplishments that are based on “non-materialist” science (whatever that is)?”

    ALL science is non-materialist!! You really don’t understand anything about what science is.

  466. Enfant Terribleon 04 Sep 2017 at 6:24 pm

    Pete A,

    “I’ve already demolished one of your references.”

    Maybe in the fantasy of your mind, not in reality. You wrote:

    “So, instead of the recievers being adequately isolated from their inducers, it provides a temporal cue/link between the recievers and their inducers.”

    Now, you said that because “On the corresponding monitors, the receiver subjects could see only a cross marking in the centre of the black screen.”

    Now, how a cross marking in the centre of a black screen can give a temporal cue/link between the receivers and their inducers?

    Each session comprised the exposure of the inducer subjects to a row of nine images each being displayed for six seconds, preceded by a warning pause of four seconds (reference interval). Some images had positive affective content, others negative content, and others were neutral from an emotional perspective.

    So, the images of the inducers have nothing to do with the image of the receivers (a cross marking the centre of a black screen).

  467. bachfiendon 04 Sep 2017 at 6:32 pm

    Hardnose,

    ‘ALL science that I like (that appears, somehow, to support my worldview) is non-materialist!!’

    There, I’ve fixed it for you.

    Hardnose and Enfant Terrible suffer from the delusion that everything published in journals, even good ones with adequate peer review, is ‘true’.

    I work on the assumption that only about 10% of everything published (also including books and music as well as journal papers) is really first rate. Not all of the remaining 90% is crap, by no means, a lot of it is good, solid work, but rather trivial, not demonstrating anything we don’t already know or suspect.

    But a lot of the 90% is crap, and hardnose and Enfant Terrible have a talent for finding it.

  468. chikoppion 04 Sep 2017 at 7:03 pm

    [hardnose] ALL science is non-materialist!! You really don’t understand anything about what science is.

    Nice try, but you are the one who constantly injects “materialism” into the conversation.

    I agree, the scientific method is agnostic to philosophical questions. Therefore, there should be ample examples in the record to support your position. So again…

    What technology or accomplishment is based on a “science” that is inconsistent with “materialism?”

  469. hardnoseon 04 Sep 2017 at 7:11 pm

    [What technology or accomplishment is based on a “science” that is inconsistent with “materialism?”]

    All of it, since first of all you never have a coherent definition of “materialism.”

    You define “matter” as everything that has been discovered by science.

    Therefore, everything that science has discovered has to be “matter,” according to your definition.

    IT IS CIRCULAR.

    The whole concept of “material” is outdated, since we now know there is no ultimate particle.

    EVERYTHING IS INFORMATION. Get used to it. Materialism is dead.

  470. chikoppion 04 Sep 2017 at 7:16 pm

    [Enfant Terrible] It’s very hard to choose, but I like very much (e)…

    e) Krippner, S. & Ullman, M. “Telepathy and dreams: A controlled experiment with electro-encephalogram-electro-oculogram monitoring.” Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease 151 (1970): 394-403.

    Ullman’s dream telepathy experiments have not been independently replicated.[1][2][3][4] James Alcock has written the dream telepathy experiments of Ullman and Stanley Krippner at Maimonides have failed to provide evidence for telepathy and “lack of replication is rampant.”[5]

    The picture target experiments that were conducted by Krippner and Ullman, were criticized by C. E. M. Hansel. According to Hansel there were weaknesses in the design of the experiments in the way in which the agent became aware of their target picture. Only the agent should have known the target and no other person until the judging of targets had been completed, however, an experimenter was with the agent when the target envelope was opened. Hansel also wrote there had been poor controls in the experiment as the main experimenter could communicate with the subject.[6]

    An attempt to replicate the experiments that used picture targets was carried out by Edward Belvedere and David Foulkes. The finding was that neither the subject nor the judges matched the targets with dreams above chance level.[7] Results from other experiments by Belvedere and Foulkes were also negative.[8]

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montague_Ullman

    Are you aware of any successful replications?

  471. chikoppion 04 Sep 2017 at 7:36 pm

    [hardnose] All of it, since first of all you never have a coherent definition of “materialism.”

    This is your windmill. You bang on and on about how “materialism” is wrong.

    I agree that that the scientific method is agnostic. Therefore, there should be plenty of examples of applied science that are contradictory to whatever it is you believe the “materialist” position to be.

    I’m simply asking for examples.

  472. JJ Borgmanon 04 Sep 2017 at 8:05 pm

    “What I do mind is your complete and absolute misunderstanding of everything I have ever said here.”

    Please re-read what you wrote.

    Your problem is that you’re an absolutist. Black/White. Not much else. That is an extreme position. Folks with extreme views are generally marginalized due to lack of credibility due to making poor arguments. Mostly you have appeals to emotion.

    Your words aren’t difficult to understand, so that defense is moot. Either you express yourself poorly or you are playing word games or you postulate incoherent or unsupported ideas.

    Again, you may not be wrong, but you also may not be right. Please stop with the finger pointing and hand waving…and the absolutism. It makes it very hard to take you seriously.

  473. chikoppion 04 Sep 2017 at 8:22 pm

    [hardnose] The whole concept of “material” is outdated, since we now know there is no ultimate particle.

    Hang on…I think I see the disconnect.

    First of all, your references to “particles” lead me to believe you have a seriously outdated grasp of the meaning of “materialism.”

    It has absolutely nothing to do with solids or particles.

    “Materialism” is a phrase generally used as shorthand for physicalist monism. Physicalist monism is the position that all phenomena, including consciousness, result from the interaction of fundamental forces.

    To offer a simplified definition, “physical” in this sense, is distinct from from “thought.” Anything that exists independent of “thought” is “physical.”

    Physicalist monism is juxtaposed against dualism and idealism.

    Please take the opportunity to update your lexicon:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophy_of_mind

    EVERYTHING IS INFORMATION. Get used to it. Materialism is dead.

    First of all, what does that mean? “Information” about what?

    If you are asserting that only “thought” exists then you are asserting monistic idealism.

  474. Pete Aon 05 Sep 2017 at 5:42 am

    “[hardnose] EVERYTHING IS INFORMATION. Get used to it. Materialism is dead.”

    Then you know that the effect size in the psi experiments is the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). E.g., if the effect size is 0.1, the SNR is 0.1, the noise is ten times larger than the signal. Information theory will allow you to estimate the error rate of the communications channel; the error rate has been confirmed by the psi experiments. The error rate is so appalling that it’s little better than just guessing what the information was supposed to be. Psi is indeed a useless communications system.

    A string of N random bits contains the highest amount of information: N bits of information. A string of N bits that represents written English contains significantly less than N bits of information, hence it can be losslessly compressed into fewer than N bits. Obviously, a string of N random bits conveys no meaning whereas the latter string of N bits does convey meaning.

    Shouting “EVERYTHING IS INFORMATION” is shouting a description. Here are you own words on 03 Sep 2017 at 9:24 am: “Describing something does not mean you understand it.”

  475. Enfant Terribleon 05 Sep 2017 at 10:40 am

    chikoppi,

    “Are you aware of any successful replications?”

    Yes. The reference (i) is itself a successful replication:

    The significant success rate (47%, p = .006) of the group in correctly selecting the target replicates the success of the Maimonides dream studies, albeit without the benefit of the facilities of a formal dream laboratory. This is in keeping with several small-scale studies done without the use of extensive sleep laboratories that supported the more convincing Maimonides work (Child, 1985).

    And referece (i) mentions many others replications. Even some of the “failed” replications almost reach significance (p < 0.06).

    i) Dalton, K., Steinkamp, F., & Sherwood, S. J. (1999). A dream GESP experiment using dynamic targets and consensus vote. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 93 (2), pp. 145-166.

    https://koestlerunit.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/dalton-steinkamp-sherwood-1999a.pdf

    Exact replications of the Maimonides dream-psi experiments were attempted at only two other dream laboratories—the University of Wyoming and the Boston School of Medicine. The two Wyoming experiments yielded results approximately at chance level slightly below in one study (Belvedere & Foulkes, 1971) and slightly above in the other (Foulkes et al.. 1972). The Boston School of Medicine’s attempt at replication produced results that, although not significantly positive, moved the researchers to state that “further conservatively designed research does seem indicated because of these findings” (Globus, Knapp, Skinner, & Healy, 1968, p. 365). Other replication attempts, conducted without the benefit of the facilities of a sleep laboratory, have reported results that encourage further exploration of the dream state as one conducive to the reception of psi information. Three studies conducted by Braud (1976) used slides developed at Maimonides as targets in their dream research. Although Braud’s first study—in which he himself acted as agent for 50 participants—yielded suggestive but not significant results for the majority vote scores (p < .06. two-tailed). The majority of his participants were people he did not know well. He then decided to limit the participant pool to people with whom he felt some connection. In the subsequent two studies, 10 close friends took part with Braud again acting as agent. The combined results for the majority vote scores for these studies were highly significant at p < .001 (two-tailed).

    A study by Van de Castle (1971) involved the morning recall of dreams. Seventy members of a youth camp were percipients for a 4-night series, in which a member of staff acted as agent and the target material consisted of pools of five different colored magazine pictures. A different set of pictures was involved each night, and the campers individually viewed and ranked them the following morning. This study was quite successful, with overall significant results, p < .002 (one-tailed).

    In a comparison of the Ganzfeld and the dream state using static targets, Kanthamani and Broughton (1993) reported above chance results for both states, but at a significant level for the dream state (p < .005, one-tailed). As altered states, the Ganzfeld and the dream state are similar in that they both make use of physical and mental relaxation, sensory isolation, and inwardly directed attention. In addition, they are both concerned with “free-response” subject material. It is possible that the use of dynamic targets in dream-psi research, such as video clips that more closely mimic real lift material, rather than the use of static targets, such as art prints, may add to the ability of the participant to retrieve the target material.

    These studies, and several others, offer encouraging evidence that incorporation of distant stimuli into dreams can be demonstrated under good experimental conditions. The possibility of dreams being used as a psi acquisition mechanism clearly merits careful attention from experimentalists who wish to explore this area but who are without recourse to the facilities of a formal dream laboratory. It was with these considerations in mind that the current study was devised.

  476. Enfant Terribleon 05 Sep 2017 at 10:49 am

    chikoppi,

    by the way, Hansel’s criticisms cannot apply to reference (e). See page 396:

    Upon arriving his room, […] “A” opened the envelope containing that target picture. […] Once this was done, there was no way that the “A” could communicate with “E” or with “S” without leaving his room and breaching the conditions of the experiments

  477. Pete Aon 05 Sep 2017 at 11:15 am

    Enfant Terrible,

    How do we prevent people from influencing our dreams, and our thoughts while we’re awake? Are there any studies on this?

  478. chikoppion 05 Sep 2017 at 11:17 am

    [Enfant Terrible] “These studies, and several others, offer encouraging evidence that incorporation of distant stimuli into dreams can be demonstrated under good experimental conditions. The possibility of dreams being used as a psi acquisition mechanism clearly merits careful attention from experimentalists who wish to explore this area but who are without recourse to the facilities of a formal dream laboratory. It was with these considerations in mind that the current study was devised.”

    Yeah, you can understand my skepticism.

    The Higgs wasn’t confirmed until a result of 5 sigma was achieved, which is a crazy p-value (circa .0000003…Pete?).

    Keep at it though. I think far more conclusive and consistently replicable research is going to be necessary to make a compelling case. At present, it’s still questionable if there is an effect, much less what said effect actually indicates.

  479. Enfant Terribleon 05 Sep 2017 at 11:25 am

    chikoppi,

    The Higgs wasn’t confirmed until a result of 5 sigma was achieved, which is a crazy p-value (circa .0000003…Pete?). Keep at it though. I think far more conclusive and consistently replicable research is going to be necessary to make a compelling case. At present, it’s still questionable if there is an effect, much less what said effect actually indicates.

    Page 222 of Sherwood, S. J., Dalton, K., Steinkamp, F., & Watt, C. (2000). Dream clairvoyance study II using dynamic video-clips: Investigation of consensus voting judging procedures and target emotionality. Dreaming, 10(4), 221-236.

    A recent meta-analysis of 450 Maimonides dream telepathy sessions found the overall hit rate to be
    63% (mean chance expectation (MCE) = 50%) with odds against chance of 75 million to one (Radin, 1997).

  480. Pete Aon 05 Sep 2017 at 11:57 am

    chikoppi,

    Yes, 5 sigma level is 1 chance in circa 3.5 million, p≈0.0000003, that the result was caused by a random fluctuation rather than a real effect. This standard is the minimum required for the declaration of a discovery in some branches of physics. Some other branches require 6 sigma, some require 7 sigma or beyond.

    6 sigma is 1 chance in circa 1 billion;
    7 sigma is 1 chance in circa 780 billion.

  481. chikoppion 05 Sep 2017 at 12:09 pm

    @Enfant Terrible

    Yeah, if you want this research to be taken seriously it needs to conform to critical standards. I applaud your enthusiam, but the threshold for breakthrough research in any field of science is much higher than what has been presented.

    http://jeksite.org/psi/jp13a.htm

    From the Journal of Parapsychology:

    Meta-analysis provides invaluable evidence bearing on the question of whether there is replicable evidence for psi. but it also suffers from a number of limitations, perhaps the most problematic of which is subjectivity of procedures and interpretation. given its limitations, definitive results are rarely attained and debates about psi replicability remain largely unresolved. The solution to this problem is not to discard meta-analytic results but to continue to make improvements to the technique, seeking ever more objective and stringent procedures. although meta-analysis fails to always deliver definitive answers, it remains the closest approximation to a valid and reliable investigation of psi replicability currently available (irwin & Watt, 2007).

    https://koestlerunit.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/murray-a-l-2011.pdf

  482. hardnoseon 05 Sep 2017 at 2:10 pm

    You will never accept ESP, no matter what the evidence says. Your beliefs are tribal, and you don’t care about science.

  483. Pete Aon 05 Sep 2017 at 2:53 pm

    You will never reject ESP, no matter what the evidence says. Your beliefs are tribal, and you don’t care about science.

  484. Enfant Terribleon 05 Sep 2017 at 3:04 pm

    chikoppi,

    all skeptics and believers got positive and significant results in all meta-analysis for ganzfeld, so the “subjectivity of procedures an interpretation” cannot be a factor here. At least not a factor to invalidate the conclusion for the existence of telepathy.

    https://s3.amazonaws.com/academia.edu.documents/32219808/ESPNQ010.pdf?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAIWOWYYGZ2Y53UL3A&Expires=1504640026&Signature=pn9XcPlcdnFtZiUSF5fcRhYdlXw%3D&response-content-disposition=inline%3B%20filename%3DExtrasensory_Perception_and_Quantum_Mode.pdf (p. 584, Table 1).

    Now, if you want more recent details about meta-analyses, see here:

    http://emmind.net/openpapers_repos/Nonlocality_Fields/Nonlocal_Mind/Various/2014_Explicit_Anomalous_Cognition_A_Review_of_the_Best_Evidence_in_Ganzfeld,_Forced-choice_Remote_Viewing_and_Dream_Studies.pdf (2014)

    For ganzfeld, you just need to read until page 13.

    For Dreams studies (Maimonides and Post-Maimonides), you just need to read pages 26-31.

    For improvements in meta-analysis, read pages 32-38.

  485. chikoppion 05 Sep 2017 at 3:35 pm

    @Enfant Terrible

    Great. If the research is convincing and meets critical standards submit to Nature, P-nas, Journal of Biological Chemistry, etc.

    I’m not the one you need to convince. Not only is it not my field but I’m not in research at all. The paucity of high quality results, questions about replication, and problems identified in methodology (even from within the field) are more than enough to make me wait for expert consensus.

    Science is a process. Keep working on the quality and scope of the research. If there’s a “there” there it will out.

  486. BillyJoe7on 05 Sep 2017 at 5:00 pm

    If you are tasked with retrieving all the tennis balls inside a tennis stadium, do you look inside the matchbox you find lying on the floor?

    This is what a waste of time it is to look for PSI.

    QFT has excluded the possibility of PSI.
    Your task is to disprove QFT.

    Period.

  487. BillyJoe7on 05 Sep 2017 at 5:17 pm

    If your results indicate that looking up the answers to today’s multiple choice exam tomorrow is going to improve your score, your results are wrong.

    And, if you truly believe this result, then there is no end to the sort of BS you are capable of believing in, and which you do believe in: ghosts and “ghost particles” and “ghost forces” and “fields of consciousness”.

    QFT has already ruled them out.
    That is the heavy metal door slamming you in the face.

  488. CKavaon 05 Sep 2017 at 9:35 pm

    Enfant Terrible,

    You have demonstrated throughout this LONG thread that you lack the statistical competence to understand even basic terms and methods of analysis. Yet you consistently speak with complete authority concerning the interpretation of complex meta-analyses/the validity of the statistical methods in the studies you cite approvingly.

    This is not compelling. You do not understand the limitations of the papers you cite, you do not properly understand the analyses and you do not have a good grasp of the literature, just an in depth familiarity with the usual pro-psi sources.

    Repeating the conclusions of psi advocates or providing some quotes from Susan Blackmore/Phil Plait does not prove anything other than there are lots of people deeply committed to psi being real and that various skeptic figures have a variety of opinions.

    None of those points effect how weak the evidence for psi is or the well known methodological and statistical issues that afflict the majority of psi studies.

    You seem to have devoted a substantial amount of time to reading the work of psi advocates and here I see an all too familiar pattern- common to creationists, global warming denialists, anti-GMO advocates and so on. You are devoting a lot of effort passively consuming a heavily skewed literature and it is giving you a completely misleading perspective, but if you invested even just a quarter of that energy into getting a basic understanding of statistics and critiques of prevalent experimental methodological then you would quite quickly realise why the literature you find so compelling, is so utterly non-compelling for actual scientists.

    At present you are just parroting claims with no actual ability to assess the validity of the methods and results, beyond buying into the legion of statements made by advocates about how unlikely results are, and getting jubilant about a handful of positive comments made by figures in the skeptical community. Neither of which, really matters.

    My advice would be to first get a handle on the important distinctions between p-values, percentages and effect sizes, before trying to interpret the validity of competing meta-analyses. Similarly, rather than reading more psi papers, why not try some of those influential methodological critiques that are floating around?

    I don’t like some of the direct abuse that has been thrown at you but it is evident that at present you are following the path of a committed ideologue rather than someone genuinely interested in understanding the research.

  489. Enfant Terribleon 06 Sep 2017 at 11:55 am

    CKava,

    ” if you invested even just a quarter of that energy into getting a basic understanding of statistics and critiques of prevalent experimental methodological then you would quite quickly realise why the literature you find so compelling, is so utterly non-compelling for actual scientists.”

    It’s very difficult to believe in what you say when there are articles like this, all wrote by statisticians, actual scientists:

    http://www.sci.csueastbay.edu/~esuess/res/2009-2010/ICOTS8_PL2_UTTS.pdf

    The article helps explain why skeptics still are not convinced by the evidence, even with a pvalue of 2.26 × 10^−18

  490. CKavaon 06 Sep 2017 at 1:18 pm

    lol… so your response to my criticism that you are investing too much time on skewed sources and parroting pro-psi advocates who are deploying statistics you clearly do not have the ability to assess is to link to a paper by Jessica Utts, one of the most well known psi-advocates, explaining why she thinks Bayesian statistics are good (correct) and provide strong support for psi (incorrect). Color me unpersuaded. You like her conclusion but you don’t even have a handle on basic statistical concepts so how are you critically engaging with her position? BTW how did you come across this article? I would hazard a guess you came across it through the usual psi-channels rather than through any genuine engagement with the relevant literature. And that is the problem, you are not understanding the psi research in a broader context, you are only looking at the issue from the narrow perspective of psi advocates. What you are doing is akin to approaching the literature on global warming by reading the summaries and saving the links to all of the studies presented on global warming denialist sites. Doing so doesn’t give you an accurate picture of the science, in fact it is guaranteed to give you a distorted view.

  491. Pete Aon 06 Sep 2017 at 2:05 pm

    Enfant Terrible,

    It is utterly disgraceful and disrespectful that, during your mindless and relentless shovelling of copy-pasted sh1t into the comments section of Dr. Novella’s website, that you have been far too lazy to check whether or not your points have been previously addressed by Dr. Novella and/or the commentators.

    You are an exemplar of the definition of the word f*ckwit: [noun] A stupid or contemptible person.

    Using the Google search engine, the following, very simple, search term illustrates your deplorable level of f*ckwittery:
    site:theness.com “dean radin”

    Not only that, but you have also abjectly failed to understand the fundamental importance of the reply given to you by the commentator “chikoppi”:

    @Enfant Terrible

    Great. If the research is convincing and meets critical standards submit to Nature, P-nas, Journal of Biological Chemistry, etc.

    I’m not the one you need to convince. Not only is it not my field but I’m not in research at all. The paucity of high quality results, questions about replication, and problems identified in methodology (even from within the field) are more than enough to make me wait for expert consensus.

    Science is a process. Keep working on the quality and scope of the research. If there’s a “there” there it will out.

    Yes indeed! Even if you managed to convince Dr. Novella plus all of the readers of his website that PSI/ESP is a real effect, you will not have demonstrated that PSI/ESP is anything other than a worse-than-useless error-riddled information communications mechanism.

    Next time your mobile phone connection, your Wi-Fi connection, or your Internet connection fails, I invite you to seriously contemplate the profound difference between information transfer mechanisms which actually work most of the time, and information transfer mechanisms which are useless to you, such as PSI/ESP.

  492. Enfant Terribleon 06 Sep 2017 at 2:06 pm

    CKava,

    “Jessica Utts, one of the most well known psi-advocates, explaining why she thinks Bayesian statistics are good (correct) and provide strong support for psi (incorrect). ”

    More than a psi-advocate, Jessica Utts is the Queen of Statistics. Neither Ray Hyman or Wiseman can argue with her. But if you think she is incorrect, why don’t you write an article in a peer-reviewed journal showing her mistakes?

  493. CKavaon 06 Sep 2017 at 3:23 pm

    The ‘Queen of Statistics’, oh dear lord…

    She is a statistician and says sensible things about many topics, particularly how useful it is for people to invest time in learning basic statistics, but when it comes to psi and parapsychology she is a true believer. Ray Hyman and Richard Wiseman have effectively critiqued her position and citing cherry picked quotes or the summaries of psi advocates who disagree won’t change that. Also, the articles explaining why her arguments are wrong already exist, they are out in that literature I keep recommending you explore, and they are reflected by the consensus of the relevant fields. That you are unaware of the critiques is indicative of your lack of genuine interest.

    You aren’t interested in critically assessing the literature or engaging with the methodologies, you just want to find another quote from some prominent figure or reference to a positive psi study that you can then copy and paste. Your methodology is identical to that of climate change denialists and creationists. And like them all your arguments ultimately rest on a skewed reading of the literature and various appeals to authority.

    Both you and hardnose are indicative of the typical approach adopted and level of critical engagement displayed by the psi community. You both want psi to be true and that motivation takes precedence over everything else.

  494. Enfant Terribleon 06 Sep 2017 at 4:56 pm

    CKava,

    “Ray Hyman and Richard Wiseman have effectively critiqued her position and citing cherry picked quotes or the summaries of psi advocates who disagree won’t change that.”

    They tried, but both failed.

    Reply from Utts to Hyman in 1991: “One of my goals in writing this paper was to present a fair account of recent work and debate in parapsychology. Thus, I was disturbed that Hyman, who has devoted much of his career to the study of parapsychology, and who had first-hand knowledge of the original published reports, believed that some of my statements were inaccurate and indicated that I had not carefully read the reports. I will address some of his specific objections and show that, except where noted, the accuracy of my original statements can be verified by further elaboration and clarification, with due apology for whatever necessary details were lacking in my original report.

    Most of our points of disagreement concern the National Academy of Sciences (National Research
    Council) report Enhancing Human Performance (Druckman and Swets, 1988). This report evaluated several controversial areas, including parapsychology. Professor Hyman chaired the Parapsychology Subcommittee. Several background papers were commissioned to accompany this report, available from the “Publication on Demand Program” of the National Academy Press. One of the papers was written by Harris and Rosenthal, and entitled “Human Performance Research: An Overview. ”

    Professor Hyman alleged that “Utts mistakenly asserts that my subcommittee on parapsychology
    commissioned Harris and Rosenthal to evaluate parapsychology experiments for us. . . .” I cannot
    find a statement in my paper that asserts that Harris and Rosenthal were commissioned by the
    subcommittee, nor can I find a statement that asserts that they were asked to evaluate parapsychology experiments. Nonetheless, I believe our substantive disagreement results from the fact that the work by Harris and Rosenthal was written in two parts, both of which I referenced in
    my paper. They were written several months apart, but published together, and each had its own history.

    The first part (Harris and Rosenthal, 1988a) is the one to which I referred with the words “Rosenthal was commissioned by the National Academy of Sciences to prepare a background paper to accompany its 1988 report on parapsychology” (p. 372). According, to Rosenthal (personal communication, July 23, 1991) he was asked to prepare a background paper to address evaluation
    issues and experimenter effects to accompany the report in five specific areas of research, including
    parapsychology.

    The second part was a “Postscript” to the commissioned paper (Harris and Rosenthal, 1988b), and
    this is the one to which I referred on page 371 as “requested by Hyman in his capacity as Chair of
    the National Academy of Sciences’ Subcommittee on Parapsychology.” (It is probably this wording
    that led Professor Hyman to his erroneous allegation.)

