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Cainkane1
26th February 2010, 07:19 AM
Watching Ghost Hunters and other ghost hunting programs one fact has always intrigued me. Batterys go dead and unopened packs of batteries arte found to be dead when opened. Supposedly this is because ghosts use this type of energy to exist.

Ok would this be scientifically possible? Could a living thing made up of energy live and reproduce and develope a type of intelligence? If so then these creatures would not be the souls of the dead but a life form.

Ghost behaviour seems similar to an animal protecting its space in much the same way as a cave bear would resist intrusion by humans. Even the Casper type stories could be explained by the fact that many species of animals enjoy the company of human beings.

The programs are probably hogwash but has anyone else ever suggested this?

Stray Cat
26th February 2010, 07:22 AM
The programs are probably hogwash but has anyone else ever suggested this?

:confused: Probably?

Bob Klase
26th February 2010, 07:36 AM
The programs are probably hogwash but has anyone else ever suggested this?

The writers of Star Trek used to suggest it about 10 shows a year.

Jack by the hedge
26th February 2010, 07:41 AM
I wonder what ghosts ate before batteries were invented.

Cainkane1
26th February 2010, 07:42 AM
The writers of Star Trek used to suggest it about 10 shows a year.
Thats true but has there been any reality based scientific discussions on this possibility?

Denver
26th February 2010, 07:45 AM
Watching Ghost Hunters and other ghost hunting programs one fact has always intrigued me. Batterys go dead and unopened packs of batteries arte found to be dead when opened...

Are you sure this is the case, and not because these are entertainment programs, with no clear process or controls around battery or equipment management?


Supposedly this is because ghosts use this type of energy to exist...
Ghost behaviour seems similar to an animal protecting its space...


I think it would be better to actually find believable evidence that ghosts exist before trying to explain their behavior.

Jack by the hedge
26th February 2010, 07:48 AM
Surely a reality based scientific discussion would not start by considering what ghosts are or what they eat, but by considering whether they exist at all. Then they would probably stop and wait patiently for any scrap of worthwhile evidence to emerge.

Stray Cat
26th February 2010, 07:50 AM
The 'batteries going dead' thing is simply confirmation bias in operation.

When you get batteries out and they work, there's nothing of note to remember.

Alley Cat
26th February 2010, 07:57 AM
Watching Ghost Hunters and other ghost hunting programs

I'm sorry for being slow here, but what exactly is this discussion about?

Is it about "Could ghosts actually be a life form?"

or is it about ridiculous television programs where "ghosts" eat batteries?

Cainkane1
26th February 2010, 07:59 AM
I wonder what ghosts ate before batteries were invented.
If you read historical ghost stories many sightings were made during times of thunder and lightening. If there is anything to so called ghosts there are more ghosts now than at any other time in human history.

Consuming battery energy might be like a primiitive man eating chocolate cake for the first time.

Incidentally lets keep the discussions light. I fully realise that scientists roll their eyes and when they say anything at all they describe paranormal activity as nothing more than superstition and overall bullcrap. They are probably right. Very possibly absolutely right.

I also realise that Mr. James Randi has successfully debunked every haunting he has ever investigated. However ghost sightings persist and there has to be some reason why people keep reporting these things. Mr. Randi has suggested the presence of carbon monoxide in a house may induce hallucinations.

I personally saw a "ghost" in my house but my doctor explained that when we are bored our minds start a form of self entertainment. Hence the souurce of my sighting.

CurtC
26th February 2010, 08:04 AM
Oh, come on, folks. The OP was meant to be a thinking exercise, not an attempt to demonstrate that this type of life exists.

Cankane1, you're asking whether "energy" could exist independently of a physical material to contain it? I don't see how - energy is a property of material stuff. You can have material at a high energy state, but that energy is not itself something. As far as we know anyway.

Jack by the hedge
26th February 2010, 08:08 AM
If you read historical ghost stories many sightings were made during times of thunder and lightening.
Thunderstorms (particularly at night) are scary and put people on edge. It wouldn't surprise me if people were more inclined to imagine they see stuff when they're tired and frightened in the dark.
If there is anything to so called ghosts there are more ghosts now than at any other time in human history.
How do you measure that?

aggle-rithm
26th February 2010, 08:10 AM
The writers of Star Trek used to suggest it about 10 shows a year.

I've brought this up recently in another thread. In the "Physics of Star Trek", Lawrence Krauss said that a life-form made up of energy would have its sense of time infinitely dilated, so that the entire history of the universe would pass by instantly from its perspective. Even if it were possible, there's no way such a life-form could interact with the natural world.

And its probably not possible. How would intelligence exist where there is no time? How can an intelligent thought go from inception to completion when there is no "before" and "after"? The concept itself is hopelessly flawed to the point of being meaningless.

KingMerv00
26th February 2010, 08:10 AM
Could ghosts actually be...

No.

Stray Cat
26th February 2010, 08:14 AM
How do you measure that?
Not with a battery operated device :D

Jack by the hedge
26th February 2010, 08:24 AM
Oh, come on, folks. The OP was meant to be a thinking exercise, not an attempt to demonstrate that this type of life exists.

OK, fair enough.

For anything like a being we'd regard as "alive" to exist, then I suppose one of the fundamental things it would need to have is some form of complex structure. I don't see a way to build or maintain such a structure in energy (electromagnetic or whatever?) without the influence of matter.

Getting onto how such a hypothetical entity could "eat" the energy stored in a battery, that's even more mysterious. The battery produces a small potential difference between its contacts, and will supply a good stream of electrons if the ghost can find some way to transport them from one terminal to the other. The ghost somehow does this, and extracts useful energy in the process. Any clues about how any of that's supposed to happen?

Safe-Keeper
26th February 2010, 08:35 AM
Well... computers run on electricity, so I suppose you could have an entity move around and replenish its energy from batteries. Bigger question would probably be how it would get the energy out of the batteries, through the closed packaging.

ETA: Ah, I see Jack beat me to it.

Sledge
26th February 2010, 08:35 AM
I've brought this up recently in another thread. In the "Physics of Star Trek", Lawrence Krauss said that a life-form made up of energy would have its sense of time infinitely dilated, so that the entire history of the universe would pass by instantly from its perspective. Even if it were possible, there's no way such a life-form could interact with the natural world.
That was kinda what DS9 was going for with the Prophets/wormhole aliens. Although they kinda forgot the "we cannot understand linear time" thing by the end of the show, when it turned out Sisko was made by them. Bah.

The Drain
26th February 2010, 08:36 AM
Another theory about repeated ghost reportings is infrasound (http://www.skepdic.com/infrasound.html). This is from the Skeptic's Dictionary.


Infrasound refers to extreme bass waves or vibrations, those with a frequency below the audibility range of the human ear (20 Hz to 22 kHz (http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychoacoustics)). Even though these waves can't be heard by us, they can be felt and have been shown to produce a range of effects in some people including anxiety, extreme sorrow, and chills.
<snip>
Psychologist Richard Wiseman (http://www.psy.herts.ac.uk/wiseman/index.html) of the University of Hertfordshire thinks that the odd sensations that people attribute to ghosts (http://www.skepdic.com/ghosts.html) may be caused by infrasonic vibrations.* (http://www.meta-religion.com/Paranormale/Ghost/ghosts_and_infrasound.htm)
<snip>
Infrasound may be produced by wind (http://www.borderlands.com/newstuff/research/infra.htm), by some types of earthquakes (http://l2a.ucsd.edu/meeting/abstract/single.php?ID=24), by ocean waves, and by such things as avalanches, volcanoes, and meteors



If it is infrasound, then this might explain why the long corridoors in old houses are so often 'haunted' during storms. And also often in the same physical place.

Senex
26th February 2010, 08:38 AM
I've brought this up recently in another thread. In the "Physics of Star Trek"...

Remember that episode in "Next Generation" where #1 and some woman were ghosts on the Enterprise? They could walk through walls but how come they weren't sucked through the floor by whatever artificial gravity device the ship uses? Huh? Yeah, what does that guy who wrote the book say about this? How come when the ship goes to warp everyone ins't flattened against the wall. How come there aren't daily riots outside the holodeck concerning whose turn it is? (You know there would be and no one would be using that 1930's nightclub program when there were sex programs to be had.)

This whole "The Physics of Ghosts" bothers me. How can a ghost propel themself if they can't use friction? They must have some sort of mass if gravity is to effect them or ghosts would just be flying off the planet (from our terrestrial point of view) willy nilly as they came into existence.

I need someone to define the physics of ghosts before I can take their existence seriously.

Safe-Keeper
26th February 2010, 08:39 AM
Actually, I read somewhere that infrasound is a myth. Don't remember where, though :/ .

rorylee
26th February 2010, 08:42 AM
Ghosts kinda suggests a Matrix style living to me. You not apart of the world, but you can interact with it. Certainly enough interest in it around the world, even a job to some.

Sunsneezer
26th February 2010, 08:51 AM
Battery estimation in cameras or otherwise is always a bit flakey with or without ghosts.
Also, Brian forgetting to charge the batteries and blaming the ghosts sounds like something that has a lot of chance of happening.
The electro-magnetic ghost ensemble of theory is based on recognizing patterns in amplified noise captured with misused instruments.