    The postscript began with the words “We have been asked to respond to a letter from Ray Hyman, chair of the subcommittee on parapsychology, in which he raises questions about the presence
    and consequence of methodological flaws in the ganzfeld studies. . . .”

    In reference to this postscript, I stand corrected on a technical point, because Hyman himself did
    not request the response to his own letter. As noted by Palmer, Honorton and Utts (1989), the postscript was added because:

    At one stage of the process, John Swets, Chair of the Committee, actually phoned Rosenthal
    and asked him to withdraw the parapsychology section of his [commissioned] paper. When
    Rosenthal declined, Swets and Druckman then requested that Rosenthal respond to criticisms
    that Hyman had included in a July 30, 1987 letter to Rosenthal [page 381.

    A related issue on which I would like to elaborate concerns the correlation between flaws and success
    in the original ganzfeld data base. Hyman has misunderstood both my position and that of Harris
    and Rosenthal. He believes that I implicitly denied the importance of the flaws, so I will make my
    position explicit. I do not think there is any evidence that the experimental results were due to the
    identified flaws. The flaw analysis was clearly useful for delineating acceptable criteria for future
    experiments. Several experiments were conducted using those criteria. The results were similar to the
    original experiments. I believe that this indicates an anomaly in need of an explanation.
    In discussing the paper and postscript by Harris and Rosenthal, Hyman stated that “The alleged
    contradictory conclusions [to the National Research Council report] of Harris and Rosenthal are based
    on a meta-analysis that supports Honorton’s position when Honorton’s [flaw] ratings are used and
    supports my position when my ratings are used.”

    He believes that Harris and Rosenthal (and I) failed to see this point because the low power of the test associated with their analysis was not taken into account.

    The analysis in question was based on a canonical correlation between flaw ratings and measures of successful outcome for the ganzfeld studies. The canonical correlation was 0.46, a value Hyman finds
    to be impressive. What he has failed to take into account however, is that a canonical correlation
    gives only the magnitude of the relationship, and not the direction. A careful reading of Harris and
    Rosenthal (198813) reveals that their analysis actually contradicted the idea that the flaws could
    account for the successful ganzfeld results, since “Interestingly, three of the six flaw variables correlated positively with the flaw canonical variable and with the outcome canonical variable but three correlated negatively” (page 2, italics added). Rosenthal (personal cemmunication, July 23, 1991) verified that this was indeed the point he was trying to make. Readers who are interested in
    drawing their own conclusions from first-hand analyses can find Hyman’s original flaw codings in
    an Appendix to his paper (Hyman, 1985, pages 44-49).

    Finally, in my paper, I stated that the parapsychology chapter of the National Research Council
    report critically evaluated statistically significant experiments, but not those that were nonsignificant.
    Professor Hyman “does not know how [I] got such an impression,” so I will clarify by outlining
    some of the material reviewed in that report. There were surveys of three major areas of psi research: remote viewing (a particular type of free-response experiment), experiments with random number generators, and the ganzfeld experiments. As an example of where I got the impression that they evaluated only significant studies, consider the section on remote viewing. It began by referencing a published list of 28 studies. Fifteen of these were immediately discounted, since “only 13. . . were published under refereed auspices” (Druckman and Swets, 1988, page 179). Four more were then dismissed, since “Of the 13 scientifically reported experiments, 9 are classified as successful” (page 179). The report continued by discussing these nine experiments, never again mentioning any of the remaining 19 studies. The other sections of the report placed similar emphasis on significant studies. I did not think this was a valid statistical method for surveying a large body of research.

    About Wiseman, I repeat: the Milton-Wiseman meta-analysis was later shown by statistician Jessica Utts to have used a fundamentally flawed statistical estimate of the effect size and significance level of the combined results. Utts showed that if you use a method that weighs each study by trial size (e.g. the exact binomial test), then the overall results are significant at the 4% level. Maaneli Derakhshani wrote to Wiseman to ask for his response to Utts’ critique, and he confirmed to him that it was a valid criticism.

    So, both (Hyman and Wiseman) failed miserably.

    “the articles explaining why her arguments are wrong already exist, they are out in that literature I keep recommending you explore, and they are reflected by the consensus of the relevant fields. That you are unaware of the critiques is indicative of your lack of genuine interest.”

    Or maybe I know the critiques better than you imagine…

  495. Enfant Terribleon 06 Sep 2017 at 5:00 pm

    I will put the message again, now with italics. Novella can delete my previous message:

    CKava,

    “Ray Hyman and Richard Wiseman have effectively critiqued her position and citing cherry picked quotes or the summaries of psi advocates who disagree won’t change that.”

    They tried, but both failed.

    Reply from Utts to Hyman in 1991:

    “One of my goals in writing this paper was to present a fair account of recent work and debate in parapsychology. Thus, I was disturbed that Hyman, who has devoted much of his career to the study of parapsychology, and who had first-hand knowledge of the original published reports, believed that some of my statements were inaccurate and indicated that I had not carefully read the reports. I will address some of his specific objections and show that, except where noted, the accuracy of my original statements can be verified by further elaboration and clarification, with due apology for whatever necessary details were lacking in my original report.

    Most of our points of disagreement concern the National Academy of Sciences (National Research Council) report Enhancing Human Performance (Druckman and Swets, 1988). This report evaluated several controversial areas, including parapsychology. Professor Hyman chaired the Parapsychology Subcommittee. Several background papers were commissioned to accompany this report, available from the “Publication on Demand Program” of the National Academy Press. One of the papers was written by Harris and Rosenthal, and entitled “Human Performance Research: An Overview. ”

    Professor Hyman alleged that “Utts mistakenly asserts that my subcommittee on parapsychology commissioned Harris and Rosenthal to evaluate parapsychology experiments for us. . . .” I cannot find a statement in my paper that asserts that Harris and Rosenthal were commissioned by the subcommittee, nor can I find a statement that asserts that they were asked to evaluate parapsychology experiments. Nonetheless, I believe our substantive disagreement results from the fact that the work by Harris and Rosenthal was written in two parts, both of which I referenced in my paper. They were written several months apart, but published together, and each had its own history.

    The first part (Harris and Rosenthal, 1988a) is the one to which I referred with the words “Rosenthal was commissioned by the National Academy of Sciences to prepare a background paper to accompany its 1988 report on parapsychology” (p. 372). According, to Rosenthal (personal communication, July 23, 1991) he was asked to prepare a background paper to address evaluation issues and experimenter effects to accompany the report in five specific areas of research, including
    parapsychology.

    The second part was a “Postscript” to the commissioned paper (Harris and Rosenthal, 1988b), and this is the one to which I referred on page 371 as “requested by Hyman in his capacity as Chair of the National Academy of Sciences’ Subcommittee on Parapsychology.” (It is probably this wording that led Professor Hyman to his erroneous allegation.)

    The postscript began with the words “We have been asked to respond to a letter from Ray Hyman, chair of the subcommittee on parapsychology, in which he raises questions about the presence and consequence of methodological flaws in the ganzfeld studies. . . .”

    In reference to this postscript, I stand corrected on a technical point, because Hyman himself did not request the response to his own letter. As noted by Palmer, Honorton and Utts (1989), the postscript was added because:

    At one stage of the process, John Swets, Chair of the Committee, actually phoned Rosenthal and asked him to withdraw the parapsychology section of his [commissioned] paper. When Rosenthal declined, Swets and Druckman then requested that Rosenthal respond to criticisms that Hyman had included in a July 30, 1987 letter to Rosenthal [page 381.

    A related issue on which I would like to elaborate concerns the correlation between flaws and success in the original ganzfeld data base. Hyman has misunderstood both my position and that of Harris and Rosenthal. He believes that I implicitly denied the importance of the flaws, so I will make my position explicit. I do not think there is any evidence that the experimental results were due to the identified flaws. The flaw analysis was clearly useful for delineating acceptable criteria for future experiments. Several experiments were conducted using those criteria. The results were similar to the original experiments. I believe that this indicates an anomaly in need of an explanation.

    In discussing the paper and postscript by Harris and Rosenthal, Hyman stated that “The alleged contradictory conclusions [to the National Research Council report] of Harris and Rosenthal are based
    on a meta-analysis that supports Honorton’s position when Honorton’s [flaw] ratings are used and supports my position when my ratings are used.”

    He believes that Harris and Rosenthal (and I) failed to see this point because the low power of the test associated with their analysis was not taken into account. The analysis in question was based on a canonical correlation between flaw ratings and measures of successful outcome for the ganzfeld studies. The canonical correlation was 0.46, a value Hyman finds to be impressive. What he has failed to take into account however, is that a canonical correlation gives only the magnitude of the relationship, and not the direction. A careful reading of Harris and Rosenthal (198813) reveals that their analysis actually contradicted the idea that the flaws could account for the successful ganzfeld results, since “Interestingly, three of the six flaw variables correlated positively with the flaw canonical variable and with the outcome canonical variable but three correlated negatively” (page 2, italics added). Rosenthal (personal cemmunication, July 23, 1991) verified that this was indeed the point he was trying to make. Readers who are interested in drawing their own conclusions from first-hand analyses can find Hyman’s original flaw codings in an Appendix to his paper (Hyman, 1985, pages 44-49).

    Finally, in my paper, I stated that the parapsychology chapter of the National Research Council report critically evaluated statistically significant experiments, but not those that were nonsignificant. Professor Hyman “does not know how [I] got such an impression,” so I will clarify by outlining some of the material reviewed in that report. There were surveys of three major areas of psi research: remote viewing (a particular type of free-response experiment), experiments with random number generators, and the ganzfeld experiments. As an example of where I got the impression that they evaluated only significant studies, consider the section on remote viewing. It began by referencing a published list of 28 studies. Fifteen of these were immediately discounted, since “only 13. . . were published under refereed auspices” (Druckman and Swets, 1988, page 179). Four more were then dismissed, since “Of the 13 scientifically reported experiments, 9 are classified as successful” (page 179). The report continued by discussing these nine experiments, never again mentioning any of the remaining 19 studies. The other sections of the report placed similar emphasis on significant studies. I did not think this was a valid statistical method for surveying a large body of research.

    About Wiseman, I repeat: the Milton-Wiseman meta-analysis was later shown by statistician Jessica Utts to have used a fundamentally flawed statistical estimate of the effect size and significance level of the combined results. Utts showed that if you use a method that weighs each study by trial size (e.g. the exact binomial test), then the overall results are significant at the 4% level. Maaneli Derakhshani wrote to Wiseman to ask for his response to Utts’ critique, and he confirmed to him that it was a valid criticism.

    So, both (Hyman and Wiseman) failed miserably.

    “the articles explaining why her arguments are wrong already exist, they are out in that literature I keep recommending you explore, and they are reflected by the consensus of the relevant fields. That you are unaware of the critiques is indicative of your lack of genuine interest.”
    Or maybe I know the critiques better than you imagine…

  496. Pete Aon 06 Sep 2017 at 5:18 pm

    “[Enfant Terrible] I will put the message again, now with italics. Novella can delete my previous message”

    Nuff said.

  497. chikoppion 06 Sep 2017 at 6:29 pm

    Massimo Pigliucci has a good post on prudence and evidence, which is an even-handed examination of reasonable standards (there’s a little something to be found within for everyone).

    https://platofootnote.wordpress.com/2017/06/05/prove-it-the-burden-of-proof-in-science-vs-pseudoscience-disputes/

    Which brings us to the last point in this paper (which I haven’t discussed above): discussions of BoP in the context of science vs pseudoscience disputes are, of course, a type of Wittgenstenian language game that presupposes a minimum commonality of standards. People cannot agree on how to fairly allocate BoP unless they find themselves at the least in the same ballpark when it comes to the type of background knowledge that constraints the priors pertinent to the dispute at hand. And that is precisely the most common obstacle in debates between skeptics and believers: the former too often simply reject out of hand even the possibility of an anomalous phenomenon turning out to be real, while the latter are equally quick to label the entire scientific enterprise as “too reductionist” or narrow minded to be able to come to terms with novel phenomena. This sort of impasse depends on a widespread lack of appreciation for the sort of epistemic issues Maarten and I have described in this paper, but it also boils down at least in part to individual psychological attitudes, whereof a philosopher is better served not to speak.

  498. CKavaon 06 Sep 2017 at 6:38 pm

    lol, amazing.

    There must be something to this psi thing as I had the distinct impression you would respond to my post criticising you for parroting pro-psi advocates and failing to engage with criticism by… parroting pro-psi advocates and failing to engage with criticism.

    Copy and pasting the opinions of prominent advocates, cherry picking quotes, and link bombing remain the preferred tools of ideological devotees of everywhere and are as unconvincing as ever.

    And no you don’t understand the critiques, you have repeatedly demonstrated you don’t have the basic level of statistical competence or knowledge of experimental methodologies to assess their validity. That you can find psi advocates responses- I don’t doubt, that you can critically examine the validity of their claims- I see no evidence of.

  499. Enfant Terribleon 07 Sep 2017 at 6:21 am

    CKava,
    When even the skeptics admit the vality of the claims, like Wiseman did, there is no doubt that the “pro-psi advocate” is right. This must be obvious even to you…

  500. bachfiendon 07 Sep 2017 at 7:23 am

    Enfant Terrible,

    Significance at the 4% level means nothing.

  501. Pete Aon 07 Sep 2017 at 7:48 am

    Enfant Terrible,

    Unsurprisingly, the following article by Richard Wiseman contradicts your claim:

    ‘Heads I Win, Tails You Lose’: How Parapsychologists Nullify Null Results
    Richard Wiseman
    Skeptical Inquirer Volume 34.1, January / February 2010
    https://www.csicop.org/si/show/heads_i_win_tails_you_loser_how_parapsychologists_nullify_null_results

  502. CKavaon 07 Sep 2017 at 11:16 am

    lol, are you stuck on autopilot Enfant Terrible?

    As I just said…

    You aren’t interested in critically assessing the literature or engaging with the methodologies, you just want to find another quote from some prominent figure or reference to a positive psi study that you can then copy and paste.

    And what’s been your critical response? Copy and pasting the positive assessments of psi advocates and trotting out random cherry picked quotes from skeptics.

    Way to show me!

    Genuinely engaging in discussion requires responding to points not just trotting out your browser history. I know pro-psi advocates exist, I know their arguments, and I have enough of a grounding in statistics and experimental methodology to know how lacking the evidence is. You have repeatedly demonstrated you lack any such grounding so all you are going on is your ideological commitments buttressed with all the material you’ve ripped from pro-psi websites. That’s not doing critical research though, anymore than reading lots of material from creationists will help you get a grasp of the evidence for evolution.

  503. Pete Aon 07 Sep 2017 at 1:13 pm

    22 days ago, Bill Openthalt wrote

    hardnose & E.T. —
    Okay, now that ESP is a scientific fact, how about turning all that theoretical knowledge into some practical, useful technology?

  504. BillyJoe7on 07 Sep 2017 at 5:34 pm

    CKava: “Genuinely engaging in discussion requires responding to points not just trotting out your browser history”

    My guess is that ET has a cache of these quotes that he can trot out as the occasion arises. Or even if the occasion does not arise – because the links and quotes he supplies are often either unrelated or only tangentially related to questions he is responding to.

    I do not actually know enough about QFT to be sure if Sean Carroll is correct when he says that QFT has already excluded the possibility of PSI, and that the acceptance of PSI would require a refutation of QFT, the most successful theory in all of science, but neither ET nor his predecessors have put a single dent in that proposition whenever it has been put.

    ——————-

    Anyway, I hope ET is still studying for that exam he sat yesterday, and last week, and last year, otherwise his scores would have been even worse than what he actually got. And, of course, he’s never going to take CKava’s advice and learn some statistics in the future, otherwise he would actually know a lot more about it now.

    It is beyond me how anyone can take any of this seriously.

  505. Enfant Terribleon 07 Sep 2017 at 5:41 pm

    CKava,

    ” I know pro-psi advocates exist, I know their arguments, and I have enough of a grounding in statistics and experimental methodology to know how lacking the evidence is.”

    And when you will start to show this?

    “That’s not doing critical research though, anymore than reading lots of material from creationists will help you get a grasp of the evidence for evolution.”

    See, this is the fallacy of false analogy. Creationists don’t do experiments. Creationists don’t publish in peer-reviewed journals of the mainstream. Creationists don’t have an association in AAAS. Pro-psi advocates do experiments (with skeptics, sometimes), publish them in peer-reviewed journals of the mainstream, have an association in AAAS.

    If fallacies are all the skeptics can do at this point, so the case for psi already have a winner.

  506. Enfant Terribleon 07 Sep 2017 at 5:51 pm

    Pete A,

    “the following article by Richard Wiseman contradicts your claim[…]”

    No, it doesn’t. Wiseman says:

    In 1999, Milton and Wiseman published a meta-analysis of all ganzfeld studies that were begun after 1987 and published by the start of 1997, and they noted that the cumulative effect was both small and nonsignificant (Milton and Wiseman 1999). Some parapsychologists criticized this analysis,

    Wiseman then mentions only one criticism. He doesn’t mentions Utts’ criticisms (in fact, Utts’ name is never mentioned!), neither the criticisms of other skeptics. So how can you say that Wiseman contradicts my claim?!

  507. Enfant Terribleon 07 Sep 2017 at 6:02 pm

    BillyJoe7,

    “he’s never going to take CKava’s advice and learn some statistics in the future, ”

    What’s the point? I would never be better than Jessica Utts. Even the skeptics can’t argue with her. And not only her.

    Saunders (1985) discovered important errors in Hyman’s analysis and demonstrated that Hyman’s findings were meaningless. In the introduction to the first section of the book, Hyman complained about Saunders’ paper, but he gave no specific points of rebuttal. I wrote to Hyman requesting details; he did not reply. In any event, Harvard psychologist Robert Rosenthal performed several similar analyses that failed to support Hyman’s conclusions (Harris & Rosenthal, 1988, see postscript of document)

    http://www.tricksterbook.com/ArticlesOnline/HymanReview.htm

  508. CKavaon 07 Sep 2017 at 8:31 pm

    What’s the point? I would never be better than Jessica Utts. Even the skeptics can’t argue with her. And not only her.

    They can and do. As do other statisticians. That’s why her position places her in a tiny minority of statisticians. Your attempt to elevate her to the ‘Queen of Statistics’ is a joke, and demonstrates how you approach research and academic debates- you don’t attempt to understand the literature or the relative strengths of arguments, you just look for authority figures whose coat tails you can ride on.

    This is somewhat understandable given that you have no ability or interest in understanding the arguments, all you seem to want is a name with credentials attached that you can cite approvingly. A completely pointless endeavor but hey you’ve got those quotes and references you can paste!

    Again, you demonstrated in this thread you don’t know what an effect size is or how percentages differ from p-values, and yet you want us to believe that you are able to adjudicate the validity of competing meta-analyses and Bayesian priors? You don’t have any credibility to do so and finding a random authority figure who agrees with you proves nothing- there are well qualified people who believe the moon landing was a hoax, that global warming is a hoax, and that intelligent design is a valid endeavor.

    Also, your ‘what’s the point?’ stance ignores the advice of the ‘Queen of Statistics’ Utts, which also happens to be the pillar she has staked her career around and the actual reason she is generally well regarded, namely that everyone should invest time to learn basic statistics and common errors. You haven’t done that, you’ve just invested time in finding authority figures, quotes, and confirming evidence for your preferred conclusions.

    You are the definition of an ideologue and your methodology matches that of die hard creationists and climate change denialists. And on that point, I’m not lumping all psi-advocates with creationists. I think psi-advocates are wrong, and many of them are ideologues, but there are also genuine people in that field who just have much lower standards of evidence and the wrong approach to analyses and experimentation. So it is YOU and your demonstrated methodology that I am directly comparing with creationists and other ideologues.

  509. Pete Aon 08 Sep 2017 at 1:14 am

    Enfant Terrible: “When even the skeptics admit the vality[1] of the claims, like Wiseman did, there is no doubt that the ‘pro-psi advocate’ is right.”

    Pete: “Unsurprisingly, the following article by Richard Wiseman contradicts your claim”

    Enfant Terrible: “No, it doesn’t. Wiseman says:

    In 1999, Milton and Wiseman published a meta-analysis of all ganzfeld studies that were begun after 1987 and published by the start of 1997, and they noted that the cumulative effect was both small and nonsignificant (Milton and Wiseman 1999)”

    [1] I assume you meant “validity”. Clearly, Wisman said the opposite: “nonsignificant”. You seem to be unaware that “nonsignificant” in this context means: not statistically significant; statistically insignificant; statistically invalid; the opposite of valid.

    As BillyJoe7 said to you: “You are incapable of distinguishing fact from fantasy and science from pseudoscience.”

  510. Enfant Terribleon 08 Sep 2017 at 9:36 am

    Pete A,

    “Clearly, Wisman said the opposite: “nonsignificant”. You seem to be unaware that “nonsignificant” in this context means: not statistically significant; statistically insignificant; statistically invalid; the opposite of valid.”

    I am perfect aware of this. Wiseman don’t tell his public that the his statistical analysis was later demonstrated to be wrong. But he admited this privately. And his statistical analysis was not his only mistake. Anyway, even skeptics criticize him for a meta-analysis so flawed. And he recognized this privately. You can ask Maaneli Derakhshani if you have any doubt about this.

  511. Pete Aon 08 Sep 2017 at 10:23 am

    LOL!

  512. Enfant Terribleon 08 Sep 2017 at 10:37 am

    CKava,

    “They can and do. As do other statisticians.”

    I am still waiting for one single example of you about this.

    “you just look for authority figures whose coat tails you can ride on.”

    Don’t forget that these authorities are in their expertise.

    “Again, you demonstrated in this thread you don’t know what an effect size is or how percentages differ from p-values, and yet you want us to believe that you are able to adjudicate the validity of competing meta-analyses and Bayesian priors?”

    Yes, exactly. There are many reasons for that:

    a) There are no competing meta-analysis (in a sense). All the meta-analysis gave the same results for ganzfeld: positive and significant (although the values between them can differ widely, from p = .04 to p = 2.26 x 10^-18).

    b) I don’t need to be a master in statistics to know how the meta-analysis were constructed, which studies were included and which were not included, and to know if the inclusion or exclusion criteria is valid or not. For example, Wiseman’s meta-analysis excluded Symmons and Morris’ ganzfeld study (highly significant, with 21 hits out of 51 trials) because they used drumming. On the same basis, the large study of Willin – which used music targets (a radical departure from standard ganzfeld, with negative results) – was included. This is certainly not fair. And this was not the only problem.

    c) Even skeptics agree with the problems in the M&W meta-analysis. Wiseman himself agrees too. Again, I don’t need to be a master in statistics if the authors admit their mistakes, or if the skeptics agree with the believers.

    “I’m not lumping all psi-advocates with creationists. I think psi-advocates are wrong, and many of them are ideologues, but there are also genuine people in that field who just have much lower standards of evidence and the wrong approach to analyses and experimentation. So it is YOU and your demonstrated methodology that I am directly comparing with creationists and other ideologues.”

    Which is a false comparasion too, since you wrote “That’s not doing critical research though, anymore than reading lots of material from creationists will help you get a grasp of the evidence for evolution.” and you know that I know the skeptic’s literature very well too.

  513. Enfant Terribleon 08 Sep 2017 at 11:13 am

    BillyJoe7,

    “I do not actually know enough about QFT to be sure if Sean Carroll is correct when he says that QFT has already excluded the possibility of PSI, and that the acceptance of PSI would require a refutation of QFT, the most successful theory in all of science, but neither ET nor his predecessors have put a single dent in that proposition whenever it has been put.”

    Do you remember when I told you that we don’t know all that can exist inside the brain? Read this:

    https://www.technologyreview.com/s/608797/are-there-optical-communication-channels-in-our-brains/

    Are There Optical Communication Channels in Our Brains?

    Neuroscientists have long observed biophotons produced in brain tissue. Nobody knows what these photons are for, but researchers are beginning to explore the possibilities.

    by Emerging Technology from the arXiv September 6, 2017

    Here’s an interesting question: are there optical communication channels in the brain? This may be a radical suggestion but one for which there is more than a little evidence to think it is worth pursuing.

    Many organisms produce light to communicate, to attract mates, and so on. Twenty years ago, biologists discovered that rat brains also produce photons in certain circumstances. The light is weak and hard to detect, but neuroscientists were surprised to find it at all.

    Since then, the evidence has grown. So-called biophotons seem to be produced naturally in the brain and elsewhere by the decay of certain electronically excited molecular species. Mammalian brains produce biophotons with wavelength of between 200 and 1,300 nanometers—in other words, from near infrared to ultraviolet.

    If cells in the brain naturally produce biophotons, it’s natural to ask whether nature may have taken advantage of this process to transmit information. For that to happen, the photons must be transmitted from one place to another, and that requires some kind of waveguide, like an optical fiber. So what biological structure could perform that function?

    Today we get an answer of sort thanks to the work of Parisa Zarkeshian at the University of Calgary in Canada and a few pals. They’ve studied the optical characteristics of axons, the long thread-like parts of nerve cells, and conclude that photon transmission over centimeter distances seems entirely feasible inside the brain.

    The work is a review of previous experiments and studies of axons. The team first reviewed a study that calculated the optical properties of myelinated axons by solving Maxwell’s famous electromagnetic equations in three-dimensions to determine the cell’s optical properties.

    This study suggests that an axon’s outer coating—its myelin sheath—can act as a waveguide to channel biophotons. But it also suggests that a wide range of factors can influence this phenomenon by scattering light or absorbing it.

    These factors include how light transmission is affected by bends in the axon, by changes in the radius of the sheath, by non-circular cross sections, and so on.

    Zarkeshian and co conclude that axons with lengths of around 2 millimeters—about the length of axons in the brain—could transmit between 46 percent and 96 percent of the biophotons that enter them. “It is worth noting that photons can propagate in either directions: from the axon terminal up to the axon hillock or in the opposite direction along the axon,” they say.

    The team goes on to calculate the data communication rates that this allows. Biologists have measured biophotons produced by rat brains at the rate of one photon per neuron per minute. Although that does not sound like many, there are 1011 neurons in a human brain, which suggests it could produce more than a billion photons per second.

    “This mechanism appears to be sufficient to facilitate transmission of a large number of bits of information, or even allow the creation of a large amount of quantum entanglement,” say Zarkeshian and co.

    Of course, there are numerous uncertainties in these calculations. Nobody knows the precise optical properties of myelin sheaths, for example, because they have never been measured.

    The best way to find out more is to test the optical transmission properties of brain tissue. Zarkeshian and co suggest a number of straightforward experiments that would move this field forward. “One way is to light up one end of a thin brain slice and look for the bright spots related to the open ends of the myelinated axons at the other end,” they say. There are various other approaches too. That’s something a neuroscientist with time on his or her hands could take on.

    All this points to a bigger conundrum. If our brains have optical communications channels, what are they for? This is a question that is ripe for blue skies speculation.

    One line of thought is based on the fact that photons are good carriers of quantum information. Many people have theorized that quantum processes may be behind some of the brain’s more mysterious processes, not least of which is consciousness itself. Zarkeshian and co are clearly enamored with this idea.

    But this is no more than wild speculation. Quantum communication requires significantly more than optical communication channels. There must also be mechanisms that can encode, receive, and process quantum information. It is possible that light-sensitive molecules exist in the brain but there is little evidence for this and still less that they serve as quantum processors.

    Still, this kind of thinking is exciting and worth pursuing at a basic level. If nature produces biophotons, evolution may well have found a way to exploit them. The question is how.

  514. hardnoseon 08 Sep 2017 at 12:43 pm

    “This mechanism appears to be sufficient to facilitate transmission of a large number of bits of information, or even allow the creation of a large amount of quantum entanglement,”

    That’s a very cool article, ET.

    And by the way, the myelin covering of neurons has always been considered important for the transmission of vital energy (by vitalists, that is).

    So it looks like it also may be involved in some crazy quantum consciousness weirdness.

    Good bye materialism, we won’t miss you.

  515. CKavaon 08 Sep 2017 at 1:56 pm

    I am still waiting for one single example of you about this.

    No you aren’t. There are numerous links to relevant critiques in journal articles throughout this thread it’s just that you don’t understand their relevance because you don’t know basic statistics.

    You could try for a start going with Cohen’s classic ‘The earth is round (p < .05)' but first you might be advised to learn what a p value actually is. If you want a paper specifically highlighting statistical disagreements with Utts by name, then try Wagenmakers et al. (2011), (http://web.stanford.edu/class/psych201s/psych201s/papers/ClarificationsForBemUttsJohnson.pdf). Once again I know you lack the ability to see how the issues are relevant to ganzfeld but trust me they are… just as they are relevant to ALL psi research.

    Don’t forget that these authorities are in their expertise.

    And in their non-parapsychology fields they represent a distinct minority position, just like the climate scientists who reject global warming or biologists who dismiss evolution.

    I don’t need to be a master in statistics to know how the meta-analysis were constructed…

    Understanding the differences between p-values, percentages, and effect sizes wouldn’t make someone a ‘master’ or ‘the queen’ of statistics. It would make them someone who has spent a few hours to gain even the barest minimum level of knowledge. And counter to what you claim, all of the above are core to being able to understand and assess the validity of meta-analyses. You are not just ‘not a master’ you are not even a beginner, indeed you appear to be wilfully ignorant. You have clearly spent many hours collecting quotes and papers, and yet have not invested even the bare minimum of effort necessary to be able to assess the content.

    …you know that I know the skeptic’s literature very well too.

    No you don’t. Being able to copy and paste links or parrot the biased arguments/summaries of psi-advocates doesn’t equate to knowing the literature. Your comments demonstrate the exact opposite, you don’t have any familiarity with the literature except through the psi-advocate distorted bubble and you have absolutely no grasp of the broader relevant literature of mainstream statistics, psychology and experimental methodology.

    It isn’t a false analogy to compare you to a creationist, they too can namecheck prominent biologists and evolutionary studies. They too have read skewed summaries and are ready at the drop of a hat to copy and paste large walls of text from their chosen champions that PROVE evolutionary theory is completely discredited. Your debating and research style are directly comparable.

  516. chikoppion 08 Sep 2017 at 2:00 pm

    [hardnose] Good bye materialism, we won’t miss you.

    How is it possible you still don’t understand what “materialism” refers to?

    http://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/tribal-epistemology/#comment-382113

    Please explain why it is you think “quantum effects” or “quantum entanglement” contradicts “materialism” in any sense.

  517. hardnoseon 08 Sep 2017 at 2:20 pm

    “Please explain why it is you think “quantum effects” or “quantum entanglement” contradicts “materialism” in any sense.”

    How is it possible you still don’t understand?

  518. chikoppion 08 Sep 2017 at 2:21 pm

    [hardnose] How is it possible you still don’t understand?

    Go on…explain it to me.

  519. chikoppion 08 Sep 2017 at 3:02 pm

    Regarding statistics…I think the conversation is focused on details rather beside the point.

    If you haven’t yet, please take a moment to read Massimo’s post that I linked to above.

    https://platofootnote.wordpress.com/2017/06/05/prove-it-the-burden-of-proof-in-science-vs-pseudoscience-disputes/

    There’s two different conversations stepping on one-another. Massimo refers to these as “prudence and evidence.” Utts refers to them as “Bayesian and frequentist.”

    Here’s Utts…

    Even the choice of what hypotheses to test, and whether to make them one-sided or two-sided is an illustration of using prior knowledge. Bayesian methods allow us to quantify that knowledge, and make it explicit. And if there are experts to consult, the situation is even better because we can incorporate their knowledge into our analysis. Their knowledge was probably obtained from some form of past data or theoretical understanding, so it is not generally as “subjective” as critics of Bayesian analysis might have us believe.

    I’ll repeat what I said earlier. Science is a process guided by the accumulation of evidence and expert consensus.

    Here are two nearly identical statements from Massimo and Utts…

    [Pigliucci] People cannot agree on how to fairly allocate BoP unless they find themselves at the least in the same ballpark when it comes to the type of background knowledge that constraints the priors pertinent to the dispute at hand. And that is precisely the most common obstacle in debates between skeptics and believers: the former too often simply reject out of hand even the possibility of an anomalous phenomenon turning out to be real, while the latter are equally quick to label the entire scientific enterprise as “too reductionist” or narrow minded to be able to come to terms with novel phenomena. This sort of impasse depends on a widespread lack of appreciation for the sort of epistemic issues Maarten and I have described in this paper, but it also boils down at least in part to individual psychological attitudes, whereof a philosopher is better served not to speak.

    [Utts] The parapsychology research community has developed a growing body of evidence that it might be possible to obtain information in ways that can’t be explained through our normal senses. But I have noticed that many people have a hard time being objective when examining the results of these studies. People with a prior belief that psychic abilities are real tend to overlook possible alternative explanations, while people with a prior belief that psychic abilities can’t possibly be real tend to propose and believe very unlikely alternative explanations for the data. Bayesian methods allow these prior beliefs to be quantified and combined with the data to make it more transparent that one’s assessment of the evidence is influenced by more than just a frequentist analysis of the data. Thus, these studies provide an excellent yet simple example of useful Bayesian analyses.

    The available evidence has not been sufficient to sway expert opinion. This isn’t due to a frequentist analysis of any particular line of research, but due to a Bayesian analysis by the expert community. The answer is not to argue about statistics, but rather to pursue ever more rigorous tests for evidence.

    This is the same process that all scientific fields are subjected to.

    If there’s a “there” there it will eventually out. If not, continued research may reveal some hidden effect or bias that no one expected. We won’t know (and don’t know) until we know.

  520. Pete Aon 08 Sep 2017 at 4:56 pm

    During the initial phase of my career, I was horrified to discover that the vast majority of experts in statistics don’t even know what the word “sample” actually means.

    In the field of statistics, you will discover the endlessly-repeated myth that “a sample” means “a sample of the population”. This is abjectly wrong, from first principles!

    You will also discover the endlessly-repeated myth that randomization obviates the need to apply anti-aliasing filters. This is abjectly wrong, from first principles!

    Statistical methods were intended to be based in the mathematical attempt to map from the continuous domain of the macroscopic world to the discretized sampled domain. These domains are NOT commutative; and their axes reside in fundamentally different, wholly incompatible, domains.

    The circa 7.5 billion population of people on Earth are a sample of the continuous domain. Therefore a statistical sample of this population is NOT a sample, it is a subsample of the continuous domain.

    The formal mathematics concerning subsamples of samples contains many addition caveats and mandatory processing steps in order for the end result to come anywhere to approximating the continuous domain of our macroscopic reality.

    I find it extremely sad that, over the decades, instead of this fundamental domain error (category error) being gradually corrected via the due process of science, this fundamental error has been increasingly exploited in a plethora of (but not all) endeavours.

    The Voyager mission is still working after spending 40 years travelling 17 billion kilometres through space; parapsychology research has produced nothing useful during it circa 150 year lifetime. Why? The former relies on well-established fundamental scientific and mathematical principles; the latter relies on bastardizations of those well-established principles.

  521. Enfant Terribleon 08 Sep 2017 at 5:04 pm

    CKava,

    “If you want a paper specifically highlighting statistical disagreements with Utts by name, then try Wagenmakers et al. (2011), (http://web.stanford.edu/class/psych201s/psych201s/papers/ClarificationsForBemUttsJohnson.pdf).

    Yes, yes, yes, I know… as I told you, I know the literature. The article above was NOT published in a scientific journal. It is a manuscript. There is no peer-review.

    Now, Wagenmakers is “fighting” against many statisticians, not only pro-psi advocates. Here is one recent example:

    First article: Witte, E. H., & Zenker, F. (2016b). Reconstructing recent work on macrosocial stress as a research program. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 38(6), 301–307. doi:10.1080/01973533.2016.1207077.

    Second article: Marsman, M., Ly, A., & Wagenmakers, E.-J. (2016). Four requirements for an acceptable research program. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 38(6), 308–312. doi:10.1080/01973533.2016.1221349

    Wagenmakers et al. did a serie of accusations in the article above.

    In a recent article for this journal, Witte and Zenker (in press) proposed a research strategy that rests on the sequential evaluation of a point-alternative hypothesis. At first a large study is used to determine a “specific theoretical effect size” and then, in a series of follow-up studies, this specific effect size is contrasted against an effect size of zero. The authors deem this strategy “free of various deficits that beset dominant strategies (e.g., meta-analysis, Bayes-factor analysis)” and argue that its broad adoption constitutes “one way in which the condence crisis may be overcome”. […] In this comment, however, we focus mainly on areas of disagreement, which center on what we believe to be mistakes and omissions. First we address the mistakes and discuss how, in our opinion, Witte and Zenker fell prey to two fallacies: the power fallacy and the fallacy of the transposed conditional. Even for experienced scholars, these fallacies may be dicult to recognize. Second, we address the omissions and discuss four requirements for an acceptable research program.[…]

    The Power Fallacy

    On repeated occasions, Witte and Zenker lament the lack of statistical power while at the same time boasting about the strength of statistical evidence. This confused interpretation of the data can be overcome by recognizing that power and evidence are inherently dierent concepts. Before we start, let’s take for granted that the desired test is between H0 : = 0 versus a point-alternative
    H1 : = 0:30.

    Now power is a pre-data concept, a metric constructed by averaging across all possible data sets that could be obtained in the envisioned experiment. A priori and on average – with respect to all possible data sets – experiments designed with low power are unlikely to yield a signicant outcome given that H1 is true. In contrast, evidence is a post-data concept. In this specic scenario the evidence is given by the likelihood ratio, that is, the relative probability of the observed data under the competing hypotheses. The likelihood ratio considers only the data that have in fact been obtained.

    As discussed elsewhere in detail, after the data have been observed, data that could have been observed but were not are evidentially irrelevant (e.g., Berger and Wolpert, 1988; Bayarri et al., 2016; Wagenmakers et al., 2015a, in press).

    Our pre-data state of knowledge has been altered by the observation of the data, and after the data have arrived our post-data state of knowledge is all that ought to matter. When the pre-data concept of power is erroneously used for post-data purposes – such as inference and the quantication of evidence -, this entails a deliberate loss of important information, namely the actual outcomes of the experiment.

    The Fallacy of the Transposed Conditional

    Witte and Zenker (in press) correctly point out that the Bayes factor is the probability of the data under H0 versus H1 (Wagenmakers, Morey and Lee, 2016). They also acknowledge that the Bayes factor and the likelihood ratio are “quantitatively” equivalent whenever the hypotheses are both simple (i.e., consisting of a single specied point value for eect size). However, Witte and Zenker argue that changing the nomenclature – from Bayes factors to likelihood ratios – allows one to interpret the likelihood ratio as the relative plausibility of the hypotheses. So even though what is calculated is the relative probability of the data given the hypotheses, the result is interpreted as the
    relative probability of the hypotheses given the data. By doing so Witte and Zenker commit the fallacy of the transposed conditional.

    Unfortunately, in statistical inference there is no such thing as a free lunch (Rouder et al., in press). Any time one wishes to assign probabilities to parameters or models, one is automatically committed to the Bayesian framework (Ly, Verhagen and Wagenmakers, 2016a,b). Specically, the only way to obtain a posterior probability is by using the data to update a prior probability. Bayes factors quantify the extent to which the data change the prior model odds to posterior model odds, and as such they can be considered the relative evidence that the data provide for the models under consideration. The Bayes factor is therefore only one ingredient for inference. The other ingredient is the prior model odds. One is licensed to interpreted Bayes factors (or likelihood ratios, for simple models) as posterior odds, but only when the prior odds equals 1, and not when the prior odds is ignored because it makes researchers uncomfortable, like a family member who has unexpectedly decided to vote for Donald Trump.

    To appreciate the importance of the prior odds, consider the competing models H1 : “people have extra-sensory perception (ESP)” versus H0 : “people do not have ESP”. Few researchers would seriously entertain equal prior odds in this case. Moreover, suppose the likelihood ratio for an ESP experiment yielded a factor of 30 in favor of ESP; do we conclude from this that the ESP hypothesis is 30 times more likely than the null hypothesis? Of course we do not, and if the authors’ methodology were to sanction this inference (which it does not), then this would be a compelling argument against their methodology instead of a compelling argument for ESP. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and in order to assess the posterior plausibility of ESP one needs to combine the evidence from the data (i.e., the Bayes factor) with the prior plausibility of the ESP phenomenon (Wagenmakers et al., 2015b).

    Seems strong, don’t you think? Now the authors’ reply:

    Third article: Erich H. Witte & Frank Zenker (2016) Beyond Schools: Reply to Marsman, Ly, and Wagenmakers, Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 38:6, 313-317, DOI: 10.1080/01973533.2016.1227710

    Fallacies?

    Regarding what Marsman et al. (2016) call the “power fallacy,” it is true that “power [i.e., 1 – b-error] and evidence are inherently different concepts” (p. 308), because “power is a predata concept” (Marsman et al., 2016) that can be assessed independently of obtaining data. But it is false that our approach solely uses “power [as] a quantification of evidence” (Marsman et al., 2016). Rather, we employ power in order to quantify the construct data quality. We submit that gauging the quality of one’s data is indispensable and that “data quality” is an appropriate interpretation of the magnitude
    1 – b-error.

    To see this, it may help to appreciate at face value one of Marsman et al.’s (2016) central claims; they maintain that the “postdata state of knowledge [which obtains once data are received] is all that ought to matter [for a hypothesis test]”. This claim entails the undesirable consequence that if extant data had been widely fluctuating in n replication attempts (which is typical for empirical research), then the ever next data sample, which is obtained in replication attempt n + 1, n + 2, and so on, expectably produces a significant change to the value of the likelihood ratio, Lϕ/Lw, of the focal hypotheses H1 and H0, that is, Ln(H1)/Ln(H0), that was obtained after n attempts. Therefore, the alleged virtue of “letting the data speak as they come in” entails that a stable hypothesis confirmation cannot be had for realistic n, as long as the b-error is not by default treated as seriously as the a-error—which requires setting b-error ¼ a-error. For the conventionally agreed-upon error-tolerance value of 0.05, this entails that data will be of sufficient quality only if power ≥0.95, as power ¼ 1 b-error. If power 0.05.

    We have discussed the aforementioned in Witte and Zenker (2016b) under the key terms “replicability” and “small power.” (Also see Patil, Peng, & Leek, 2016, and the improvement criteria originating with the task group of the German Society of Psychology; Ulrich et al., 2016.) On our approach, then, the Neyman–Pearson theory is a planning theory the employment of which does not presuppose having obtained data and that serves in constructing experimental setups; it is not a theory to corroborate hypotheses. (For details and examples, see Witte & Zenker, 2016a; Witte & Zenker, 2016c). So even with the power measure in hand, one fully retains the need to evaluate the quality of actually obtained data before one may reasonably speak of relative hypothesis confirmation.

    The second charge that Marsman et al. (2016) raise, “the fallacy of the transposed conditional” (p. 309), allegedly has us “get something from nothing.” But rather than gain substantial information by changing nomenclature—allegedly from “relative probability of the data given the hypothesis” (i.e., p(D,H)) to “relative probability of the hypothesis given the data” (i.e., L(H|D))—we merely make use of the well-known equation:

    [EQUATION]

    with H0 and H1 for null and alternative hypothesis, L for likelihood, p for probability, and D for data.

    Our basic assumption that p(H1) = p(H0) = 0.50, which expresses an uninformative prior probability, registers the absence of a preference regarding the two hypotheses before testing them. For a demonstration of how choosing different priors influences the corroboration of the so-called psi hypothesis, see the discussion between Bem, Utts, and Johnson (2011) and Wagenmakers, Wetzels, Borsboom, and van der Maas (2011). Because priors can be chosen ad lib and may, in the case of the psi-hypothesis, result in its corroboration or falsification, such choices constitute
    purely subjective elements that, on our view, should be eliminated when testing hypotheses
    (see Witte & Zenker, 2016c). For the special case of hypothesis testing where p(H1) = p(H0) = 0.50, of course, we agree with Marsman et al. (2016) that “after the data have arrived, our postdata state of knowledge is all that ought to matter” (p. 308). But we disagree that “extraordinary
    claims require extraordinary evidence, and in order to assess [for instance] the posterior plausibility of ESP [i.e., extra sensory perception] one needs to combine the evidence from the data (i.e., the Bayes factor) with the [allegedly low] prior plausibility of the ESP phenomenon” (p. 309).

    And there is one important thing to mention:

    We express our gratitude to the editor of Basic and Applied Social Psychology, David Trafimow, for having arranged a peer comment on Witte and Zenker (2016b) by proponents of the Bayesian school (Marsman et al., 2016). This arrangement is a reaction to our having raised a conflict-of-interest objection against Erik-Jan Wagenmakers, who had self-identified as a reviewer for the first version of Witte and Zenker (2016b)—and had recommended rejection. We are glad to have moved beyond an author–reviewer “discussion.”

    So, when Wagenmakers see rejection, others see acceptance.

    Now, what Erich H. Witte & Frank Zenker has to do with Parapsychology? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. They are not pro-psi advocates. And both clearly disagree with Wagenmakers.

    And in their non-parapsychology fields they represent a distinct minority position, just like the climate scientists who reject global warming or biologists who dismiss evolution.

    If that was the case, Erich H. Witte & Frank Zenker article should have been rejected. But that was not the case.

    “Understanding the differences between p-values, percentages, and effect sizes wouldn’t make someone a ‘master’ or ‘the queen’ of statistics. It would make them someone who has spent a few hours to gain even the barest minimum level of knowledge. ”

    The barest minimum level of knowledge is NOT enough, as you can see for the discussion with Erich H. Witte & Frank Zenker. I am sorry, but I will not pass decades of my life to learn something that cause so much discussion even with people that are not “pro-psi advocates”.

    “And counter to what you claim, all of the above are core to being able to understand and assess the validity of meta-analyses.”

    We can see the validity or not of a meta-analysis not only by statistics, but seeing too how it was constructed. Wiseman failed in both aspects. The statistical aspect Utts and skeptics noted. I certainly would not have seen this only by myself. But his problematic construction of the meta-analysis I could see (and skeptics too).

    “you don’t have any familiarity with the literature except through the psi-advocate distorted bubble and you have absolutely no grasp of the broader relevant literature of mainstream statistics, psychology and experimental methodology.”

    I hope now you have changed your mind… 🙂

  522. bachfiendon 08 Sep 2017 at 5:06 pm

    ‘Zharkeshian and co conclude that axons with lengths of around 2 millimeters – about the length of axons in the brain – transmit between 46 percent and 96 percent of the biophotons that enter them’.

    2 millimetres is actually a very short distance. It wouldn’t allow a signal to pass from one neuron in a nucleus of the brain to a neuron in another nucleus, let alone on the other side of the brain. It would, at most, allow very short range communication if at all.

    The brain obviously produces photons all the time. Metabolism involves moving, accelerating, electrons in magnetic fields, which produces electromagnetic waves, photons.

    Whether ‘biophotons’ having a useful function could be an interesting question, but I suspect they’ll just go the way of N-rays.

  523. hardnoseon 08 Sep 2017 at 6:22 pm

    bachfiend understands all this better than the scientists who did the research.

  524. CKavaon 08 Sep 2017 at 6:36 pm

    Enfant Terrible,

    Yes, yes, yes, I know… as I told you, I know the literature. The article above was NOT published in a scientific journal. It is a manuscript. There is no peer-review.

    And as I told you, you do not actually know the literature, you just know your skewed pro-psi version. If you knew the literature as well as you claimed you might recognise that the above is an early freely accessible version of an article published in the Journal of Personality and Social Pyschology:

    Wagenmakers, E.–J., Wetzels, R., Borsboom, D., & van der Maas, H. L. J. (2011). Why psychologists must change the way they analyze their data: The case of psi: Comment on Bem (2011). Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 100(3), 426-432.

    I guess your extensive research didn’t extend to doing a basic search on google scholar, or wait were you terribly confused because the pre-print was titled ‘Yes, Psychologists Must Change the Way They Analyze Their Data’ and the final publication ‘Why psychologists must change the way they analyze their data’. Yes, it would clearly take a master researcher to realise the connection…

    Inadvertently then this does serve as a nice illustration of your level of knowledge about the research literature but not in the manner you intended. Moreover, even if you were right, and this was not a peer reviewed journal article, it would not invalidate the critiques presented. Getting through peer review is no guarantee of the validity of findings, as every researcher knows.

    And no frankly citing walls of text from saved up sources you’ve collected doesn’t convince me of anything except your lack of ability to construct decent arguments. That there are those who disagree with Wagenmaker et al’s views is not news, the simple existence of a critique doesn’t make it valid. You lack the ability to understand statistical discussions and have demonstrated a similar lack of knowledge about experimental design and data analyses so you can’t adjudicate between views with anything other than your personal preferences and ideological beliefs.

  525. bachfiendon 08 Sep 2017 at 7:15 pm

    Hardnose,

    ‘ bachfiend understands all this better than the scientists who did the research’.

    The ‘research’ is largely just speculation. As I noted, ‘biophotons’ could have a useful function, but I doubt it. It’s an extraordinary claim, and not particularly plausible. 2 millimetres is actually a very short distance.

    Biophoton communication and quantum entanglement don’t allow you to turn around and insist that they support your versions of ‘woo’.

  526. Pete Aon 08 Sep 2017 at 7:26 pm

    “[hardnose] bachfiend understands all this better than the scientists who did the research.”

    Dr. Hardnose, D (PhD minus the Ph),

    You have tiresomely demonstrated throughout this thread that you do not know the difference between: your arse and your elbow; a gravity wave and a gravitational wave; a cause and a correlation; a frequency and a coherence; a particle and its eigenvector in Hilbert space; etc, etc.

    Thank you for confirming this by so clearly demonstrating that you don’t even know what a photon is, let alone begin to understand the difference between: individual photon probability; aggregated photon statistics; and modulated photons versus entangled photons.

    Photons that have a wavelength in the ultraviolet region of 400 nm are carcinogenic. Biophotons having a wavelength of 200 nm are not just carcinogenic, they have an energy level of 6.2 eV, which is very close to the classification of ionising radiation, which starts at 10 eV.

    I think you will find — if you actually bothered to learn well-established science — that it is impossible to entangle a bunch of photons which span the biophoton wavelength range from 200 to 1,300 nm.

    You really are a muppet.

  527. Enfant Terribleon 08 Sep 2017 at 7:28 pm

    CKava,

    “If you knew the literature as well as you claimed you might recognise that the above is an early freely accessible version of an article published in the Journal of Personality and Social Pyschology:”

    No, no, and… NO! This “early freely accessible version” is in fact an article AFTER Utts and Bem’s rebuttal.

    “I guess your extensive research didn’t extend to doing a basic search on google scholar, or wait were you terribly confused because the pre-print was titled ‘Yes, Psychologists Must Change the Way They Analyze Their Data’ and the final publication ‘Why psychologists must change the way they analyze their data’. Yes, it would clearly take a master researcher to realise the connection…”

    OMG… the first publication is ‘Why psychologists must change the way they analyze their data’ and the third is ‘Yes, Psychologists Must Change the Way They Analyze Their Data’. Now, anyone can see this. I will show you. There are 3 articles, only two published in a scientific journal:

    a) Wagenmakers, E. J., Wetzels, R., Borsboom, D., & van der Maas, H. (2011). Why psychologists must change the way they analyze their data: The case of psi: Comment on Bem (2011). Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 100, 426 – 432. doi:10.1037/a0022790

    http://web.stanford.edu/class/psych201s/psych201s/papers/Wagenmakers-etal-2011-bemComment.pdf

    Note that this article comes first (Vol. 100, pages 426-432)

    b) Bem, D. J., Utts, J., & Johnson, W. O. (2011). Must psychologists change the way they analyze their data? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 101(4), 716-719. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0024777

    http://deanradin.com/evidence/Bem2011.pdf

    Note that this article comes in second place (Vol. 101, pages 716-719.) It is a rebuttal of the first article.

    Wagenmakers, Wetzels, Borsboom, and van der Maas (2011) argued that psychologists should replace the familiar “frequentist” statistical analyses of their data with Bayesian analyses. To illustrate their argument, they reanalyzed a set of psi experiments published recently in this journal by Bem (2011), maintaining that, contrary to his conclusion, his data do not yield evidence in favor of the psi hypothesis. We argue that they have incorrectly selected an unrealistic prior distribution for their analysis and that a Bayesian analysis using a more reasonable distribution yields strong evidence in favor of the psi hypothesis. More generally, we argue that there are advantages to Bayesian analyses that merit their increased use in the future. However, as Wagenmakers et al.’s analysis inadvertently revealed, they contain hidden traps that must be better understood before being more widely substituted for the familiar frequentist analyses currently employed by most research psychologists.

    In the end of this article, we find:

    Medieval maps used to mark unknown or unexplored territories with the warning “Here Be Dragons.

    Now let’s see the third article.

    c) http://web.stanford.edu/class/psych201s/psych201s/papers/ClarificationsForBemUttsJohnson.pdf

    This is the third article, and NOT an early freely accessible version of an article published in the Journal of Personality and Social Pyschology. This article ends like this:

    At the end of their rebuttal, Bem et al. (2011) mention dragons, referring to the dangers of using Bayesian analyses without the proper background knowledge

    Now, WHO do not actually know the literature?!

    “Getting through peer review is no guarantee of the validity of findings, as every researcher knows.”

    Sure. But you saw what happened when another reviewer reviewed Witte and Zenker article. He (or she?) didn’t agree with Wagenmakers for rejection. And Witte and Zenker clearly don’t agreed with Wagenmakers too.

  528. Enfant Terribleon 08 Sep 2017 at 7:33 pm

    CKava,

    My comment is waiting moderation. I will remove one link.

    “If you knew the literature as well as you claimed you might recognise that the above is an early freely accessible version of an article published in the Journal of Personality and Social Pyschology:”

    No, no, and… NO! This “early freely accessible version” is in fact an article AFTER Utts and Bem’s rebuttal.

    “I guess your extensive research didn’t extend to doing a basic search on google scholar, or wait were you terribly confused because the pre-print was titled ‘Yes, Psychologists Must Change the Way They Analyze Their Data’ and the final publication ‘Why psychologists must change the way they analyze their data’. Yes, it would clearly take a master researcher to realise the connection…”

    OMG… the first publication is ‘Why psychologists must change the way they analyze their data’ and the third is ‘Yes, Psychologists Must Change the Way They Analyze Their Data’. Now, anyone can see this. I will show you. There are 3 articles, only two published in a scientific journal:

    a) Wagenmakers, E. J., Wetzels, R., Borsboom, D., & van der Maas, H. (2011). Why psychologists must change the way they analyze their data: The case of psi: Comment on Bem (2011). Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 100, 426 – 432.

    http://web.stanford.edu/class/psych201s/psych201s/papers/Wagenmakers-etal-2011-bemComment.pdf

    Note that this article comes first (Vol. 100, pages 426-432)

    b) Bem, D. J., Utts, J., & Johnson, W. O. (2011). Must psychologists change the way they analyze their data? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 101(4), 716-719.

    http://deanradin.com/evidence/Bem2011.pdf

    Note that this article comes in second place (Vol. 101, pages 716-719.) It is a rebuttal of the first article.

    Wagenmakers, Wetzels, Borsboom, and van der Maas (2011) argued that psychologists should replace the familiar “frequentist” statistical analyses of their data with Bayesian analyses. To illustrate their argument, they reanalyzed a set of psi experiments published recently in this journal by Bem (2011), maintaining that, contrary to his conclusion, his data do not yield evidence in favor of the psi hypothesis. We argue that they have incorrectly selected an unrealistic prior distribution for their analysis and that a Bayesian analysis using a more reasonable distribution yields strong evidence in favor of the psi hypothesis. More generally, we argue that there are advantages to Bayesian analyses that merit their increased use in the future. However, as Wagenmakers et al.’s analysis inadvertently revealed, they contain hidden traps that must be better understood before being more widely substituted for the familiar frequentist analyses currently employed by most research psychologists.

    In the end of this article, we find:

    Medieval maps used to mark unknown or unexplored territories with the warning “Here Be Dragons.

    Now let’s see the third article.

    c) http://web.stanford.edu/class/psych201s/psych201s/papers/ClarificationsForBemUttsJohnson.pdf

    This is the third article, and NOT an early freely accessible version of an article published in the Journal of Personality and Social Pyschology. This article ends like this:

    At the end of their rebuttal, Bem et al. (2011) mention dragons, referring to the dangers of using Bayesian analyses without the proper background knowledge

    Now, WHO do not actually know the literature?!

    “Getting through peer review is no guarantee of the validity of findings, as every researcher knows.”

    Sure. But you saw what happened when another reviewer reviewed Witte and Zenker article. He (or she?) didn’t agree with Wagenmakers for rejection. And Witte and Zenker clearly didn’t agree with Wagenmakers too.

  529. Pete Aon 08 Sep 2017 at 8:24 pm

    Enfant Terrible,

    And you have seen, many times in this comment thread, that other reviewers clearly disagree with you.

    Dr. Novella replied to you, many days ago:

    The Ganzfeld experiments were a failure. They suffered from fatal methodological problems and only ESP true-believers were able to squeeze a barely significant effect out of their p-hacking crap.

    “For example, Julie Milton and Richard Wiseman published their own meta-analysis of ganzfeld studies and concluded that “the ganzfeld technique does not at present offer a replicable method for producing ESP in the laboratory” (1999).”

    And Susan Blackmore, at the time a believer, investigated the labs directly because she could not replicate the effect and found:
    “These experiments, which looked so beautifully designed in print, were in fact open to fraud or error in several ways, and indeed I detected several errors and failures to follow the protocol while I was there.”

    Hardly compelling evidence needing a rewrite of the physics textbooks.

    and

    ET – You are just demonstrating your biased cherry picking. You missed the real story of the new data they presented in 2016. I cover it here: http://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/follow-up-on-bems-psi-research/

    Here are the highlights:

    “They presented their results last summer, at the most recent annual meeting of the Parapsychological Association. According to their pre-registered analysis, there was no evidence at all for ESP, nor was there any correlation between the attitudes of the experimenters—whether they were believers or skeptics when it came to psi—and the outcomes of the study. In summary, their large-scale, multisite, pre-registered replication ended in a failure.”

    but – “In their conference abstract, though, Bem and his co-authors found a way to wring some droplets of confirmation from the data. After adding in a set of new statistical tests, ex post facto, they concluded that the evidence for ESP was indeed “highly significant.””

    Bem is a p-hacker. He admits it (although not by that term). His results are all suspect. This just proves it directly – preregistered protocol (i.e. no p-hacking) = dead negative results. When he reworks the data (i.e. now with extra p-hacking) he finds highly significant results.

    and

    ET and Hardnose – Science is hard. Most published studies are flawed, with a significant bias in the positive direction. P-hacking, mostly innocent, is rampant. 30% of researchers admit to behaviors which amount to p-hacking when surveyed.

    We don’t know if a new phenomenon is real or not until we do definitive rigorous trials where p-hacking is ruled out. That study was done on Bem’s paradigm, and it was dead negative. That is the only result that matters.

    Bem later p-hacked the same data and dredged up a positive result. That result is worthless scientifically. But it seems it had the intended effect – to serve as support for true believers who want something to cherry pick to defend their predetermined conclusion.

    Everything else you are saying is essentially irrelevant. I don’t care if skeptics occasionally get positive results. I don’t care what a reanalysis showed. I don’t care if Bem, who has zero credibility, doesn’t think p-hacking affected the results. These don’t matter.

    When a careful, rigorous, preregistered consensus study was done that everyone agreed should show whether or not the effect was real was done – the results were negative. Period.

    Dr. Novella and some of the commentators have expertise in the relevant areas of science, statistics, mathematics, and logic, which are orders of magnitude beyond your deplorable level of ineptitude.

  530. CKavaon 08 Sep 2017 at 10:41 pm

    Enfant Terrible,

    First, a mea culpa, you are correct and I was mistaken. I mistook the article hosted on Stanford as an earlier preprint of the JSPS article after I did a sloppy skim and comparison of the content and structure and because it appeared to refer to Ben’s study as (in print) and indicated that it was a copy of a submitted manuscript. I actually noticed the author discrepancy when posting, which seemed odd but yet failed to follow up properly and confirm before sharing . So hands up I was wrong, you are right.

    However, my error and your awareness of the papers actually reinforcescore point I was making I.e there are Various criticisms of Utts position, including in peer reviewed journals. That you would prefer the rebuttals that support Utts is without question but as I stated before the mere existence of a papers or opinions doesn’t make them valid. How might one discern the validity? Perhaps by having a grounding in the relevant statistical analyses, broader literature, and experimental methodologies. To bring up those pesky creationists/global warming denialists again you will find ‘rebuttals’ by them for almost every new article, but that doesn’t make the arguments they present anymore valid.

  531. BillyJoe7on 09 Sep 2017 at 6:51 pm

    Chikoppi: “Please explain why it is you think “quantum effects” or “quantum entanglement” contradicts “materialism” in any sense.”
    Hardnose “How is it possible you still don’t understand?”
    Chikoppi: “Go on explain it to me”

    You are not going to get a sensible answer.
    Your are asking hardnose to do something he’s been unable to do for ten years now.

    He thinks materialism is a game of billiards.
    If you look inside the atom and don’t find billiard balls, then materialism is dead.
    If you look inside those billiard balls and don’t find more billiard balls, then materialism is dead. Ludicrous.

    For him, the very existence of the nuclear forces, electromagnetism, and gravity disproves materialism.

    Apart from which, he is ignorant of quantum mechanics (not a personal attack, just a statement of fact). He just likes the buzz words. QM is weird. His views are crazy. He connects crazy with weird and concludes that weird QM supports his crazy ideas.

  532. BillyJoe7on 09 Sep 2017 at 8:21 pm

    CKava regarding ET:

    “citing walls of text from saved up sources you’ve collected doesn’t convince me of anything except your lack of ability to construct decent arguments”

    That about sums it up.

    I am convinced ET has a cache of quotes that he digs into as the occasion arises (or, as noted previously, even when the occasion does not arise), but he doesn’t seem to be able to construct decent arguments or to engage meaningfully with the arguments of others.

    Maybe it’s the lack of background knowledge.
    As Pigliucci says, it is essential to have an extremely broad and detailed background knowledge of your subject in order to properly assess plausibility. The best source (the only source) of this is the consensus of experts. This is why hardnose always bags “the authorities” and “consensus science” – because they destroy his priors.

    I suspect that most supporters of PSI don’t study the scientific consensus before delving into the biased accounts of believers in PSI and fringe science. As a result they don’t understand why they are the numerous accounts they read regarding PSI are wrong.They end up as bagmen for implausible and fanciful notions such a “retroactive causation”.

    I mean, you have to be doing something wrong to end up defending this crazy position.

  533. BillyJoe7on 09 Sep 2017 at 9:29 pm

    ET,

    “Do you remember when I told you that we don’t know all that can exist inside the brain?”

    Do you remember when I told you that the brain consists of the same elementary particles subject to the same forces under the same rules as anything else in nature, and that these particles and forces do not act differently just because they are in a brain.

    “https://www.technologyreview.com/s/608797/are-there-optical-communication-channels-in-our-brains/”

    The rest of your long post is just a copy and paste of the entire contents of this link.
    It is highly speculative and implausible.
    It is also irrelevant to the question addressed to you.
    My conclusion is that you do not have an answer so you google search for something, anything, to make it look like you’ve responded.

    I know you were mesmerised by the mention of the phrase “quantum entanglement” in that link so perhaps you missed this:

    They call it a “radical suggestion” with “numerous uncertainties”, that this observation is “ripe for blue skies speculation and “no more than wild speculation” and that “there is little evidence for this and still less that they serve as quantum processors”

    So this refutes QFT exactly how?

  534. Pete Aon 10 Sep 2017 at 4:34 am

    BillyJoe,

    I had to laugh at the biophotons and quantum entanglement. Ultraviolet photons at 400 nm cause genetic mutation and they are carcinogenic, hence the need for sunscreen; at 200 nm they have double the energy, 6.2 eV, which is close to the classification of ionising radiation starting at circa 10 eV. The article and the paper fail to mention that biophotons could be responsible for brain cancer and/or dementia.

    Furthermore, they failed to mention the circa 4.7E+19 infrared photons per second per watt of thermal radiation in the brain and body.

  535. Pete Aon 10 Sep 2017 at 12:04 pm

    Occasionally, I remind the readers that I was indoctrinated with many things during my childhood — including: PSI/ESP, psychokinesis, telekinesis, psychometry, and dowsing; various religions; and alternatives-to-medicine (sCAM) — and that my current stance towards these things is, I think, best described by the term “agnostic atheist”.

    For me, the plethora of PSI experiments are fascinating — especially in terms of their methodologies and the results produced by the methodology chosen for each set of experiments. I have carefully analysed the freely-available data from some of the ganzfield experiments and I think it prudent to keep my findings to myself.

    I shall, instead, focus on the results of random number generator experiments as documented in the Psi Encyclopedia created by the Society for Psychical Research (established 1882)
    [https://psi-encyclopedia.spr.ac.uk/articles/experimental-parapsychology-uk]

    Random Number Generators (RNG)

    Random number generators have been used principally to investigate psychokinesis (PK), the purported ability to affect matter through the action of mind, and precognition, the ability to predict outcomes. PK was first tested with RNGs in the early 1970’s by Helmut Schmidt, a German-born physicist and parapsychologist who reported highly significant effects. Researchers have continued to use these electronic ‘coin-flippers’ in PK experiments ever since, and the accumulated effect size from over 500 experiments, although small in magnitude, is significant to the level of 16.1 sigma.[4] [Pete’s emphasis] Both quality and selective reporting cannot explain these effects. Moreover, the results are not due to a few successful experimenters but are broadly distributed.[5] A recent, determinedly conservative meta-analysis found a highly significant effect size (0.500035) across 380 studies, one of the strongest results to date.[6] [Pete’s emphasis]

    Besides demonstrating the existence of psi, parapsychologists are also concerned with the processes involved, and this is a strong focus of activity at CSAPP. Since 2009, Chris Roe and colleagues have been trying to unravel the conditions most suitable to eliciting precognition. They use a method in which the task is implicit: subjects are not told they are being tested for precognition, and instead are asked to indicate a preference for a particular picture in a set of four, of which one is the precognitive ‘target’. This approach has been found to yield a greater effect size (0.03)[7] than studies in the earlier precognition meta-analysis, in which subjects understood the true nature of the task (0.01). In some of these studies, personality variables such as openness to experience were found to correlate with precognition performance.

    Obviously, the claim “[the PK effect size] is significant to the level of 16.1 sigma” is simply the wilful abuse of terminology for the purpose of misdirection. 5 sigma is 1 chance in circa 3.5 million; 6 sigma is 1 chance in circa 1 billion; 7 sigma is 1 chance in circa 780 billion of the result being caused by a random fluctuation. There’s many orders of magnitude far too few humans on Earth to collect sufficient data to confirm that an effect size is significant to a level of 16.1 sigma, FFS! But, this idiotic misdirection is actually irrelevant to discovering the truth of the claimed PK effects…

    Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) is the primary global reference standard for the calibration of clocks and the microfine timestamps provided by properly sychronized clocks. Yes, UTC differs from precisely-measured astronomical time, but the reasons are well understood and thoroughly documented, hence the occasional requirement for a leap-second adjustment being applied to UTC.

    UTC is the consensus of dozens of extremely accurate ‘atomic clocks’ [I’ve used their well-known colloquial name enclosed within single quote marks]. Those amongst the reference ‘atomic clocks’ which are orbiting Earth in GPS satellites are compensated for relativity: indeed, these orbiting ‘atomic clocks’ are so extraordinarily accurate that they have served to more than adequately confirm a core aspect of Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity!

    I invite the readers to ponder, at the very least, the following:
    1. Why is it that PSI experiments always manage to show statistically significant ‘PK influence’ of electronic number generators other than the precision number generators that are being continuously and precisely monitored for the smallest of deviations? It would be very easy, and not too expensive to hire the equipment, required to conduct PK experiments using an independently-monitored ‘atomic clock’.

    2. The various random number generating algorithms made available to the users of modern computer-based devices are, by definition, based on algorithms which use one or more variables to produce their output numbers. It is now, in the year 2017, extraordinarily easy to check whether PK managed to influence their output, or the experimenter(s) made a ‘mistake’ and retrospectively took advantage of that ‘mistake’ in their post hoc analysis of their collected ‘data’.

    3. Each and every piece of equipment used in state-of-the-art communications systems includes both self- performance monitoring and reporting, and error monitoring and reporting of both externally-caused and internally-caused transmission errors. These communications system components are regularly subjected to traceable and independently-audited tests using calibrated hardware test and measurement equipment. It would be unreasonable, I think, to expect PSI researchers to purchase such precision apparatus and to pay for the independent auditing of the results obtained from it. But, the manufacturers of this apparatus, and the providers of the services which rely it — most especially GPS for aeronautical and sea navigation — need to protect their users from PK and other forms of influence. A PK-induced GPS error could easily result in multiple deaths.

    4. Computer-generated, adequately-salted, cryptographic checksums serve the purposes of authentication and verification. Algorithms such as SHA-256 are currently regarded as being “robust” to tampering. Therefore, a reasonable test of the PK ability to influence computing devices, which operate at the quantum level, would be to clearly demonstrate that those who have PK abilities can cause a mismatch between the generated and the received SHA-256 checksums of an electronic message. Modern operating systems include such checksum algorithms, so the research expense involved is zero.

    Why have none of these robust methods been used in PSI/ESP etc. research? Because they produce negative results. The only method which manages to tease out a tiny effect size from the circa 150 years of ‘research’ is the wilfully-obfuscated bastardization of science and mathematics.

    I repeat the bleeding obvious:

    If you are in possession of this revolutionary secret of science, why not prove it properly and be hailed as the new Newton?

    Of course, we know the answer. You can’t do it. You are a fake.
    —Richard Dawkins

    and

    If your experiment needs statistics, you ought to have done a better experiment.
    — Ernest Rutherford, British physicist.

  536. BillyJoe7on 10 Sep 2017 at 5:36 pm

    Here is Steven Jones commenting on A. N. Wilson’s new book: “Charles Darwin: Victorian Mythmaker”

    “In the classic mould of the contrarian, he despises anything said by mainstream biology in favour of marginal and sometimes preposterous theories”

    Remind you of anyone here?

  537. hardnoseon 10 Sep 2017 at 6:54 pm

    “QM is weird. His views are crazy. He connects crazy with weird and concludes that weird QM supports his crazy ideas.”

    They aren’t MY crazy ideas. Outside your little pseudo-skeptical materialist echo chamber, the ideas I express here are very common.

  538. bachfiendon 10 Sep 2017 at 9:15 pm

    hardnose,

    ‘They aren’t MY crazy ideas. Outside your little pseudo-skeptical materialist echo chamber, the ideas I express here are very common’… in your little gullible dualist echo chamber.

    I agree that you aren’t bright enough to develop the crazy ideas you express here.

  539. CKavaon 11 Sep 2017 at 12:55 am

    They aren’t MY crazy ideas. Outside your little pseudo-skeptical materialist echo chamber, the ideas I express here are very common.

    Which is definitely an indication that they are valid. After all people generally have a very solid intuitive grasp of things like quantum physics and cognitive processes.

  540. bachfiendon 11 Sep 2017 at 6:51 am

    CKava,

    We definitely need some ‘tongue in cheek’ punctuation. Perhaps ‘ >} ‘ if no one’s already suggested it.

  541. Pete Aon 11 Sep 2017 at 7:50 am

    Tongue in Cheek emoticons:
    :-J

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_emoticons

  542. Pete Aon 11 Sep 2017 at 8:22 am

    Hmm, the two Emoji symbols in my comment did not display:
    Unicode U+1F60F; UTF-8 F0 9F 98 8F; smirking face
    followed by
    Unicode U+1F612; UTF-8 F0 9F 98 92; unamused face

  543. Enfant Terribleon 11 Sep 2017 at 10:32 am

    CKava,

    “there are various criticisms of Utts position, including in peer reviewed journals.”

    This is not the case of Wagenmakers. The first article by Wagenmakers was not addressed to Utts, only to Bem. Then Bem and Utts replied do Wagenmakers. Rouders too. After that, Wagenmakers wrote his manuscript addressed to Bem, Utts, and Rouders, but this manuscript was not published in any scientific journal. I wonder why…

    Then in 2016 Wagenmakers wrote a reply to Witte and Zenker, mentioning the case for ESP. Witte and Zenker wrote a rebuttal in which both disagree Wagenmakers’s position.

    Hyman wrote in 1991 criticisms of Utts position, but Utts replied in the same issue showing that Hyman was wrong.

    So, the criticisms we have concerning Utts or were not published, or, if published, were not valid or were rejected by people who were not pro-psi advocates.

  544. Enfant Terribleon 11 Sep 2017 at 11:02 am

    BillyJoe7,

    the new article that I posted clearly shows that Carroll’s phrase “there can’t be a new collection of “spirit particles” and “spirit forces” that interact with our regular atoms, because we would have detected them in existing experiments” is false: “It is possible that light-sensitive molecules exist in the brain but there is little evidence for this and still less that they serve as quantum processors.”

    And if you look the original article, you will find:

    “if optical communication involving axons is harnessed by the brain, this would reveal a remarkable, hitherto unknown new aspect of the brains functioning, with potential impacts on unraveling fundamental issues of neuroscience.”

    “So this refutes QFT exactly how?”

    I don’t know if refutes. There are claims that some as yet undiscovered scientific process, such as quantum entanglement at a macroscopic level, is needed to explain consciousness. Anyway, some physicists think that there are violations, others don’t.

    Many writers (e.g., Beck, 1994; Bohr, 1958; Eddington, 1935; Hameroff, 1994; Hodgson, 1991, 2005a; Leggett, 1987a, 1987b; Margenau, 1984; Penrose, 1994; Squires, 1990; Stapp, 1992, 1996; Walker, 2000) have noted that the classical deterministic theory of Newtonian physics has been replaced with the indeterminism of quantum mechanics, in which many possible futures may arise from a given present state of the universe, and have suggested that the conscious mind or “free will” may act on the brain by selecting a particular quantum state (i.e. forcing the quantum mechanical state vector to “collapse” to a desired outcome). In fact, Eccles (1953, p. 285) noted that the brain is just “the sort of machine a ‘ghost’ could operate,” as its functioning is dependent on minute electrical
    potentials and the motions of neurotransmitters and calcium ions. Thus, in Eccles’ view, at least as expressed in his later writings (e.g., Eccles, 1989), changes in macroscopic brain activity may be brought about without violating the limits of indeterminacy allowed under the theory of quantum mechanics.

    A similar view has been expressed more recently by physicist Henry Stapp (2005b), who asserts that quantum mechanical laws must be used to describe the process of exocytosis (the emission of neurotransmitters into the synaptic cleft), citing empirical research in support of this assertion (Schwartz, Stapp & Beauregard, 2005). In particular, Stapp notes that the “quantum Zeno effect” (maintaining a quantum state through repeated observation) provides a means whereby conscious minds could act on the physical brain, namely by holding the brain in a particular state. He cites William James’ observation that the role of conscious attention is to preserve brain states in support of this view. He also notes that Pashler (1998) has observed that consciousness may act as
    an information-processing bottleneck in this regard.

    Contrary views have been expressed by Jaswal (2005) and Clark (2005a), among others, who argue that any such influence on quantum mechanical processes would lead to a violation of the statistical predictions of quantum mechanics and the principle that the outcome of quantum mechanical processes are randomly determined. Such influence would therefore constitute a violation of the laws of physics.

    First of all, it should be noted, as many observers have argued, that description of the universe afforded by the laws of quantum mechanics is incomplete. Also, no one has provided, or likely ever will provide, a complete description of the quantum state of any brain at any time. We may discover new entities or processes that may be identified with the so-called “hidden variables” that determine the outcomes of quantum processes. Also, quantum mechanical outcomes may indeed be random in simple physical systems, but may be less random in certain complex systems, such as human brains, in which the observing consciousnesses may have a more vested interest. It may also be that such consciousnesses enjoy a closer physical proximity to physical brains, on the view that quasi-physical spheres of consciousness may be, at least, temporarily, somehow “stuck” in physical brains.

    Thus, it might turn out that the outcomes of quantum processes inside complex systems such as brains are not randomly determined but are governed by fields of consciousness, whereas those in simpler systems are not so governed. Also, many parapsychological researchers, going back to Schmidt (1969, 1970), have produced evidence that conscious minds may be capable of determining, or at least biasing, the outcomes of quantum processes, as will be discussed in more detail in subsequent chapters.

  545. Pete Aon 11 Sep 2017 at 11:33 am

    Enfant Terrible,

    You are hopelessly stuck scratching around in what is mathematically termed “a local minima” of the overall polynomial function.

    If you had the competence to properly assess the methodology used in PSI ‘research’ then you would be fully aware that the ‘research’ is on a par with that which is expected from primary school pupils. The freely-available data from the ganzfeld experiments will confirm that the methodology used is the very antithesis of internationally-agreed standards for research and quality assurance.

    If you had competence in statistical analysis then you would be fully aware that PSI ‘research’ relies heavily on the fallacy of the excluded middle, aka: false dichotomy. Dividing a continuous-domain normal distribution [Gaussian distribution] into an even number of sections centred on its mean value is, by definition, committing the fallacy of the excluded middle. It is an utter bastardization of science and mathematics. It is a well-known con trick that manages to fool most of the people, most of the time.

  546. Steve Crosson 11 Sep 2017 at 12:06 pm

    Shorter Enfant Terrible, as well as All of your provided “evidence” :

    We don’t know everything, therefore I might be right.

    Come back when you or your other ‘true believers’ can do something … anything at all, the least bit constructive and at least somewhat reliably. No one has ever managed to accomplish that with ANY supposed ‘psi power’ of any kind.

    You know less than nothing about quantum mechanics because pretty much everything you say is wrong. While it is certainly true that real scientists don’t know everything about QM, they do know quite a lot. Most importantly, they understand it well enough to make testable, reliable predictions — which have been repeatedly verified in the real world. Indeed, much of the technology we take for granted would not be possible if we didn’t understand QM much, much, much more thoroughly than the statistical noise that you and your ilk accept as ‘proof’.

  547. Enfant Terribleon 11 Sep 2017 at 2:14 pm

    Steve Cross,

    “Come back when you or your other ‘true believers’ can do something … anything at all, the least bit constructive and at least somewhat reliably. No one has ever managed to accomplish that with ANY supposed ‘psi power’ of any kind.”

    Ok. Now read pages iv and v of this thesis:

    https://macsphere.mcmaster.ca/bitstream/11375/10527/1/fulltext.pdf

    The author is deeply indebted to Dr. J. Norman Emerson of the University of Toronto for his instruction and inspiration over a number of years; and especially to Dr. Emerson and his collaborator Mr. George McMullen for their experiments in intuitive archaeology at the Boys site which led to the discovery of the palisade and of the second house structure.

    Is this constructive enough for you? Do you know who was J. Norman Emerson?

    http://canadianarchaeology.com/caa/about/awards/recipients/smith-wintemberg-award/j-norman-emerson

  548. bachfiendon 11 Sep 2017 at 4:44 pm

    Enfant Terrible,

    It’s nothing more than confirmation bias. If a ‘psychic’ or ‘intuitive’ archaeologist goes to an archaeological dig and predicts that something will be found at a given location, after being excavated, then obviously something will be found – either something or nothing because the ‘something’ had been destroyed by natural processes in the thousands of years since the ‘something’ was buried.

    It’s just counting the ‘hits’ (with a very liberal definition of what a hit is) and ignoring the misses.

    I’d be more impressed if an ‘intuitive archaeologist’ finds a completely unknown site and predicts in advance what will be found.

  549. Enfant Terribleon 11 Sep 2017 at 5:10 pm

    Bachfiend,

    “I’d be more impressed if an ‘intuitive archaeologist’ finds a completely unknown site and predicts in advance what will be found.”

    Ok, lets see if you really keep your word:

    http://www.stephanaschwartz.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/Marea.pdf?x23564

  550. BillyJoe7on 11 Sep 2017 at 5:13 pm

    ET,

    I know you don’t know enough to know that your last response is almost entirely irrelevant to what Sean Carroll is saying, and that the tiny bit of your response that is relevant amounts to non-evidence based wild speculation that cannot even begin to refute the most successful theory in all of science and is, in fact, refuted by it.

  551. Enfant Terribleon 11 Sep 2017 at 5:32 pm

    Bachfiend,

    By the way, look what is published in the Canadian Journal of Archaeology, nº 6, 1982, p. 179:

    “Paddy” Reid’s (1975) excavations at the Boys site in 1972-73 […] formed an important test for Norman Emerson’s (1974) psychic investigations on Ontario sites. The psychic predictions confirmed by later excavations at the Boys site were truly amazing!

    https://www.jstor.org/stable/41102241?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

  552. RickKon 11 Sep 2017 at 6:59 pm

    Sylvia Browne had fans who believed in her powers even more strongly than J. Norman Emerson believed in McMullen’s powers. Yet when her “criminal investigation” predictions (as recorded in LexisNexis) were actually tested against the facts of the cases, she performed much worse than even random guessing.

    A believer’s eye sees glowing success where none exists. A skeptical review of the actual facts shows something quite different.

    You have no details, ET, of what McMullen actually said. You have no log of ALL of his predictions to test against what was actually found. And you have Emerson who was clearly a fan and wanted to believe. The fact that you’re claiming this as supporting evidence in spite of these weaknesses just indicates how far down the rabbit hole you’ve wedged yourself.

    Sir Arthur Conan Doyle believed his friend Harry Houdini was employing supernatural powers even when Houdini showed him how the tricks worked!

    You want to believe – we get it. Just give up, because your NEED to believe blinds you to the weakness of your evidence. You are not credible.

  553. hardnoseon 11 Sep 2017 at 7:36 pm

    bachfiend: “I agree that you aren’t bright enough to develop the crazy ideas you express here.”

    And you aren’t bright enough to understand them.

  554. bachfiendon 11 Sep 2017 at 8:52 pm

    Hardnose,

    I’m bright enough to understand that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Crazy ideas are extraordinary.

    Enfant Terrible,

    The site in Egypt was a known site, since the 19th century. Show me a case, as I’d asked for, of a psychic archaeologist finding an unknown site. I’ll repeat; ‘I’d be more impressed if an ‘intuitive archaeologist’ finds a completely unknown site and predicts in advance what will be found’.

    You have a touching faith in ‘experts’. Experts can be fooled, just like anyone else. RickK gives the example of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who was a medical doctor, and a rationalist in some areas, but not in others. He recognised that Koch’s claims about the therapeutic efficacy of tuberculin, at a time when tuberculosis was a death sentence, were bogus and wishful thinking, but blindly accepted spiritualism as being real for personal reasons.

    There have been many cases of scientists, even including Nobel Prize winners, who’ve accepted fringe science as being real.

    The easiest person to fool is yourself, and the more intelligent you are, the easier is it to fool yourself. A less intelligent person wouldn’t have been able to have found all your (unconvincing) sources.

  555. CKavaon 11 Sep 2017 at 10:34 pm

    The first article by Wagenmakers was not addressed to Utts, only to Bem.

    You do not have to namecheck a person for the argument to be relevant to their position. Wagenmaker’s critiques of Bem and psi research generally are highly relevant to Utts’ positions.

    You have catalogued responses but you don’t have the necessary ability to assess the validity of the arguments presented, you just have your ideologically derived preferences and as soon as you find a ‘rebuttal’ you are satisfied. You do not show any evidence of being interested in (or capable of) critically assessing the content.

    Your summaries pave over inconvenient points such as when Witte and Zenker note that “concerning the acknowledgment of uncertainty, we agree with the negative stance on NHST, and with banning the value as a corroboration parameter”. They discuss its value in early exploratory work (though they overstate its importance) but the ganzfeld program isn’t exactly some new paradigm. But even if they thought it was an excellent and important measure, it would not suddenly make it so, they are just two researchers – and the consensus of the relevant fields would be largely against them.

    The same applies to ‘the Queen of Statistics’ Utts. Her arguments have not swayed the majority of statisticians and psychologists, they have just convinced psi-advocates who were already prepared to buy into any positive psi-position. For an illustration of this pattern, look at your own ‘research’ and debating methods.

  556. BillyJoe7on 12 Sep 2017 at 8:22 am

    ET,

    For what it’s worth:

    “the new article that I posted clearly shows that Carroll’s phrase “there can’t be a new collection of “spirit particles” and “spirit forces” that interact with our regular atoms, because we would have detected them in existing experiments” is false”

    No, it does not.
    It does not refute the claim particle physicist know that our particle accelerators have discovered the entire range of particles and forces that could possibly affect our everyday lives, and that any particles and forces that remain undiscovered must lie outside the range in which they could affect our everyday lives.

    “It is possible that light-sensitive molecules exist in the brain but there is little evidence for this and still less that they serve as quantum processors.”

    You do realise that this is a refutation of your claim. Do you not understand the phrases “there is little evidence for this” and “and still less that they serve as quantum processors”. It is also irrelevant, because molecules are not fundamental particles so the possible existence of these molecules cannot possibly refute what SC said.

    if optical communication involving axons is harnessed by the brain, this would reveal a remarkable, hitherto unknown new aspect of the brains functioning, with potential impacts on unravelling fundamental issues of neuroscience.”

    Wild speculation verus the most successful theory in all of science.
    “if”, “hitherto unknown”, and “potential” verus the well established theory of QFT.
    But…wait…this is not even about QFT, it is about “neuroscience”.
    This about how those particles and forces under the rules of QM and GR play out.
    So, again, this is irrelevant to what SC is saying.

    BJ: “So this refutes QFT exactly how?” ET: “I don’t know if refutes”

    Hint: it doesn’t. For an explanation please read all my previous responses or go directly to the source and read and understand the links I gave to what particle physicists conclude.

    “There are claims that some as yet undiscovered scientific process, such as quantum entanglement at a macroscopic level, is needed to explain consciousness”

    “Claims” of “yet undiscovered” processes versus the 50 years of verifiable evidence for QFT which directly refutes the existence of fundamental particles and forces that you are claiming are required to produce consciousness. We don’t know all there is to know about consciousness, but we do know that no new fundamental particles and forces are required because their existence has already been ruled out. Consciousness must be the result of how the known fundamental particles and forces play out via the rules of QM and QR, because we know there are no more to be discovered in the range that could affect our everyday lives.

    “[some philosophers and scientists] have suggested that the conscious mind or “free will” may act on the brain by selecting a particular quantum state”

    The mind is the brain. And what has this to do with elementary quantum particles? And how exactly does the brain select a quantum state. Wild evidence-free speculation with no known mechanism. You do know, don’t you, that consciousness plays no role in quantum events? That is a simple misunderstanding of the word “observer” in quantum physics.

    “Eccles noted that the brain is just “the sort of machine a ‘ghost’ could operate,” as its functioning is dependent on minute electrical potentials and the motions of neurotransmitters and calcium ions”

    Eccles sees ghosts where there is random noise.

    “the “quantum Zeno effect” (maintaining a quantum state through repeated observation) provides a means whereby conscious minds could act on the physical brain, namely by holding the brain in a particular state”

    Again, please tell me you know what “observer” means in QM. The quantum state is maintained by continuous or continual rapid interaction which prevents the evolution of the wave function. It has nothing to do with consciousness.

    “any such influence on quantum mechanical processes would lead to a violation of the statistical predictions of quantum mechanics and the principle that the outcome of quantum mechanical processes are randomly determined. Such influence would therefore constitute a violation of the laws of physics”

    Nice of you to include a counter to what you are claiming.
    But, of course, you didn’t realise that did you?

    “that description of the universe afforded by the laws of quantum mechanics is incomplete”

    Yes, that is what we know – that QM is incomplete. And we also know that all the particles and forces that affect everyday experience are known. And we know that that excludes the possibility of PSI.

    “Also, no one has provided, or likely ever will provide, a complete description of the quantum state of any brain at any time”

    We don’t need a complete description. We do not need a complete description of dark energy and dark matter and black holes because because any new particles and forces that may be discovered in those realms do not affect our everyday experiences.

    “quantum mechanical outcomes may indeed be random in simple physical systems, but may be less random in certain complex systems, such as human brains, in which the observing consciousnesses may have a more vested interest. It may also be that such consciousnesses enjoy a closer physical proximity to physical brains, on the view that quasi-physical spheres of consciousness may be, at least, temporarily, somehow “stuck” in physical brains”

    “may”, “may”. “may”, “may”, “may”, “may”, and “somehow”.
    Six layers of speculation and no mechanism versus fifty years of experimentally verified QFT
    And “observing consciousness”? – is that a clue that you misunderstand the meaning of the term “observer” in QM, and that that misunderstanding has led you to the false claim that “consciousness” plays a role in the outcome of experiments in QM.

    “Also, many parapsychological researchers…have produced evidence that conscious minds may be capable of determining, or at least biasing, the outcomes of quantum processes”

    I challenge all of those “many parapsychological researchers” to consciously effect the entirely predictable outcome of any particular setup of any delayed choice double slit experiment.

  557. Enfant Terribleon 12 Sep 2017 at 10:02 am

    RickK,

    “Sylvia Browne had fans who believed in her powers even more strongly than J. Norman Emerson believed in McMullen’s powers. Yet when her “criminal investigation” predictions (as recorded in LexisNexis) were actually tested against the facts of the cases, she performed much worse than even random guessing.”

    This is clearly not the case for McMullen.

    In 1980, the authors brought McMullen to Montana to work on several, unsolved homicides. During his stay, a fisherman found a human mandible nearby in the Missouri River. The coroner, a sergeant in the sheriff’s office, showed it to McMullen. Handling it only briefly. McMullen became very pensive and began to pace back and forth. Then he spoke: ‘Indian, male, killed by a blow to the back of the head and thrown in the river, 1803 or 4.” Examination by a physical anthropologist later confirmed that the mandible did in fact belong to a Native American man and that it had been buried for well over a 100 years.

    Source: Whitney S. Hibbard, Raymond W. Worring. PSYCHIC CRIMINOLOGY: A Guide For Using Psychics, p. 39

    “You have no details, ET, of what McMullen actually said. You have no log of ALL of his predictions to test against what was actually found.”

    No?

    http://www.sacaaa.org/Phoenix3-1979-fall.pdf (pages 5-15)

  558. CKavaon 12 Sep 2017 at 10:32 am

    ET,

    No?

    Yeah, still no. You have an account from a devoted parapsychologist, that you think this is likely an unbiased, accurate record of ALL predictions made is just another indication of how deeply you approach the topic.

  559. Enfant Terribleon 12 Sep 2017 at 10:35 am

    bachfiend,

    “The site in Egypt was a known site, since the 19th century. Show me a case, as I’d asked for, of a psychic archaeologist finding an unknown site. I’ll repeat; ‘I’d be more impressed if an ‘intuitive archaeologist’ finds a completely unknown site and predicts in advance what will be found’.”

    Page 10:

    Much of the material pertained to specific scenes and individuals of ancient Marea, and was inherently untestable. But much was also very specific and testable. McMullen, for instance, located
    several new sites. Since these were near existing excavation work areas, they were simply noted by Fakharani for subsequent investigation. By prior agreement only a totally unknown site was to be evaluated in the context of this particular experiment. McMullen was charged again by Fakharani to “locate an important building – one with tile, fresco or mosaic – something representative. It is for you to tell me where to dig.”

  560. Enfant Terribleon 12 Sep 2017 at 10:56 am

    Ckava,

    “You have an account from a devoted parapsychologist, that you think this is likely an unbiased, accurate record of ALL predictions made is just another indication of how deeply you approach the topic.”

    J. Norman Emerson (the ‘Father of Canadian Archeology ‘) was not the only person involved, Paddy Reid (very famous too, see page 9 and 10 of this site: http://www.ontarioarchaeology.on.ca/Resources/ArchNotes/anns16-4.pdf) was there. And in the file you can see the drawings maded before the excavations took place. Read page 12 and figures 7 and 8: http://www.sacaaa.org/Phoenix3-1979-fall.pdf

    Here are more details:

    In 1972, under the auspices of the Ontario Archaeological Society, Reid began searching for 1.1 acre village of Pickering branch Iroquois known as the Boys site. (CE 975 ± 120 years), as well as a larger 10 acre site known as the Sewell site, both within a total of about 50 acres—roughly the equivalent of only two residential neighborhood blocks. His first year he found middens and fire pits, but he could not find the palisades within which the villages were located. He began the 1973 digging season under the sponsorship of McMaster’s University for his Masters. Once again he found peripheral sites, but still could not locate the palisades. By May of that year, Reid was running out of time and funding and was desperate. He turned to Emerson, his mentor, for help. After listening to his problems, Emerson offered what he admitted was “a radical solution.” Perhaps McMullen could help. Reid accepted the offer. On the 19th of May, Emerson brought McMullen to the search area. After acclimating himself for a few moments McMullen walked out over the fields, with a sack of stakes, and quickly located the palisade, the location of the gate in the palisade, as well as long houses within the enclosure. In a kind of running commentary he also described in detail the lives of the tribe, a culture that in many respects contradicted what Iroquois archaeology thought it knew.
    Careful excavation revealed that in a little over two hours McMullen had done what two years of traditional survey techniques and excavation could not. His locations proved to be correct, and his reconstruction of village life was validated by the excavation results which changed archaeology’s perception of these Iroquois

  561. Willyon 12 Sep 2017 at 11:07 am

    I haven’t been following this thread, so I hope this post doesn’t wander too far from however it has evolved, but, speaking of tribes, the following is from the comments to a WSJ article on Hurricane Irma:
    “Our weather has not been natural for at least 60 years. HAARP facilities, NEXRAD and SBX-1 working together with the now ubiquitous pollution of chemtrails have turned our atmosphere into a filthy, unnatural plasma, as hubris driven madmen steer us toward their Luciferian utopia. Amazingly, most people still ignore what is right in front of their eyes and go along with the lie that chemtrails are nothing more than a “conspiracy theory” and that “climate change” is to blame for the recent devastating storms.”
    A second member of this tribe lives in my neighborhood. He flew his American flag upside down during the entire eight years of Obama. He’s explained to me that Gubmint is working diligently to take away our money.
    No doubt both of these people think they are well informed.
    I find this frightening.

  562. Pete Aon 12 Sep 2017 at 11:24 am

    “[BillyJoe7] I challenge all of those many parapsychological researchers to consciously effect the entirely predictable outcome of any particular setup of any delayed choice double slit experiment.”

    I’ll add to that challenge, to demonstrate conscious influence over the following quantum-level systems: the Hubble Space Telescope; a GPS satellite; the hyperfine transitions of caesium-133 and rubidium-87 used by ‘atomic clocks’; Internet backbone coaxial cable and optical fibre links; a computer CPU processing checksummed [verifiable] data; a radio telescope; laser interferometers such as an optical clock and a navigational optical compass; microwave and optical polarizers.

  563. Pete Aon 12 Sep 2017 at 12:23 pm

    Willy,

    The standard normal distribution is a good predictor of what is reasonable to expect from a population of circa 7.5 billion people.

    Using 2-sigma as the criterion for that which is considered to be statistically normal gives the following results on the x-axis: ~171 million people are to the left of “normal”; 95.45% are “normal” [within ±2-sigma of the mean]; ~171 million people are to the right of “normal”.

    Even if we use 5-sigma as the criterion for that which is considered to be statistically normal it gives the following results: ~2,150 people are to the left-side of “normal”; 99.9999426697% are “normal” [within ±5-sigma of the mean]; ~2,150 people are to the right-side of “normal”.

    The above applies whether the attribute we are discussing is height, weight, scientific literacy, etc.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Normal_distribution#Standard_normal_distribution

  564. BillyJoe7on 12 Sep 2017 at 4:12 pm

    ET,

    I know you don’t know enough about QM to respond in any meaningful way to what SC has written in relation to PSI. This is quite obvious from your responses which indicate that you have not understood what he has said. Most of your objections are irrelevant and had already been shown to be irrelevant by SC in the second link I gave you many weeks ago. The rest is simply evidence-free wild speculation devoid of any possible mechanism. You don’t seem to realise how worthless that is against established science which has already refuted it. It’s like believing you will win lotto next week as opposed to having a one in a billion chance. And that’s being generous.

  565. bachfiendon 12 Sep 2017 at 4:27 pm

    Enfant Terrible,

    You’re not getting the point. I am asking for an instance of a ‘psychic archaeologist’ discovering a completely unknown site. Marea in Egypt is a known site. A ‘psychic archaeologist’ picking a location to dig within a known site isn’t discovering a new unknown site.

    McMullen being able to identify a mandible as coming from a Native American from over a century earlier isn’t such a surprising ability. His ‘prediction’ that it resulted from a violent death due to blunt trauma to the back of the head in 1803 or 1804 are completely unverifiable.

  566. Enfant Terribleon 12 Sep 2017 at 5:15 pm

    Bachfiend,

    “I am asking for an instance of a ‘psychic archaeologist’ discovering a completely unknown site. Marea in Egypt is a known site.”

    a) https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/CIA-RDP96-00787R000200080019-4.pdf

    b) http://www.stephanaschwartz.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/Beaks_Cay-.pdf?x23564

    The fact that the site was previously unknown is not hard to explain, given the depth at which the wreck was buried, the paucity of visible signs on the seafloor, and the low iron content, because of the use of bronze, and Muntz metal. Thus, while one can not absolutely say that the site could not have been found using electronic remote sensing the fact that it lay undisturbed for 154 years, in one of the most intensely searched areas of the Banks, supports this improbability. Our own
    unsuccessful attempt to relocate the site, even though we knew it was present, until Remote Viewing was employed, further suggests this was the critical variable in bringing our success.

  567. Willyon 12 Sep 2017 at 5:31 pm

    Pete A : I don’t think the tails of a normal distribution explain the lunacy I see every day–not unless the tails are large enough to include everything outside of +/- 1/2 sigma, maybe +/- 1 sigma. These Trumpies are numerous and they live in large numbers in our world, well, the US anyway.

    Or, perhaps my contacts with loons are the statistical equivalent of a cancer cluster.

  568. Pete Aon 12 Sep 2017 at 6:10 pm

    Willy,

    I understand what you are saying. The population of the USA is, I think, circa 324 million people: circa 4.3% of the 7.5 billion people currently living on planet Earth! Trumpies are indeed numerous, but they are statistical outliers [double entendre intended :-)].

  569. bachfiendon 12 Sep 2017 at 6:18 pm

    Enfant Terrible,

    They didn’t look at a random site in the Caribbean. They picked a site where they thought that there’d be a strong chance that there’d be a wreck (they had to get a licence for a given area to go looking) and their purported remote viewers had to make a guess as to where a wreck would be.

    The p-value fetishists of the study then proceeded to make unwarranted assumptions concerning the distribution of wrecks within the Caribbean, making the assumption that the 300+ known wrecks are uniformly distributed, when obviously they’re not.

    All it is is just confirmation bias. If remote viewing of marine wrecks was real, I’d assume that they would have been able to find something useful. Such as a submerged silver bullion ship. But they haven’t.

  570. Pete Aon 12 Sep 2017 at 7:02 pm

    Enfant Terrible,

    Your epic failure to address the scientific challenges with which you have been presented serves only to confirm my previous salient comments:

    Enfant Terrible,

    Apply that to yourself, most importantly: in conjunction with Dr. Novella’s replies to you; and in conjunction with the content of the article on which you are commenting.

    Your comments serve as exemplars of Tribal Epistemology. Congratulations on playing a small role in the overall quod erat demonstrandum.

    and

    Enfant Terrible,

    Why do you persist in promoting a branch of Tooth Fairy science via the comments section of Dr. Novella’s NeuroLogica Blog. Dr. Novella has replied to you enough times to make it clear to you, and to the readers, that you are wrong about many things.

    If you were in possession of PSI/ESP abilities then you would be in possession of the knowledge that your comments serve only the purpose of increasingly confirming that you are nothing other than a hopelessly lost f*ckwit.

    and

    If you are in possession of this revolutionary secret of science, why not prove it properly and be hailed as the new Newton?

    Of course, we know the answer. You can’t do it. You are a fake.
    —Richard Dawkins

    Yes indeed, Enfant Terrible, you have proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are a f*ckwit, a fake, and a nincompoop who regularly quotes sources which discredit, rather than support, your assertions.

  571. RickKon 12 Sep 2017 at 7:22 pm

    Bachfiend – please stop asking for “an instance”. “An instance” proves nothing, and the annals of parapsychology are full of believers documenting all manner of nonsense. They live on anecdotes, so why ask for one? It only encourages them.

    on 12 Sep 2017 at 10:02 am Enfant Terrible said: “No?”

    No, ET, you do not have it. You do not have an impartial record of what McMullen was told and what he said. You have the 2nd-hand account written by a believer. You have the same quality of evidence that is used to prove Joseph Smith talked to the Angel Moroni. You have a collection of anecdotes written by an adoring admirer.

    Unlike Sylvia Browne’s “Montel Williams” transcripts, you do not have a statistically significant set of McMullen’s predictions over some period of time, laid out for all to see and examine. You have a few “hits” – as evaluated by a believer. You have the same evidence that convinces one of our neighbors that a local psychic is gifted with magical powers, when the psychic herself admits over drinks that it’s all a fraud. You have the same approach to evidence that Erich Von Daniken used to prove we were visited by aliens.

    In other words, YOU DON’T HAVE IT. And you apparently don’t even understand the concept.

    Prove that McMullen wasn’t a well-read archeologist who had extensive but perfectly mundane knowledge of ancient cultures. Prove he wasn’t just a better archaeologist than Emerson, but with a flair for the dramatic. PROVE he wasn’t lucky – list out all the predictions McMullen made to anyone over a 10 year period – every one, not just those Emerson recalls – and then judge McMullen’s success within that full set of data. Anything less is biased anecdotes.

    ET, remember – people believe in Sylvia Browne just as strongly or even more strongly than you or Emerson, and she objectively failed to predict better than random chance. In fact, she was worse than random chance. How can you know that you’re not just as fooled as her followers unless you have REAL data?

    Do NOT quote another parapsych book in response. No matter how you bold and highlight different passages, an anecdote from a believer is NOT convincing evidence for anyone who doesn’t already believe. Can you not understand this?

    Ask yourself – why are you so easily convinced? How are you different from Sir Arthur or my gullible neighbor? Do you care that you’re no different? Does it ever enter your mind that you are defending your ability to be easily deceived?

  572. RickKon 12 Sep 2017 at 7:25 pm

    Grr… above should have read: “…people believe in Sylvia Browne just as strongly or even more strongly than you or Emerson believe in McMullen…”

    I didn’t mean to imply you believed in Sylvia Browne, but of course it wouldn’t surprise me if you did.

  573. Pete Aon 12 Sep 2017 at 7:37 pm

    RickK,

    Pseudoscience relies on nothing other than quoting a plethora of instances.

  574. Enfant Terribleon 12 Sep 2017 at 7:49 pm

    bachfiend,

    ” making the assumption that the 300+ known wrecks are uniformly distributed, when obviously they’re not.”

    But uniformly distributed where?

    Approximately 300 notable wrecks went down, not just in the License Area but across the entire Banks, from 1500 to 1876 as determined by a thorough search of historical records and archival material in the U.S., the U.K., Spain and the Bahamas.

    By surveying colonial and 19th-century American and Bahamian newspapers, American and Spanish shipping documents, British Admiralty archives, and every other source they could track down, the researchers reported that 825 ships could be identified (which does not in any way imply a precise location) as being lost on the entire Banks, of these 300 were notable, i.e., a consequential ship as opposed to a fishing dingy.

    To make a conservative assessment of this location occurring by chance, assume the
    wrecks are evenly distributed not throughout the Banks, but only within the License Area. That said, we should expect to see 6.12 boats in Consensus Zone C (11.81/579.15 x 300 =6.12). The brig site is 5000 square feet (464.5 sq. m), equaling 0.00018 of a square mile. Within Consensus Zone C 65,849 sites of this size could be placed, thus yielding a grid of 65,849 cells.. If the probability of selecting this particular cell in the grid by chance exceeds p > 0.05 then Remote Viewing can be
    considered a determinative factor. The probability of finding this one 5,000 square feet area is then
    6.12/65,849 = p0.00009, which strongly suggests that chance is not an explanation for the location
    of Leander.

    Then the researchers do an even more conservative analysis

    Let us take the most conservative (and obviously artificial) position: Assume all 300 of those wrecks were within Consensus Zone C. The search area of Consensus Zone C is 30.59 square km (11.81 sq. miles, 12 sq. miles of sea minus 0.19 sq. miles of land mass). The brig site is 5,000
    square feet, equaling 0.000179 of a square mile. Within Consensus Zone C, 65,849 sites of this size could be placed. In essence, then, we have a grid with 65,849 cells. If the probability of selecting that particular cell in the grid by chance exceeds p0.05 then Remote Viewing can be considered a determinative factor. In fact, it is 300/65,849 or p0.005; a very significant result.

    So even in the worst and irrealistic scenario, it was very difficult to find something.

    Now, see what many scientists said about the experiment:

    1) “I must say we did find the type of things that in general they predicted and in the area where the psychics said they would be found,” declared Anne B. Kahle, an independent scientific observer who was aboard the $3 million Taurus I research submarine when the artifacts were discovered.

    2) Experts from the famous Institute for Marine and Coastal Studies of the University of Southern California cooperated in the test. “What was astounding was that they both independently selected the same site — a few hundred yards apart,” said Eugene Veek, associate director for facilities at the Marine Institute, and former commander of a US Navy submarine.

    3) the submarine had been in the area for five months working with sonar, but had found nothing to indicate a shipwreck, according to Allan Witcombe, the chief pilot.

    4) Dr. Kahle, a renowned geo-physicist who worked en NASA satellite programs, agreed. “We really found a lot of unexpected things that were similar to what were described by the psychics.”

    5) Even a top government marine expert admitted that the amazing accuracy of the two psychics is astonishing. “I don’t think anyone was trying to fool the scientists,” said Thomas S. Cooke of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

    6) Dr. Don Walsh, director of the Institute for Marine and Coastal Studies, evaluated Project Deep Quest, looking for any possible fraud. “I’m not necessarily a supporter, but I couldn’t find anything to cast doubt on the psyches’ claims,” he said.

    And don’t forget:

    7) J. Norman Emerson, the “Father of Canadian Archaeology”

    8) Paddy Reid: Careful excavation revealed that in a little over two hours McMullen had done what two years of traditional survey techniques and excavation could not.

    9) Fawzi Fakharani, a famous skeptic archaeologist, who reiterated his disbelief that anyone could locate and outline buried walls using Remote Viewing.

    10) A scientist not named of CIA: https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/CIA-RDP96-00787R000700090008-0.pdf

    11) Lt. Walter Konar: https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/CIA-RDP79-00999A000200010021-2.pdf

    12) Dr. E. Negabon, archaeologist.

    13) William C. Noble, archaeologist.

    14) Whitney S. Hibbard, licensed private investigator.

    15) Raymond W. Worring, Director of the Investigative Research Field Station.

    So we have the police, the CIA, NASA, private investigators, famous archaeologists, skeptics, all reported amazing success with the psychics after months and even years of null results, and are you telling me that all this is just confirmation bias?!

  575. Enfant Terribleon 12 Sep 2017 at 7:54 pm

    RickK,

    ” You do not have an impartial record of what McMullen was told and what he said. You have the 2nd-hand account written by a believer. ”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMnZ46VKNUI

  576. RickKon 12 Sep 2017 at 9:03 pm

    ET asked (in an apparent moment of epiphany): ” … are you telling me that all this is just confirmation bias?!”

    ABSOLUTELY!!!!

    The literature you so carefully collect is totally dwarfed by the literature that supports the efficacy of homeopathy – yet we know that it is just a placebo. Homeopathy, psychics, astrology, many self-help regimens – enormous industries driven entirely by confirmation bias. Your little assortment pales in comparison.

    But what a wonderful service you provide! Look what a SPECTACULAR example of confirmation bias your list represents. You actually listed quotes like: “We really found a lot of unexpected things that were similar to what were described by the psychics” as evidence.

    Thank you for so clearly demonstrating your complete lack of understanding of the term “critical thinking” and highlighting the importance of this blog’s mission.

  577. bachfiendon 12 Sep 2017 at 9:15 pm

    Enfant Terrible,

    ‘you are telling me that all this is just confirmation bias?!’

    Yes. If psychic archaeology was real, then why haven’t all the hundreds of known lost ships, including silver bullion galleons, been discovered and salvaged using the psychic ‘remote viewers’ in the almost 40 years since then.

    If it were real, then it should be easy (and cheap) for the remote reviewers to find a wreck anywhere in the Caribbean (indeed the world) and for salvagers to go directly to the site and raise the ‘treasures’ immediately without having to waste time and money using expensive technology. It should be a self-funding area of research which would have convinced sceptics many times over by now.

    Why hasn’t it been done? Because it’s not real and doesn’t work.

  578. Enfant Terribleon 13 Sep 2017 at 11:23 am

    bachfiend,

    “If it were real, then it should be easy (and cheap) for the remote reviewers to find a wreck anywhere in the Caribbean (indeed the world) and for salvagers to go directly to the site and raise the ‘treasures’ immediately without having to waste time and money using expensive technology.”

    http://www.stephanaschwartz.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/Eastern-Harbor.pdf?x23564

    It is obvious that Remote Viewing was more productive than side scan as a search approach, in this setting. Normally it would have taken weeks or even months doing search patterns using a side scan, and magnetometer to effect these locations, if they were made at all. Instead there was no search. We went to the locations indicated, dived there, and made the discoveries. With Remote Viewing guidance it never took more than a few minutes to locate the site. There are many benefits: a.) It is cheaper to search in this manner. b.) Even if electronic remote sensing is used, its employment can be much more focused (if Remote Viewing fails one can always fall back on standard electronic search protocols). c.) In underwater archaeology, where time is always an issue, it is more efficient to use Remote Sensing. d.) The “worst” case scenario using Remote Viewing, is the “best” case scenario to be obtained using electronic sensing alone. This does not mean we are arguing for the abandonment of electronic sensing, quite the contrary. Our view is that these two approaches are best employed together in both a complementary and comparative manner.

  579. Enfant Terribleon 13 Sep 2017 at 11:46 am

    RickK,

    “The literature you so carefully collect is totally dwarfed by the literature that supports the efficacy of homeopathy”

    No, it is not. The efficacy of homeopathy is no better than placebo (like many studies published show). But Remote Viewing was more productive than side scan as a search approach, or better than magnetometer. Another big difference is that the control of the experiments was in the hand of others, including skeptics, like Fawzi Fakharani.

    Swann and Hammid were regarded by many as the two most successful psychics in the United States. Schwartz asked them to mark the charts with the location of the unknown wreck and describe what would be found at the location. The two remote viewers sent back their charts marked with the locations of several sunken wrecks, many of which were verified as correct by the Bureau of Marine Sites of the U. S. Coast and Geodetic Survey. There was one site, however, marked by both Swann and Hammid, for which the Bureau had no record. Not only did both the remote viewers independently indicate this same site on their nautical charts, but they also described it in the same way—a sailing ship that had a small steam engine on the deck. They indicated that the ship’s steam engine had caught fire around 90 years before, causing the ship to sink.

    The searchers would find the aft helm of the ship lying with the wheel down and the shaft coming out of it, they said, with a steam winch nearby. They drew pictures of these things. In addition, Hammid indicated that they would find a block of granite at the site, measuring about 5 feet by 6 feet by 7 feet.

    Knowing that skeptics would try to debunk the experiment, Schwartz had invited senior scientist Anne Kahle, a renowned space expert and head of the Earth Applications Satellite Research Group of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, to come along and witness everything, start to finish, and to hold and control all the records of the experiment. “I wanted to be certain,” Schwartz said, “that we had a clear, unimpeachable chronology of when they [the remote viewers] made the predictions, what the predictions were, and what was discovered on the site.” The goal was to close all the loopholes and rule out alternative explanations, so that if the experiment succeeded, the likeliest explanation would be the operation of a remote kind of knowing on the part of Swann and Hammid.

    […]

    The next day a surface ship dropped a radio homing device at the point where the remote viewers said the sunken ship would be, in order to guide the sub to the precise site. This was in an area where the submersible’s crew had already been diving for weeks, well before Schwartz and his team arrived in the area. The crew was not enthusiastic, saying they’d already been all over the area and found nothing remotely like what Swann and Hammid were describing. Then the sub’s radio device started pinging, and there it was, just as the remote viewers had described—the big block of stone, the steam winch, the aft helm with the wheel down and the shaft pointing up. “I think everybody,” Schwartz said, “including me, and certainly the … submarine crew, and the guys at the Institute for Marine and Coastal Studies [of the University of Southern California], everyone was kind of stunned by this.” Schwartz, having compulsively filmed everything, made a movie of the event,
    called Psychic Sea Hunt.

    Could fraud have been involved? It isn’t likely that Schwartz could have known where the wreck was located, when it was not even on the government’s nautical charts. Could Schwartz and his team have “salted” the site, depositing the sunken ship parts and relics ahead of time, then saying “look here”? There is no evidence for this possibility and a lot of evidence against it. This would have been a huge undertaking that would have attracted a lot of attention. Moreover, when the submersible Taurus arrived at the site, the wreck was not discernible as such, being nothing more than a vague shadow on the ocean floor. Seaweed gradually grows over and around sunken objects on the ocean’s floor. The fact that the seaweed lattice on the sunken ship’s parts was intact was unimpeachable evidence that they had lain undisturbed for years and had neither been deposited there recently nor tampered with.

    In his description of Operation Deep Quest in his book Opening to the Infinite, Schwartz related how he was attacked at a dinner party by a skeptic following the discovery, who said, “How do you know they didn’t find those things somewhere and just dump them overboard, then go back and mark your chart?” “It is the seaweed,” Schwartz said, “that [brought] him to a sputtering silence.”

    Several other Deep Quest experts defended the discovery against skeptical charges. Don Walsh, then dean of the Institute for Marine and Coastal Studies of the University of California, who had made the deepest dive in a submersible, said in a TV documentary, “We know submersibles. We know deep ocean engineering. They [Schwartz and the remote viewing team] would have had to beat us across the board. I’m just saying that this didn’t happen by chance.”

    Neither could Schwartz’s team have obtained the location in advance, for the plain fact that it was not known. Thomas Cooke, marine sites expert for the Bureau of Land Management, the government agency that keeps track of marine wrecks, said, “Based on intensive study of the sites in Southern California waters, I must conclude that the area selected by Schwartz’s psychics was previously unknown and could not have been found by going through old papers, books at the library, or that sort of thing…. There are 1653 known wrecks along the Southern California Coast; [the one
    they found is not] one of them.”

    Could the discovery have been a lucky hit, just “one of those things” that sometimes happens against great odds? “The target area equaled a rectangle 80 x 108 meters,” said Schwartz. “It was located in a search area that was 3900 square kilometers. That meant if the search area was overlain with a grid made up of rectangles the same size as the target area, there would be 451,389 equal-sized
    rectangles in the grid…. What is the chance of locating the one correct grid box out of 451,389 similar boxes? It turns out to be very improbable to do this by chance.”

    Schwartz and his team had apparently closed all the loopholes, just as they had set out to do. To this day, however, dissenters still insist that chicanery is the best explanation for this astonishing experiment. Schwartz no longer wastes time with them. He believes that if they are not convinced by Deep Quest that distant knowing is real, it is unlikely that they would be convinced by any evidence.

  580. RickKon 13 Sep 2017 at 1:26 pm

    ET,

    Just stop. You don’t understand. I told you not to quote and highlight some incident. That is meaningless in the absence of the context of the universe of failed remote viewing attempts.

    No matter how you highlight your favorite example from 40 years ago, the only person you’re convincing is yourself.

    Nobody is building on psi research. Nobody (outside of the psychic friends network) is marketing psi powers. Nobody has become rich by psychically picking lottery numbers. Remote viewing in criminology is a few publicized hits in an ocean of quiet misses. Insurance companies aren’t hiring psychics to assist their actuaries. A quick review of successful discoveries of treasure ships reveals consistent use of “historical research” and a stunning lack of “remote viewing”. Why don’t we have teams of remote viewers at the FBI like the Precogs in Minority Report? The list goes on and on.

    If psi is as powerful as you so fervently believe, why does is it completely lacking from our economy except as a way to entertain and/or defraud the gullible?

    Your inability to judge your pet instances in the broader context of the reality we see is just another example of how underdeveloped your “baloney detector” is.

    Stop being Erich von Daniken’s ideal audience, stop running so easily to the “magical solution”, and start learning what critical thinking really means.

    And, whatever you do, don’t ever EVER try to support your argument by linking to a youtube video that features banner ads for training in remote viewing and is put out by Psyscape.

  581. chikoppion 13 Sep 2017 at 1:42 pm

    The plural of “anecdote” is not “evidence.” Nor does any volume of inconclusive or suggestive research somehow add up to conclusive data.

    You are still missing the point. The quality and breath of the experimental body of evidence (testing hypotheses by isolating and controlling variables) is not regarded by the expert community as sufficient to draw reliable conclusions about an effect, much less a mechanism, much less a testable theoretical model.

    I get that you’re enthusiastic, which is great. But the current state of psi research has not passed the critical threshold. If there is to be found sufficient evidence it lies in yet future research conducted under ever more rigorous and exacting methodology. The fact that these reports may be convincing to you is not indicative that it should be convincing to the expert community.

    Many scientific breakthroughs begin with the observation, “huh, that’s weird.” However, more often than not, those same inquiries lead to exposing the shortcomings of our own heuristics and assumptions. The state of psi research is still of the “huh, that’s weird” category.

  582. Enfant Terribleon 13 Sep 2017 at 2:04 pm

    RickK,

    “Nobody has become rich by psychically picking lottery numbers.”

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1344365/Psychic-wins-1-million-lottery–knew-would.html

    “A quick review of successful discoveries of treasure ships reveals consistent use of “historical research” and a stunning lack of “remote viewing”.”

    http://www.ascsi.org/ASCS/Library/EvidenceRoom/CaseFiles/case15_relics-revealed.pdf

    “If psi is as powerful as you so fervently believe, why does is it completely lacking from our economy except as a way to entertain and/or defraud the gullible?”

    https://psi-encyclopedia.spr.ac.uk/articles/psi-financial-gain

    “And, whatever you do, don’t ever EVER try to support your argument by linking to a youtube video that features banner ads for training in remote viewing and is put out by Psyscape.”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BEC-GBTTLBg

  583. Enfant Terribleon 13 Sep 2017 at 2:05 pm

    RickK,

    “Nobody has become rich by psychically picking lottery numbers.”

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1344365/Psychic-wins-1-million-lottery–knew-would.html

    “A quick review of successful discoveries of treasure ships reveals consistent use of “historical research” and a stunning lack of “remote viewing”.”

    http://www.ascsi.org/ASCS/Library/EvidenceRoom/CaseFiles/case15_relics-revealed.pdf

    “If psi is as powerful as you so fervently believe, why does is it completely lacking from our economy except as a way to entertain and/or defraud the gullible?”

    https://psi-encyclopedia.spr.ac.uk/articles/psi-financial-gain

  584. Enfant Terribleon 13 Sep 2017 at 2:06 pm

    RickK,

    “And, whatever you do, don’t ever EVER try to support your argument by linking to a youtube video that features banner ads for training in remote viewing and is put out by Psyscape.”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BEC-GBTTLBg

  585. BillyJoe7on 13 Sep 2017 at 4:53 pm

    ET,

    There are plenty of good sources to learn about critical thinking.
    In fact, Steven Novella has such a course available in “The Great Courses” series:

    https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/your-deceptive-mind-steven-novella/1113750507?ean=9781598038279

    Because, at this point, we are all just wasting our time.

  586. bachfiendon 13 Sep 2017 at 5:02 pm

    Enfant Terrible,

    If ‘remote viewing’ is so useful as an archaeological tool in finding marine wrecks, then why hasn’t it been used repeatedly in the 37 years since 1980 to find all marine wrecks, including lost silver bullion galleons?

    If it’s so effective, cheap and quick, even the most sceptical entrepreneurial investor would be keen to put money into it.

    And anyhow – what is the superpower that’s being used? Is it remote viewing? Being able to ‘see’ buried objects? Or is it precognition? Knowing what will be found if investigators go looking at a certain location?

    Now you’re citing ‘the Daily Mail’ report concerning a ‘psychic’ predicting she’d win the lottery. Many years ago, passing through Heathrow Airport I read in ‘the Daily Mail’ an article on page 2 (there’s never anything sensible on page 2 of any newspaper) about a man who won Division 1 in the Lotto, and then 5 months later won Division 1 yet again in the Lotto.

    The journalist then noted that the odds of winning Division 1 is 1 in 5 million, and the odds of winning Division 1 twice is (1 in 5 million)^ 2 (1 in 25 trillion).

    Can you see the journalist’s error? 1 in 5 million is the probability of playing Lotto once only and winning. 1 in 25 trillion is the probability of playing Lotto twice only and winning both times.

    But the man who won twice was playing Lotto every week (and there are millions of other people who play Lotto just as often) so it’s inevitable that someone, somewhere will won Lotto twice even over a short time.

    All it is is just confirmation bias yet again. Counting the hits and ignoring the misses. There are many ‘psychics’ who’ve predicted that they will win the lottery but didn’t (and we don’t hear of).

    At the risk of running foul of Godwin’s law, there was also a certain German 20th century politician and demagogue who predicted that he and a childhood friend were certain to win an Austrian lottery (and made elaborate plans what they’d do with the money – which obviously they didn’t win). He also made a prediction that if members of a certain religion started yet another world war, then they’d do very badly, a ‘prediction’ that was more ‘successful’, except that the politician himself started the war and instituted the ‘punishment’ of the scapegoat religiious members.

    Subsequently, he praised himself for his predictive powers, which were just tragic cases of confirmation bias.

  587. BillyJoe7on 13 Sep 2017 at 5:22 pm

    Bachfiend,

    Well, okay, perhaps we can give ET a few lessons on critical thinking right here on this blog.
    Here is an oldie but goodie in the form of a comic:

    https://xkcd.com/882/

    What do you think ET?
    Do you think you could set aside your treasure trove of cherry-picked stories that only serve to confirm your bias and engage with us in a bit critical thinking?

  588. Pete Aon 13 Sep 2017 at 7:52 pm

    The average probability of guessing the correct lottery number is very low. The probability that at least one of the many believers in PSI has won a lottery in the past or will win in the future is 1. Same applies to guessing other future events, even finding a shipwreck.

    The prior probability of the outcome of a coin toss is 0.5 tails, 0.5 heads. But, after the toss the prior probability is no longer valid because the outcome that occurred has a probability of 1, and the outcome that did not occur has a probability of 0. For a 6-sided dice, the prior probability is 1/6 for each of the 6 numbers; after the roll its outcome number has a probaility of 1, and the probability of the other 5 numbers is 0. If this was not the case then a dice would be useless.

    A prior probability is in a different domain from the outcome domain. Failure to understand things from first principles is a primary driver of myths and pseudoscience.

  589. bachfiendon 13 Sep 2017 at 10:49 pm

    Pete A,

    Believers in psi can make their bogus claims even better. A psychic archaeologist predicting that something will be found at one location is also predicting that it won’t be found at an infinite number of other locations.

    Not surprisingly, Michael Egnor has made a similar claim on EvolutionNews with his ‘does nature show purpose? Reply to a materialist philosopher’ on August 7, in which he writes ‘teleology is consistency in the direction of change – the tendency for nature, in this case, to change to greater disorder. While entropy is a kind of physical disorder, it is, from a metaphysical perspective, a very clear kind of order in natural change: a consistent tendency for the net order of material things to decrease with change. As a consistent tendency, entropy is teleological. Teleology pervades nature: even disorganisation in nature is teleological’.

    A sharpshooter taking random potshots at the side of a barn doesn’t even have to bother drawing targets around whatever hits just happened to hit anywhere on the barn to claim that they were intended. He can claim that all shots were intended, even the ones that completely missed the barn.

  590. Enfant Terribleon 14 Sep 2017 at 9:07 am

    BillyJoe7,

    “It does not refute the claim particle physicist know that our particle accelerators have discovered the entire range of particles and forces that could possibly affect our everyday lives, and that any particles and forces that remain undiscovered must lie outside the range in which they could affect our everyday lives.”

    Well, I wrote to a physicist at a well-known university in Europe, and his speciality is in foundations of quantum theory and quantum gravity. Here is his answer (which has a lot of links, so I will have to do a series of posts):

    Part 1

    I think that the claim is valid, given certain assumptions. In particular, the assumptions that (i) unitary evolution of quantum states (i.e., wavefunctions and density operators) holds universally (or at least up to the length-scales of our everyday lives), (ii) linear evolution of quantum states holds universally (or at least up to the length-scales of our everyday lives), (iii) that the phenomenon of consciousness is amenable to a reductive physicalist explanation.

    However, assumption (i) could well be wrong, because, without additional assumptions (e.g., the introduction of extra physical variables in addition to quantum states, or complicated functionalist and probabilistic axioms), it leads to the quantum measurement problem and fails to account for the quantum-classical transition. Indeed, one of the main three approaches to solving the measurement problem (and explaining the quantum-classical transition) is the tradition of dynamical collapse theories, where non-unitary stochastic modifications of the Schroedinger evolution are introduced to induce state-vector reduction (in the position basis) in a mathematically precise, empirically adequate, and observer-independent way. If those collapse theories are correct, then one of the main assumptions of Carroll’s “Core Theory” – that quantum states always evolve unitarily – would be wrong. Experiments are underway to test the various dynamical collapse theories on the market, but so far there are a multitude of dynamical collapse theories that agree with existing experimental tests of non-relativistic QM (and even existing experimental tests of relativistic QFT, to the extent that there are some successful extensions of dynamical collapse theories to relativistic QFT).

    Assumption (ii) could also be wrong if it turns out that the gravitational field is a fundamentally classical field (as opposed to a field that should be quantized like the electromagnetic/EWK/gluon fields) – indeed, it has been shown in various models that using quantum matter to source a fundamentally classical gravitational field entails minute deterministic nonlinearities in the evolution of the wavefunction on configuration space. These nonlinearities (if they exist) are too small to be detected by current experiments, but would become appreciable at the scales of mesoscopic and macroscopic systems of particles (e.g., nano-mechanical resonators, microspheres, cells, and up) and could be tested by future experiments. I should note that it’s still a controversial and open question whether the gravitational field _needs_ to be quantized at all: some researchers in quantum gravity would argue that the possibility of an empirically adequate theory of semiclassical Einstein gravity hasn’t yet been ruled out on either empirical grounds or theoretical grounds. I should also note that such deterministic nonlinearities, combined with a consistent dynamical description of quantum measurements with Born-rule probabilities, would entail (by Gisin’s 1989 theorem) the possibility of superluminal signaling in EPRB-type experiments. In relativistic QFT language, a fundamentally semiclassical theory of Einstein (or Newtonian) gravity, if it reproduces the phenomenology of quantum measurements with Born-rule probabilities (as is the case with the models I alluded to), would make it possible to violate the ‘local commutativity’ (a.k.a. ‘microcausality’) assumption in standard relativistic QFT, an assumption that’s also central to Carroll’s Core Theory. Such violations of local commutativity would be too minute, however, to show up in existing QM/QFT experiments.

    Assumption (iii) is, in my view, and in the views of a considerable number of philosophers of mind and philosophers of physics, likely wrong. The reason is (what philosopher David Chalmers calls) the Hard Problem of consciousness, and the arguments in favor of there being a Hard Problem, such as the Knowledge Argument, the “two-dimensional argument” against physicalism, Descartes various formulations of the mind-body problem, and others. If assumption (iii) is wrong and consciousness is a non-physical phenomenon that nomologically/naturalistically ‘supervenes’ on physical states (e.g., the physical states of a brain), then there’s the further (open) question whether non-physical consciousness is epiphenomenal (i.e., has physical ’causes’ but no effects) or causally efficacious. If the latter, then consciousness would be capable of (what David Chalmers calls) “strong downward causation”, i.e., conscious states would have causal impact on ‘low-level’ processes (e.g., the physical states on which the conscious states supervene), and this causal impact would not be deducible even in principle from initial conditions and the low-level laws (e.g., the physical laws governing the physical states): http://consc.net/papers/emergence.pdf. On this view, one would expect to find in physical systems that exhibit consciousness, e.g., human brains, violations of the physical laws governing the physical processes therein (because these physical processes would not be causally closed, and one might see, for example, violations of conservation laws due to the causal interventions of conscious states). However, one would not expect to see such break-downs in the physical laws in particle accelerators. Thus far, there’s no empirical evidence against strong downward causation, and there are good philosophical arguments for why it should exist (if consciousness is non-physical), and why, if it does exist, it would not undermine the validity of the physical laws in other domains (e.g., in physical processes outside conscious systems such as brains). Chalmers and Kelvin McQueen have suggested the possibility that consciousness could play a strong-downward-causal role in physics, as an explanation for collapse of the wavefunction in QM (see https://kelvinmcqueen.com/research/consciousness/ for a summary of that on-going work); however, this is not the only possibility, and personally I find lots of technical and conceptual problems with that point of view. Instead, it’s logically possible that conscious states play a strong-downward-causal role in quantum phenomena by some other means (Adrian Kent at Cambridge University has discussed speculations along these lines in this paper: https://arxiv.org/abs/1608.04804).

  591. Enfant Terribleon 14 Sep 2017 at 9:10 am

    Part 2

    Incidentally, Carroll has written a bit on his blog about what he thinks of the idea of consciousness and (strong) downward causation (http://www.preposterousuniverse.com/blog/2016/09/08/consciousness-and-downward-causation/); after a lengthy discussion in which he focuses on John Searle’s ideas about strong downward causation, he concludes with the following comments:

    “It’s possible that the real world is different, and there is such inter-level feedback. That’s an experimentally testable question! As I mentioned to Henrik, it would be the greatest scientific discovery of our lifetimes. And there’s basically no evidence that it’s true. But it’s possible.”

    He goes on to write,

    “So I don’t think downward causation is of any help to attempts to free the phenomenon of consciousness from arising in a completely conventional way from the collective behavior of microscopic physical constituents of matter. We’re allowed to talk about consciousness as a real, causally efficacious phenomenon — as long as we stick to the appropriate human-scale level of description. But electrons get along just fine without it.”

    I fully agree with Carroll that it’s an experimentally testable question (and that strong downward causation is possible), but I think his reasoning in the first sentence of the second quote is confused. Strong downward causation is not motivated (at least among philosophically sophisticated people) from the desire to free consciousness from arising in a “completely conventional way”. Rather, (some) people recognize, by independent philosophical arguments (the Knowledge Argument, etc.), that it’s highly implausible that consciousness could arise in a “completely conventional way”. From here, there’s the further question of whether consciousness is epiphenomenal or causally efficacious, and for many people, the epiphenomenal option either poses more philosophical problems or seems less plausible or is not logically necessitated by anything. So this leads people to seriously consider the option of strong downward causation. And it’s true that electrons get along “just fine without it”, but that’s a red herring to the issue/question at hand re: the possibility of consciousness being capable of strong downward causation.

    As for whether there’s “basically no evidence that it’s true”, well, certain studies in the parapsychology literature may be a counter-example to that assertion. From all that I have read of Carroll’s writings, he does not seem familiar with the parapsychology literature, so his assertion is unsurprising.

    BTW, it may be worth mentioning that, although publicly many physicists will dismiss parapsychology as pseudoscience, in private discussions, many are much more open-minded to it. For example, some of my colleagues are prominent quantum physicists whose names are considered each year for a Nobel prize, who find the evidence amassed by parapsychology convincing of the reality of psi, and who will never say any of this publicly because they don’t want to see their reputations destroyed or lose their chance of winning the Nobel. This doesn’t prove that psi is real, but it does show that the kinds of physicists who take parapsychology seriously are not just on the fringe or outright crackpots. It also shows that many physicists are not behaving as scientifically as they should when it comes to scientific studies of psi claims, due to external sociological reasons.

    End

  592. Pete Aon 14 Sep 2017 at 9:21 am

    “it’s logically possible that conscious states play a strong-downward-causal role in quantum phenomena by some other means”

    It is logically possible that Santa exists.

  593. Enfant Terribleon 14 Sep 2017 at 9:47 am

    bachfiend,

    “If ‘remote viewing’ is so useful as an archaeological tool in finding marine wrecks, then why hasn’t it been used repeatedly in the 37 years since 1980 to find all marine wrecks, including lost silver bullion galleons?”

    Because although psi seems to be latent in nearly everyone, it appears to be robust in only a few. And remote viewers are not Highlanders. They can be very special, but they die too. McMullen died in 2008, Hammid in 1992. Anyway, there are still discoveries being made through “intuition”, “psi”, “lucky guess”, whatever you call it:

    February 3, 2013: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2272848/Richard-III-Woman-feels-chill-Leicester-car-park-human-remains-found.html

    The date above is before the confirmation. After the confirmation, she won in 2015 the “Most Excellent Order of the British Empire”. Note that Philippa Langley is a writer, and writers have good performance in psi experiments.

  594. Enfant Terribleon 14 Sep 2017 at 9:57 am

    Pete A,

    “It is logically possible that Santa exists.”

    Not according to Physics.

    1) No known species of reindeer can fly. But there are 300,000 species of living organisms yet to be classified, and while most of these are insects and germs, this does not COMPLETELY rule out flying reindeer which only Santa has ever seen.

    2) There are 2 billion children (persons under 18) in the world. BUT since Santa doesn’t (appear) to handle the Muslim, Hindu, Jewish and Buddhist children, that reduces the workload to 15% of the total – 378 million according to Population Reference Bureau. At an average (census) rate of 3.5 children per household, that’s 91.8 million homes. One presumes there’s at least one good child in each.

    3) Santa has 31 hours of Christmas to work with, thanks to the different time zones and the rotation of the earth, assuming he travels east to west (which seems logical).

    This works out to 822.6 visits per second. This is to say that for each Christian household with good children, Santa has 1/1000th of a second to park, hop out of the sleigh, jump down the chimney, fill the stockings, distribute the remaining presents under the tree, eat whatever snacks have been left, get back up the chimney, get back into the sleigh and move on to the next house.

    Assuming that each of these 91.8 million stops are evenly distributed around the earth (which, of course, we know to be false but for the purposes of our calculations we will accept), we are now talking about .78 miles per household, a total trip of 75-1/2 million miles, not counting stops to do what most of us must do at least once every 31 hours, plus feeding and etc.

    This means that Santa’s sleigh is moving at 650 miles per second, 3,000 times the speed of sound. For purposes of comparison, the fastest man- made vehicle on earth, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a poky 27.4 miles per second – a conventional reindeer can run, tops, 15 miles per hour.

    4) The payload on the sleigh adds another interesting element. Assuming that each child gets nothing more than a medium-sized lego set (2 pounds), the sleigh is carrying 321,300 tons, not counting Santa, who is invariably described as overweight.

    On land, conventional reindeer can pull no more than 300 pounds. Even granting that ‘flying reindeer’ (see point #1) could pull TEN TIMES the normal amount, we cannot do the job with eight, or even nine.

    We need 214,200 reindeer. This increases the payload – not even counting the weight of the sleigh – to 353,430 tons. Again, for comparison – this is four times the weight of the Queen Elizabeth.

    5) 353,000 tons traveling at 650 miles per second creates enormous air resistance – this will heat the reindeer up in the same fashion as spacecraft re-entering the earth’s atmosphere. The lead pair of reindeer will absorb 14.3 QUINTILLION joules of energy. Per second. Each.

    In short, they will burst into flame almost instantaneously, exposing the reindeer behind them, and create deafening sonic booms in their wake. The entire reindeer team will be vaporized within 4.26 thousandths of a second.

    Santa, meanwhile, will be subjected to centrifugal forces 17,500.06 times greater than gravity. A 250-pound Santa (which seems ludicrously slim) would be pinned to the back of his sleigh by 4,315,015 pounds of force.

    In conclusion – If Santa ever DID deliver presents on Christmas Eve, he’s dead now.

    http://www.physlink.com/fun/istheresanta.cfm

  595. chikoppion 14 Sep 2017 at 10:19 am

    You are omitting the possibility of quantum Santa, who is a non-local (omnipresent) phenomena until observed. Santa and the reindeer are in all homes simultaneously. The Santa wave function only collapses should he stop to interact with cookies and milk.

  596. Pete Aon 14 Sep 2017 at 12:11 pm

    Yes, it is indeed logically possible that Santa exists. I did not specify where or how Santa exists, neither did I claim that Santa visits circa 100 million homes, because these are irrelevant to the fact that it is logical possible that Santa exists.

    There’s orders of magnitude more people who believe in Santa than there’s scientists who believe in psi. And most of those who believe in Santa are correctly instructed that once Santa’s wave function has been observed by them, as it passes through their home, it will collapse.

  597. Pete Aon 14 Sep 2017 at 12:28 pm

    When I asked Santa if he would like to take part in a double-slit experiment, he was filled with glee as he replied: Ho Ho Ho! To which his reindeer angrily reminded him: Been there, done that — it isn’t funny!

  598. bachfiendon 14 Sep 2017 at 4:37 pm

    Enfant Terrible,

    Phillipa Langley is also a historian, and president of the Richard III Society. She’d been looking for Richards’s grave since 2004 or 2005, doing research on the available documentation. One of three central car parks had been suggested as the possible sites of the grave, which had been marked some time after burial, but which had later fallen into disrepair.

    She wasn’t just a unknowing person who happened to be walking across the car park and suddenly had a psychic premonition that it was there. She’d been looking for it for years, doing the research and developing a hypothesis as to where it was.

    She was right. Another case of confirmation bias. If the excavation hadn’t shown anything, no one would have heard of it. Apparently as of 2015, she’s looking for the remains of another king. I’m certain if she succeeds again, it will be the result of long research and not the result of psychic powers.

    The remote viewers might be dead. Why aren’t there new ones? Why weren’t many more wrecks discovered in the few years subsequent to 1980? If the remote viewers were so successful in finding one wreck, then why didn’t they find others?

  599. BillyJoe7on 14 Sep 2017 at 5:01 pm

    chikoppi,

    “The Santa wave function only collapses should he stop to interact with cookies and milk”

    But, of course, that happens in only one home out of the hundred million – in all probability in hardnose’s house of maximal gullibility.

  600. BillyJoe7on 14 Sep 2017 at 5:15 pm

    ET,

    Three things:

    First: do you understand anything your physicist said as quoted in your first post above?
    Second: the argument in your second post is philosophical.
    Third: has your physicist discussed any of this with Sean Carroll?

    And, as a matter of interest, did your physicist ask not to be named?

  601. BillyJoe7on 14 Sep 2017 at 5:27 pm

    ET,

    Pete: “It is logically possible that Santa exists”
    ET: “Not according to Physics…blah…blah…blah”

    It is logically possible that Santa has the ability to stop time for everyone but himself.

    What we are saying is that something being logically possible is not saying very much.

  602. Enfant Terribleon 14 Sep 2017 at 5:59 pm

    bachfiend,

    “Why weren’t many more wrecks discovered in the few years subsequent to 1980? If the remote viewers were so successful in finding one wreck, then why didn’t they find others?”

    http://www.irva.org/library/pdfs/schwartz1987caravel.pdf

  603. Enfant Terribleon 14 Sep 2017 at 6:13 pm

    BillyJoe7,

    “It is logically possible that Santa has the ability to stop time for everyone but himself. What we are saying is that something being logically possible is not saying very much.”

    Ok. But we have experimental evidence for psi. We can’t say the same for “Quantum Santa” or “Chronos Santa”.

  604. bachfiendon 14 Sep 2017 at 6:39 pm

    Enfant Terrible,

    Don’t make me laugh. All it is is just confirmation bias. The paper is just confirmation bias from start to finish. They’ve got no way of knowing what they found in a known possible site of the remains of two of Columbus’ ships.

    It’s just counting the hits and ignoring the misses.

    Anyway – you haven’t answered my previous question – what ‘superpower’ are the supposed psychics showing? Is it remote viewing, which would be amazing (unbelievable) since it would mean that the supposed psychics were not only able to ‘see’ from a distance of thousands of kilometres but were also able to see through metres of sediments? Or is it precognition – the ability to predict what would be found at a given location if that location was examined?

    And anyway. I’m not convinced. One of the arguments the authors use is that remains were found only at locations where the remote viewers had a consensus that they’d be there, and no where else. Which is a dubious proposition. How intensively did they look in other areas? It’s very, very easy not to find something elsewhere if you’re motivated not to find it.

  605. bachfiendon 14 Sep 2017 at 6:43 pm

    Enfant Terrible,

    ‘But we have experimental evidence for psi’.

    Agreed. Crappy, unconvincing evidence, of small inconsistent deviations from chance, with special pleading and confirmation bias, by people who are p-value fetishists.

  606. chikoppion 14 Sep 2017 at 6:54 pm

    [Enfant Terrible] Ok. But we have experimental evidence for psi. We can’t say the same for “Quantum Santa” or “Chronos Santa”.

    A better analogy would be to say there is inconsistent evidence of presents occasionally showing up and no explanation of how they got there. Positing “Santa” as an explanation is pure speculation at this point.

  607. Enfant Terribleon 14 Sep 2017 at 7:06 pm

    BillyJoe7,

    “First: do you understand anything your physicist said as quoted in your first post above?”

    Most of the time no, but something, yes, especially Assumption (iii). Assumption (i) and Assumption (ii) I just get the general idea.

    “Second: the argument in your second post is philosophical.”

    Most part, yes, but not all. E.g., “certain studies in the parapsychology literature may be a counter-example to that assertion. From all that I have read of Carroll’s writings, he does not seem familiar with the parapsychology literature, so his assertion is unsurprising.” it is not philosophical.

    “Third: has your physicist discussed any of this with Sean Carroll?”

    I don’t think so.

    “And, as a matter of interest, did your physicist ask not to be named?”

    Yes, he asked.

  608. Enfant Terribleon 14 Sep 2017 at 7:46 pm

    “They’ve got no way of knowing what they found in a known possible site of the remains of two of Columbus’ ships.”

    Anyway, the Remote Viewing was again useful:

    The discovery of artifact and ship remains were made within the Remote Viewing predicted areas, and nowhere else, although substantial areas outside of the Remote Viewing locations were searched. As described and located by the Remote Viewers, previously unknown shipwreck was found in Consensus Area I. […] To use but one example, specific predicted ferrous objects, including the remnant of an anchor lodged halfway up the coral reef in Consensus Area 1, had not been detected during the electronic remote sensing.

    “It’s just counting the hits and ignoring the misses”

    Who is ignoring the misses?

    Of the 45 per cent of the data which could be evaluated, the overall accuracy rating for all Respondents and all concepts is 40 per cent “Correct,” 33 per cent “Partially Correct,” 27 per cent “Incorrect.” The “Hit Rate” (combined “Correct” and “Partially Correct”) is 73 per cent.

    “Anyway – you haven’t answered my previous question – what ‘superpower’ are the supposed psychics showing?Is it remote viewing, which would be amazing (unbelievable) since it would mean that the supposed psychics were not only able to ‘see’ from a distance of thousands of kilometres but were also able to see through metres of sediments? Or is it precognition – the ability to predict what would be found at a given location if that location was examined?”

    Hard to say. I don’t know. But the psychics showed these capacities in laboratory conditions too, whatever explanation you prefer: https://app.box.com/s/0jxevuufzexwzbwu1v912wi0ai4pf04t (psychic: Hella Hammid)

    “And anyway. I’m not convinced.”

    I know. I am not surprised. Creationists says the same thing, although we have a lot of evidence for evolution. I have seen this behavior before.

    “How intensively did they look in other areas? It’s very, very easy not to find something elsewhere if you’re motivated not to find it.”

    Well, I don’t know. But the question is not only to locate something, but to predict what will be located.

  609. CKavaon 14 Sep 2017 at 9:07 pm

    TBH I’m much more interested in the Quantum/Chronos Santa than ET’s recycled psi verbiage.

    I mean ET certainly dismisses the idea far too readily, we have literally thousands of accounts, many from highly credible witnesses, for the existence of Santa. Moreover, there are accounts from various ancient traditions that appear eerily similar to the Santa mythos? Coincidence? I think not. The possibility is probably somewhere close to p < .000014. I mean sure there are many houses Santa doesn't visit and it is just the parents pretending, but can you honestly say that explains ALL of the presents? Do you think parents all over the world have agreed to deceive their children?

    Furthermore, there are rebuttals to Enfant Terrible's quoted article:
    http://web.archive.org/web/20041113092029/http://home.uchicago.edu/~rascalzo/arch/palace/library/humor-tech/santa-physics.html

    And even more damningly NORAD(!) and NASA have developed a Santa tracker:
    http://www.noradsanta.org/

    When you have NASA scientists, mathematic equations, the effects of quantum physics, accounts from people from all over the world, and p < .05, what more do you need?

  610. bachfiendon 14 Sep 2017 at 10:20 pm

    Enfant Terrible,

    If you’re looking for ship remains where psychics claim to have ‘seen’ ship remains, of course you’re going to find ship remains – bits of wood, metal, etc. Why can’t the psychics find wrecks containing artefacts not expected to be found at every ship wreck, such as silver bullion?

    It’s a self-fulfilling ‘prediction’. And the psychics didn’t show these abilities in laboratory settings. They were describing what they thought they could see in sealed containers, and another person subjectively had to decide whether the description matched the object, and then to the p-value fetishists it was decided that the judge’s opinions of the objects were barely signifantly greater than chance.

    The ‘seers’ weren’t able to locate the containers, were they?

    The evidence for evolution is many, many orders of magnitude better than that for psi.

  611. Pete Aon 15 Sep 2017 at 5:57 am

    “Of the 45 per cent of the data which could be evaluated, the overall accuracy rating for all Respondents and all concepts is 40 per cent ‘Correct,’ 33 per cent ‘Partially Correct,’ 27 per cent ‘Incorrect.’ The ‘Hit Rate’ (combined ‘Correct’ and ‘Partially Correct’) is 73 per cent.”

    In which industry does ‘partially correct’ count as correct? “The value of pi=3” is ‘partially correct’, but it is hopelessly incorrect for everything that requires accuracy. An optician provides you with reading glasses, but has inadvertently swapped the left and right lens specifications: your glasses are ‘partially correct’. You put diesel fuel in the tank of your petrol car, which is ‘partially correct’, whereas putting water in the tank would be ‘incorrect’.

    Therefore: Of the 45% of the data which could be evaluated, 40% was ‘correct’. I.e., 18% of the data was ‘correct’; 82% of the data was either ‘not correct’ or useless for other reasons. The ‘Hit Rate’ in the complete data was only 18%.

    If someone were to propose that the planets go around the sun because all planet matter has a kind of tendency for movement, a kind of motility, let us call it an ‘oomph,’ this theory could explain a number of other phenomena as well.

    So this is a good theory, is it not? No. It is nowhere near as good as the proposition that the planets move around the sun under the influence of a central force which varies exactly inversely as the square of the distance from the center.

    The second theory is better because it is so specific; it is so obviously unlikely to be the result of chance. It is so definite that the barest error in the movement can show that it is wrong; but the planets could wobble all over the place, and, according to the first theory, you could say, ‘Well, that is the funny behavior of the “oomph”.’

    —Richard Feynman

    Parapsychology is pseudoscience. It is unfalsifiable, and when experimental errors and analysis errors are pointed out, its supporters refuse to accept the feedback.

    The so-called ‘evidence’ which ET uses to support psi effects is the very evidence that caused me to stop believing in psi.

  612. Enfant Terribleon 15 Sep 2017 at 8:55 am

    CKava,

    “there are rebuttals to Enfant Terrible’s quoted article:”

    Let’s see:

    Rebuttal 1: “And don’t say you can’t go faster than the speed of light because I’ve seen it done on TV. ”

    Oh… brilliant argument!…Wow, I am impressed!…

    Rebuttal 2: “the flying reindeer are not a previously unknown species of reindeer, but were in fact given the power of flight due to eating magic acorns.”

    Oh… magic… certainly this is something that is not ruled by the laws of Physics… with full corroboration in laboratories…

    I think it’s enough…

  613. BillyJoe7on 15 Sep 2017 at 9:06 am

    ET,

    BJ: “Do you understand anything your physicist said as quoted in your first post above?”
    ET: “Most of the time no”

    So, therefore, you could have no idea if his arguments against SC’s have any merit at all.
    So, if you don’t understand than and have no idea if they carry any weight, why did you post them?

    “From all that I have read of Carroll’s writings, he does not seem familiar with the parapsychology literature”

    Well, yes, he probably spent about five minutes considering parapsychology in the light of QFT, the most successful theory in all of science, and concluded that he would be wasting his time reading any parapsychology “literature”.

    BJ: “Third: has your physicist discussed any of this with Sean Carroll?”
    ET: “I don’t think so”

    Why not? He is obviously familiar with SC’s blog. Yet he never considered responding to him in the comments section? Never considered communicating his concerns regarding his conclusions?

    BJ: “And, as a matter of interest, did your physicist ask not to be named?”
    ET: “Yes, he asked”

    I assume you mean he asked not to be named.
    So let’s get this straight. He reads SC’s blog but, despite his conviction that SC is wrong, he has never responded in the comments or contacted him to point out his errors. And he also doesn’t want to be identified?
    It doesn’t exactly sound like he has the courage of his convictions.

  614. BillyJoe7on 15 Sep 2017 at 9:14 am

    ET,

    CKava, through his link, is “taking the piss”.

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=take%20the%20piss

  615. Enfant Terribleon 15 Sep 2017 at 10:19 am

    bachfiend,

    “If you’re looking for ship remains where psychics claim to have ‘seen’ ship remains, of course you’re going to find ship remains – bits of wood, metal, etc. Why can’t the psychics find wrecks containing artefacts not expected to be found at every ship wreck, such as silver bullion?””

    When a Remote Viewer is asked to describe something in, or under the sea, there is a generic sort of description that many presume will cover many, if not most wrecks. In the sense of naming or drawing certain nautical universals, for instance an anchor, this is true. But in most respects, as we have learned by direct field experience and study of the literature, this criticism is true in only the broadest terms. Shipwrecks present themselves in many ways. There are thousands of boat types. The Remote Viewers describe a ship that is intact. Several saying it sank in place. This sounds generic but, in fact, the brig is the only wooden sailing ship wreck ever found in the area this intact. Sailing ships driven or mis-sailed onto the Banks did not often stay completely together like this when they sank. Typically, one find a debris trail along which, over some distance, a ship breaks up, spilling contents, and parts of its structure. Here are a few other examples of Remote Viewing at an even smaller scale, that also had a low a priori probability of being correct: R-15 described the site by saying: “I feel wood, big pieces of wood, like railroad ties…”. (See Illustration Six) This may sound generic. It is not. The massive timbers of the Leander present the rare case of a ship that sank intact. There is no other ship recovery on record in the License Area that matches this site. There does not seem to have been another equivalent reported excavation like this on the entire Banks.

    Similarly, “and small glass bottles.” Small glass bottles rarely survive the constant movement of sand, and currents on the Bank. The probability of discovering one is very small. Yet two were found in the wreckage of this site. (See Illustration Seven)

    Or, “… pewter…I don’t know what it is, but some kind of corroded metal.”; (See Illustration Eight) And “Everyday artifacts…” Again, these observations only seem commonplace. Based on other excavation reports the site is notable for the number of such items which have survived. Among the artifacts recovered: The Captain’s pearl handled razor, parts of a drafting set, a silver or pewter cruet.

    Experience taught us that arguments proposing that most wrecks can be described by predictable interchangeable cliché images, simply do not hold up. Similarly, the criticism that anywhere one looks one is likely to turn up a wreck, is ludicrous in the face of the immensity of the ocean, the uniqueness of each site, and the academic and historical search literature.

  616. Pete Aon 15 Sep 2017 at 10:39 am

    ET has more than adequately demonstrated to be, and has finally admitted to being, wholly incapable of understanding, not only the subjects about which ET produces endless quotes and references (many of which actually refute ET’s stance), but also satire.

    Parapsychology is satire: the use of humour, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity. Parapsychology has been useful in effecting the gradual removal of the reliance on p-values in the field of psychology. I admire Daryl J. Bem for his role in helping to bring about this long-overdue change in methodology.

    An example from The British Psychological Society:
    Is something rotten in the state of social psychology? Part Two: digging through the past
    https://digest.bps.org.uk/2017/05/26/is-something-rotten-in-the-state-of-social-psychology-part-two-digging-through-the-past/

  617. Enfant Terribleon 15 Sep 2017 at 10:54 am

    BillyJoe7,

    “So, therefore, you could have no idea if his arguments against SC’s have any merit at all. So, if you don’t understand than and have no idea if they carry any weight, why did you post them?”

    Because you said “it is essential to have an extremely broad and detailed background knowledge of your subject in order to properly assess plausibility. The best source (the only source) of this is the consensus of experts”. So I asked an expert to see if was agreement with Carroll. In a sense there is agreement:

    I think that the claim is valid, given certain assumptions.

    In another sense there is no agreement:

    Assumption (iii) is, in my view, and in the views of a considerable number of philosophers of mind and philosophers of physics, likely wrong.

    I don’t need to be an expert in Physics to know that there is no agreement with Carroll. I even mentioned Paul Nunez and many others.

    “Well, yes, he probably spent about five minutes considering parapsychology in the light of QFT, the most successful theory in all of science, and concluded that he would be wasting his time reading any parapsychology “literature”.”

    You are right, this is exactly what he did. What is a shame, in my view.

    “Why not? He is obviously familiar with SC’s blog.”

    Well, I don’t know this. I never asked if he is familiar with SC’s blog.

    “I assume you mean he asked not to be named.”

    Correct.

    “So let’s get this straight. He reads SC’s blog”

    Again, I don’t know this. I really don’t know if he ever heard about SC before.

    “but, despite his conviction that SC is wrong,”

    Again, as I understand, given certain assumptions, SC is right. The problem is to know if these assumptions are correct.

  618. Enfant Terribleon 15 Sep 2017 at 11:20 am

    bachfiend,

    “They were describing what they thought they could see in sealed containers,”

    Sure. This is very similar to see through metres of sediments, don’t you think? In both cases the viewer see “inside” things.

    “and another person subjectively had to decide whether the description matched the object”

    Another similarity: “An evaluation of the accuracy of Remote Viewing data, was carried out by
    the INA Archaeological Field Director, based on archaeological, geological, and electronic remote sensing field surveys and historical analysis.”

    ” and then to the p-value fetishists it was decided that the judge’s opinions of the objects were barely signifantly greater than chance.”

    Yes, but you don’t need statistics to see the success of the experiments. After all, if the object is a “leather belt ring” and the psychic says that “the strongest image is like a belt”, you just have to be a little more smart than a zombie to see the correspondence.

  619. chikoppion 15 Sep 2017 at 12:01 pm

    [Enfant Terrible] Yes, but you don’t need statistics to see the success of the experiments. After all, if the object is a “leather belt ring” and the psychic says that “the strongest image is like a belt”, you just have to be a little more smart than a zombie to see the correspondence.

    So…”like a belt” might also correspond to a length of rope, shipping straps, a pair of suspenders, a girdle, a hoop or band, etc, etc. A “leather belt ring” might also correspond to a ring or bracelet, had those items been named among the guesses.

    You also just have to be a little more smart than a zombie to see the subjectivity.

  620. Pete Aon 15 Sep 2017 at 12:23 pm

    “[Enfant Terrible] Yes, but you don’t need statistics to see the success of the experiments.”

    So why do you keep quoting the statistics, especially the p-values, of experiments in parapsychology? You are chock-full of self-contradictions, and an empty vessel in terms of critical thinking skills and scientific acumen. Empty vessels do indeed make the most noise.

  621. CKavaon 15 Sep 2017 at 1:16 pm

    Enfant Terrible,

    As you have repeatedly demonstrated in this thread, the mere existence of a rebuttal is all that matters, the validity of the content is immaterial.

    Chronos Santa is real.

  622. Enfant Terribleon 15 Sep 2017 at 1:57 pm

    chikoppi,

    “So…”like a belt” might also correspond to a length of rope, shipping straps, a pair of suspenders, a girdle, a hoop or band, etc, etc. ”

    You don’t have these options. The options are: belt keyring, quill, leaf, spoon and pin, can of sand. No one can be mistake about which is the correct target.

    “You also just have to be a little more smart than a zombie to see the subjectivity.”

    If all people choose the same target, there is no subjectivity.

  623. Enfant Terribleon 15 Sep 2017 at 2:02 pm

    Pete A,

    “So why do you keep quoting the statistics, especially the p-values, of experiments in parapsychology?”

    Oh, Lord… different experiments, different results, different approaches. Some results are so extraordinary that you don’t need statistics. Other results need statistics to see how extraordinary they are.

  624. Pete Aon 15 Sep 2017 at 3:40 pm

    Oh, Lord, indeed!

  625. chikoppion 15 Sep 2017 at 4:16 pm

    [chikoppi] So…”like a belt” might also correspond to a length of rope, shipping straps, a pair of suspenders, a girdle, a hoop or band, etc, etc. ”

    [Enfant Terrible] You don’t have these options. The options are: belt keyring, quill, leaf, spoon and pin, can of sand. No one can be mistake about which is the correct target.

    So the subjects knew in advance it was one of those five items or were they completely ignorant of what was in the container? If the latter, who decided that “like a belt” indicated the subject was holding a mental image of a key ring rather than uttering a vague phrase that could correspond to any number of tangentially related objects? If the contents had been rubber bands instead, would that also have been a “hit?” If so, the breadth of subjective interpretation alone could account for any statistical deviation.

  626. bachfiendon 15 Sep 2017 at 4:32 pm

    Enfant Terrible,

    If the experiments in ‘remote viewing’ succeeded so well, then why didn’t they exploit their success and go looking for something useful? Such as silver bullion galleons? Or for Australians, the site of the wreck of the HMAS Sydney, which was sunk in the early days of WWII in the Indian Ocean, and which was only found after extensive searching in 2008.

    There are plenty of recent wrecks, the locations of which is unknown, but which would be much more intact than possible wrecks from the 16th century, as with Columbus’ ships (there’s no proof that they were Columbus’ ships anyway).

    As an experiment, it would have been much more convincing for the remote viewers to find the location of a recent marine wreck in the middle of the ocean (as with the Sydney) and describe its condition, instead of finding generic debris in coastal waters (where most ships sink anyway).

    The answer is obvious. Remote viewing doesn’t work. It’s just confirmation bias. Counting the hits and ignoring the misses.

  627. Pete Aon 15 Sep 2017 at 5:00 pm

    chikoppi,

    Poetic license [aka: artistic license; dramatic license; (Latin) licentia poetica] is deployed in rhetoric, art, poetry, comedy, works of fiction, and pseudoscience, for the purpose of misdirecting its intended audience.

    When deployed in the fields of science and medicine, it constitutes fraud. When deployed in the field of parasychology it does not constitute fraud simply because parasychology claims itself to be ‘an inexact science’ — as does homeopathy and its kindred delusions. [Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., 1842].

    Applying the rules of science, its methods, and 21st-century epistemology to pseudoscience, such as parasychology, always results in playing chess with a pigeon: it knocks the pieces over, craps on the board, and flies back to its flock to claim victory. [Scott D. Weitzenhoffer]

    Most of the statements made by belivers in pseudoscience, such as parasychology, are not even wrong.
    http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Not_even_wrong

  628. Bill Openthalton 15 Sep 2017 at 8:50 pm

    Why don’t the remote viewers tell us where MH370 is?

  629. bachfiendon 15 Sep 2017 at 9:26 pm

    Bill,

    Agreed. Parapsychologists seem to be in the habit of devising experiments that either produce positive results which are either 1. Not useful – small deviations from chance with a p-value fetishist’s p-value < 0.05, or 2. 'Positive results' which require considerable interpretation to make them positive, such as finding generic ship wrecks, in sites known to have wrecks.

    And believers in psi are happy to go along with this since it agrees with their worldview.

    There should surely be a way of testing remote viewing without having to rely on subjective interpretation. The purported remote viewer should be presented with 10 sealed containers with 10 different objects, and also shown copies of the 10 objects, and asked to match the container to the object.

    There's only 3,628,800 ways of arranging 10 objects, so it should be easy for a remote viewer to get it right, going on Enfant Terrible's trumpeting of psi's very low p-value results.

  630. Steve Crosson 15 Sep 2017 at 9:34 pm

    Enfant Terrible,

    I’m curious. How much have you spent on various pro-psi merchandise such as books or perhaps even ‘courses’ promising to help you improve your own psi ability? I’m guessing that you have ‘invested’ a non-trivial amount, and that this is at least part of the reason that you are unwilling to entertain the possibility that you might be wrong. No one likes to believe that they have wasted a lot of money.

    But even if my guess is wrong and you’ve never spent a nickel, you must be aware that there is a huge cottage industry of people that want to convince you that psi is real and many of them want to help you improve your own latent ability — for a FEE.

    Why is that? If some of these people actually do know how to increase psi ability, then why are they settling for chump change from the people that believe their pitch? Why not increase their OWN psi ability and find a ship full of gold bullion or win the lottery or whatever?

    It is because they can’t. Whether they are true believers or scam artists, no one has ever been able to reliably harness any type of psi ability whatsoever. The best anyone can do is cherry pick a bunch of dubious anecdotes to convince themselves (or their scam victims) that it might be true. Conveniently, any psychic ability is always found to be less than perfectly dependable — thus giving the believer (or victim) a ready made excuse to continue believing in spite of disconfirming evidence.

    Well, guess what? It doesn’t need to be perfect or even close to perfect. If anyone, ever, had been able to control virtually any psychic ability just a few percent of the time, they would already have made a killing in Vegas or one of the countless other casinos around the world. Every single casino is visible proof that a very small percentage advantage to the house is enough to make huge profits in the long haul.

    So why hasn’t anyone with just a little tiny bit of psychic power ever managed to break the bank? Ever??? Face it — either psychic powers don’t exist at all, or if they do, they are so weak and unreliable as to be useless. After thousands of years of trying, and with millions of “believers”, still no one has cracked the “secret” of dependability. Not even good enough to get a slight advantage over random chance.

    Every single bit of your “evidence” is just confirmation bias and is no more convincing than the similar anecdotal evidence that has fooled the adherents of the many, many, many thousands of other belief systems and religions throughout the ages. Since all of them tend to be mutually incompatible, we know by simple logic that most (or even all) of them MUST be false, but no one ever seems to accept that their own beliefs might be just as unsupported as all the others.

    Everyone, even skeptics, want to believe, and it is comforting to believe that we understand how the world works, and thus we can feel that we have some control over our destiny, however slight. But, actually understanding how the world works is much better than simply believing that you understand. And science (and the scientific method) is the only approach with a successful track record of separating justified belief from wishful thinking. And while your “researchers” are pretending to be scientific — they’re not. They are using the trappings of science to mislead themselves and other gullible people.

  631. Enfant Terribleon 18 Sep 2017 at 9:14 am

    chikkopi,

    “So the subjects knew in advance it was one of those five items or were they completely ignorant of what was in the container?”

    Completely ignorant. And it was only one subject, Hella Hammid.

    “If the latter, who decided that “like a belt” indicated the subject was holding a mental image of a key ring rather than uttering a vague phrase that could correspond to any number of tangentially related objects?”

    A judge. (A good thing you could do is to read the article, all this is clearly answered in the article…)

    “If the contents had been rubber bands instead, would that also have been a “hit?” ”

    If the judge thinks that between the targets the best match is the rubber bands, yes.

    “If so, the breadth of subjective interpretation alone could account for any statistical deviation.”

    No, it can’t. The quality of the descriptions is very high. The description of the swiss alpine ski area makes obvious which is the correct target, the same with the hand.

  632. Enfant Terribleon 18 Sep 2017 at 9:30 am

    “If the experiments in ‘remote viewing’ succeeded so well, then why didn’t they exploit their success and go looking for something useful?”

    a) http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=950&dat=19790207&id=g1pQAAAAIBAJ&sjid=3FgDAAAAIBAJ&pg=5304,1491295

    b) http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1338&dat=19811028&id=Lx5IAAAAIBAJ&sjid=TPkDAAAAIBAJ&pg=6152,3295384

    it is understandably risky for me to report psi crime investigations with which I am personally acquainted. Yet, for some years I have been monitoring Kathlyn Rhea, a psi practitioner now
    living in Novato, California
    [Note: already deceased]. One case in particular provides evidence that Kathlyn Rhea was directly instrumental in locating a missing body. I personally obtained complete corroboration from the law enforcement officials involved. The case occurred several years ago in Calavaras County, California, in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada gold country. An elderly man, Mr. Russell Drummond, has been camping with his wife in the county. He was reported missing by his wife, after he left his campsite to use the latrine and never returned.
    The local county sheriff organized a search party of some 300 persons. However, after a two-week period of intensive combing through the adjacent areas, the searchers were unable to locate the body or any sign of what happened to Mr. Drummond. The sheriff therefore proclaimed that Drummond must have either left or been taken away from the county.
    His wife was desperate at this point. Not only was she without her husband, but since his whereabouts was unknown she could not collect his pension or insurance.
    Six months after the indicent, Mrs. Drummond contacted Kathlyn Rhea. Mrs. Rhea sat down using her
    normal methods, which involved no profound altered state of consciousness. She simply dictated into a cassette recorder her impressions of what had happened to Mr. Drummond. She described in detail, in a tape lasting 45 minutes, how he lost his sense of orientation and began wandering away from the campsite in an easterly direction. She described a gravel path near a small, chalet-like cottage, where there were trees and brush. There she described how he had a stroke and fell underneath one of the brush-like (madrone) trees in that area. She described still being under that brush, six months later, completely intact. This would be unusual for a body left in the woods for six months.
    Mrs. Drummond took that tape to the new county sheriff, Claude Ballard, who had been elected during the intervening time. Based on his listening to the tape, Ballard acknowledged a general sense of the location described by Mrs. Rhea. He took his skeptical undersheriff with him to that potential site with the idea that if the location matched the description provided by Mrs. Rhea, he would then organize a new search party. In fact, her description was so accurate that Sheriff Ballard was able to walk immediately to the body and find it without any difficulty. According to undersheriff Fred Kern, the description provided by the tape cassette was 99 percent accurate.
    Another case involving Kathlyn Rhea, which I have personally verified, involved the murder of an Ohio woman. Rhea was approach by a local detective for information on this case and she provided him with a detailed description of where the body could be found — in the country, on a gravel road near a bridge.
    The case is full of several ironies. Based on this information, the detective, visited a site where he thought the body might be found and was not successful. Being somewhat ill and unable to search further, he provided Kathlyn Rhea’s description to the police. Simultaneously, some local Boy Scouts uncovered the body at another location which matched Rhea’s description in major details. The sheriff’s department, which had assumed jurisdiction over the case, took note that an accurate description of the body’s condition and location had been turned in by this detective prior to the body’s discovery. They detained him as a suspect in the case.
    Additional information developed by the detective, working with Kathlyn Rhea, was that the local police chief had actually committed this murder. Rhea suggested that fibers from her clothing would be found in his police cruiser. Acting on this tip, investigators searched the car and did find fibers. The police chief was convicted of the murder and is now serving time in prison.

    Source: The The Roots of Consciousness, by Jeffrey Mishlove

  633. Enfant Terribleon 18 Sep 2017 at 9:50 am

    Steve Cross,

    “So why hasn’t anyone with just a little tiny bit of psychic power ever managed to break the bank? Ever???”

    http://parapsych.org/articles/36/50/why_arent_psychics_breaking_the.aspx

    The theoretical house advantage for some casino games is fairly small, e.g., about 1% for optimally-played craps. This means that over the long term, a good craps player might get back 99 cents for each dollar they play. If they hit a “hot streak,” they might even win some money. In practice, the actual house take for most games is fairly large (about 25% for table games) because people rarely play consistently, they reinvest their winnings, and the casino environment is intentionally designed to be noisy and visually distracting. Thus, for a given psychic to make any notable differences in long-term casino profits, they would have to (a) understand the strategies of each game they play, (b) consistently play according to those strategies, (c) stop when they are ahead, and (d) consistently apply strong, reliable psi.

    Over the long term casino profits are predictably stable, but given that some psi effects are known to be genuine, in principle a good, consistent psychic (who knows how to play the casino games) might make some money by gambling. In addition, many people applying weak psi may cause small fluctuations in casino profits, but testing this would require analyzing an enormous amount of casino data, and such data is difficult to obtain.

  634. chikoppion 18 Sep 2017 at 9:51 am

    [Chikoppi] If contents had been rubber bands instead, would that also have been a “hit?” ”

    [Enfant Terrible] If the judge thinks that between the targets the best match is the rubber bands, yes.

    So one answer applies to multiple possible inputs, based on subjective evaluation. The object could have been a key ring, rubber bands, or any number of other objects. The guesses are not specific answers, but indicative of categories of object properties as determined by linguistic non-specificity and subjective interpretation.

    I’ll return to the Santa analogy. The best any of this research indicates is that of the total incidents of presents measured a very small number of them might lack an explanation for how they got there. You are jumping ahead to “Santa is real,” whereas the quality of research does not support that conclusion.

    Simply repeating “look, here’s a another present we can’t explain” doesn’t move the bar.

  635. Enfant Terribleon 18 Sep 2017 at 12:15 pm

    “Simply repeating “look, here’s a another present we can’t explain” doesn’t move the bar.”

    If a woman (Hella Hammid) who had full corroboration by scientists of CIA, NASA, members of the police, making archaeological discoveries in the presence of an archaeologist skeptic, obtaining good results in laboratorial conditions too, if all this doesn’t move the bar, then nothing will. Nothing.

  636. chikoppion 18 Sep 2017 at 1:35 pm

    Sure, some future research could move the bar. But existing results are not sufficient. Not even the CIA, who has every motivation to confirm functional psychic abilities, is motivated by the present body of research.

    If you think there is something to be learned then ever more rigorous research will be necessary to pass that threshold. The scientific process will confirm it, should it exist.

    Again, it isn’t commenters at a skeptic web site that need to be convinced…but the expert community.

    In 1995, the defense appropriations bill directed that the program be transferred from DIA to CIA oversight. The CIA commissioned a report by American Institutes for Research that found that remote viewing had not been proved to work by a psychic mechanism, and said it had not been used operationally. The CIA subsequently cancelled and declassified the program.

    In 1995, the project was transferred to the CIA and a retrospective evaluation of the results was done. The appointed panel consisted primarily of Jessica Utts and Ray Hyman. […] Hyman came to the conclusion:

    “Psychologists, such as myself, who study subjective validation find nothing striking or surprising in the reported matching of reports against targets in the Stargate data. The overwhelming amount of data generated by the viewers is vague, general, and way off target. The few apparent hits are just what we would expect if nothing other than reasonable guessing and subjective validation are operating.”

    A later report by the American Institutes for Research (AIR) also came to a negative conclusion. Joe Nickell has written:

    “Other evaluators-two psychologists from AIR assessed the potential intelligence-gathering usefulness of remote viewing. They concluded that the alleged psychic technique was of dubious value and lacked the concreteness and reliability necessary for it to be used as a basis for making decisions or taking action. The final report found “reason to suspect” that in “some well publicised cases of dramatic hits” the remote viewers might have had “substantially more background information” than might otherwise be apparent.”

  637. Steve Crosson 18 Sep 2017 at 3:41 pm

    Enfant Terrible,

    I didn’t ask you why psi powers don’t ever seem to work at the gambling table. We already know that they don’t. I asked you “why not?”

    Instead of providing convincing, verifiable evidence that at least some people are able to perform better than random chance, you simply try to provide excuses like every defender of any fringe belief system. Rather than religious apologetics, you are engaging in psi apologetics.

    As many have already pointed out in this thread, there is no evidence whatsoever that anyone, ever, has been able to do anything at all constructively and reliably. No one has ever presented a psi power that has day to day Value in the real world.

    It is certainly not for lack of trying. Many people want to believe in this stuff and they spend lots of time and money trying to find evidence. While they can often convince themselves that seemingly anomalous incidents in the past are ‘evidence’, no one has ever managed to take the next logical step and use the same ‘technique’ to predict or even control future events at a success rate greater than random chance.

    No one seriously trusts this stuff because it has never been demonstrated to be trustworthy. Even the true believers don’t try to make a living off of psi powers because they know (at least subconsciously) that it is not reliable. Or if they do try, no one has ever succeeded.

    Except by scamming the gullible. Only by convincing someone that this stuff is real and then charging them for questionable ‘services’ has anyone ever been able to make a living at this stuff.

    You never answered my question. Have you paid your $100 to the Parapsychology Association yet? How many books have you purchased? Ever paid any money for ‘training’?

    Now do you have some idea why so many people out there want you to believe that this stuff is real — in spite of NO actual evidence. Lots of people are making lots of money off of the ignorance of the masses.

  638. bachfiendon 18 Sep 2017 at 4:26 pm

    Enfant Terrible,

    Good try, at changing the goal posts.

    I’d asked you for reasons why the ‘marine archaeologists’ didn’t try a more convincing experiment and go looking for something more useful and verifiable such as finding a more recent and more intact wreck such as that of the HMAS Sydney after finding generic ship wreckage in an area known to contain sunken ships over centuries.

    I’d also asked why the ‘researchers’ of remote viewing didn’t try a more rigororous experiment and showed the claimed psychics 10 sealed containers containing 10 specific objects (eg a key, a belt buckle, etc) along with copies of the 10 items, and asked to indicate which container contained which item.

    Paranormal researchers deliberately choose methods that are weak and subjective and prone to overinterpretation. And then have to rely on statistics to tease out small effects. As Rutherford is supposed to have said (but perhaps didn’t), if you need statistics to explain your experiment, then you need a better experiment.

    It’s all confirmation bias. Counting the hits and ignoring the misses.

  639. RickKon 18 Sep 2017 at 5:22 pm

    *sigh* Hella Hammid.

    There is vastly more information published about the psychic successes of Uri Geller than of Hella Hammid. He even was part of an SRI paper printed in Nature. Yet he’s a known fraud.

    Again you select one-off incidents that have no scientific control. So what if a scientist or a detective said “I don’t know how she could know that”? Don’t you see this, ET? Are you really unable to be critical of your own views?

    How much time did people spend studying Hammid as compared to the amount of time physicist Peter Phillips and his team studied Steve Shaw and Michael Edwards?

    There are plenty of police detectives that claimed after the fact that Sylvia Browne gave useful information. But when you go to the transcripts, she’s a complete failure. So… again we have confirmation bias and retrofitting.

    And just because something is published by the CIA doesn’t mean the analyst knew how to skeptically evaluate a claim. Read “Legacy of Ashes” before you place significant value on some CIA summary.

    You want to prove remote viewing is possible? Find a subject, ask CSICOP for help you design a study, lay out all the success criteria ahead of time in writing, and do the study. Then repeat the whole thing with the help of a team from JREF. Pass both those tests, and you can claim some evidence worth looking at. Until then, you’re no different than the people who took Erich Von Daniken seriously (and I was one of them – when I was 14).

    It’s not that no evidence will convince us, ET – it’s that you don’t have good evidence! That’s not opinion, that’s objective fact.

  640. Pete Aon 18 Sep 2017 at 7:08 pm

    “[RickK] There are plenty of police detectives that claimed after the fact that Sylvia Browne gave useful information. But when you go to the transcripts, she’s a complete failure. So… again we have confirmation bias and retrofitting.”

    Sylvia Celeste Browne (née Shoemaker; October 19, 1936 – November 20, 2013)[1] was an American author who claimed to be a medium with psychic abilities. She appeared regularly on television and radio, including on The Montel Williams Show and Larry King Live TV shows and hosted an hour-long Internet radio show on Hay House Radio.

    Browne was frequently discredited, and faced criticism for making pronouncements that were later proven false, including those related to missing persons such as Shawn Hornbeck and Amanda Berry; Jon Ronson in The Guardian dubbed her “America’s most controversial psychic”. Browne was also a convicted criminal, having faced fraud and theft charges in 1992. Despite considerable negative publicity, she maintained a large following.[2] [my emphasis]
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sylvia_Browne

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