<bunk>
In the spirit of keeping it light and just for the guilty pleasure of speculation, I'd add that Ghost hunting would be a very efficient way of becoming insane if ghosts were real. I like to think of ghosts as restricted to the spiritual realm. If you see one, it's not through your senses but into your consciousness. If they existed, they'd be basically indistinguishable from hallucinations and absolutely impossible to physically prove, thus making the active search for them as futile as mentally hazardous.
</bunk>

Ririon
26th February 2010, 08:55 AM
The writers of Star Trek used to suggest it about 10 shows a year.
Which is all very nice. But if you have a living "entity" (isn't that Star Trek lingo) that is all energy and not matter... And is not associated with any particular matter... Then you just have radiation, don't you? Waves/photons traveling at the speed of light. Not very useful for staying in an old building to scare people. Not to mention how hard it is for you to get evolution going enough to be called a life form in the first place. :p

Fnord
26th February 2010, 08:55 AM
There are no such things as ghosts. People that believe that ghosts are real are either delusional, ignorant or non compos mentis. Any so-called 'evidence' for the existence of ghosts is either non-existent, deliberately faked or irrelevant to the claim.

However, show me a ghost, in a face-to-face meeting with me, and I will believe.

No pictures, videos, anecdotes or fallacious reasoning, please.

rorylee
26th February 2010, 09:04 AM
There are no such things as ghosts. People that believe that ghosts are real are either delusional, ignorant or non compos mentis. Any so-called 'evidence' for the existence of ghosts is either non-existent, deliberately faked or irrelevant to the claim.

However, show me a ghost, in a face-to-face meeting with me, and I will believe.

No pictures, videos, anecdotes or fallacious reasoning, please.

Yep seeing is believing. Say you saw it face to face and you became an instant believer and for example said it on JREF, you would get ridiculed. Just like the others who have currently seen and believed.

JohnG
26th February 2010, 09:10 AM
If you read historical ghost stories many sightings were made during times of thunder and lightening.


A thunderstorm can occur at any time of day but I'm betting that these storm related ghost sightings invariably happened at night. In other words, I'm betting thunder/lightning isn't the common thread/factor in ghost sightings. Many people are afraid of the dark (or at least extremely wary of it) and millions of years worth of evading nocturnal predators tells them that there is some justification for that fear.

Thunderstorms (particularly at night) are scary and put people on edge. It wouldn't surprise me if people were more inclined to imagine they see stuff when they're tired and frightened in the dark.


That and the perhaps more subtle aspect of lightning flashes messing with a person's night vision, thereby causing them to see things that aren't really there or mistake a commonplace object for something more mysterious?

I used to believe in ghosts and even visited cemeteries at night and attempted to capture EVP with my tape recorder. I get why people are thrilled/frightened/comforted by the belief in ghosts, but there really isn't any compelling evidence I'm aware of that supports that belief, despite what those clueless baseball cap wearing cretins waving their stud finders around and whispering "what the hell was that?!" might tell you.

Cainkane1
26th February 2010, 10:32 AM
The 'batteries going dead' thing is simply confirmation bias in operation.

When you get batteries out and they work, there's nothing of note to remember.
That depends on what the batteries are powering. Tee hee.

steve s
26th February 2010, 02:06 PM
Yep seeing is believing. Say you saw it face to face and you became an instant believer and for example said it on JREF, you would get ridiculed. Just like the others who have currently seen and believed.

So why is it that on these stupid ghost shows they always have a "witness" who claims to have seen a ghost in perfect human form with hair and clothing and facial features, but when these yahoos go mucking about in the dark with their cameras the best they can ever come up with is a vague wispy smudge?

Steve S

kitakaze
26th February 2010, 02:21 PM
I wonder what ghosts ate before batteries were invented.

Lightning and dreams.

dudalb
26th February 2010, 05:21 PM
I want these guy's opinions:

http://forums.randi.org/imagehosting/thum_1884048a9d5758a786.jpg (http://forums.randi.org/vbimghost.php?do=displayimg&imgid=13448)

Tricky
26th February 2010, 05:24 PM
Ok would this be scientifically possible? Could a living thing made up of energy live and reproduce and develope a type of intelligence? If so then these creatures would not be the souls of the dead but a life form.
Only if you completely discard the scientific meaning of "life".

kerikiwi
26th February 2010, 05:26 PM
... scientists roll their eyes and when they say anything at all they describe paranormal activity as nothing more than superstition and overall bullcrap. They are probably right. Very possibly absolutely right.



I just can't help myself. I have to correct errors.

I Ratant
26th February 2010, 05:59 PM
Watching Ghost Hunters and other ghost hunting programs one fact has always intrigued me. Batterys go dead and unopened packs of batteries arte found to be dead when opened. Supposedly this is because ghosts use this type of energy to exist.
...

.
On our tour of the Queen Mary's "Ghost and Legends" yesterday, I took a few photos before we got to the tour.
When we down in the bowels of the boat into the spectral apparition areas, my camera wouldn't take any pictures!
"Battery Exhausted" on the LCD.
Yeah, right.*
Didn't get any photos of the ghosts in the swimming pool, or the power room, or "Half-Hatch Harry" with -that- camera.
The camera on my cell phone worked just fine, as did the cameras of other people on the tour.
*The batteries did recover enough for a couple flash photos in the engine room.
They do that. :)

MattusMaximus
26th February 2010, 11:00 PM
*Puts physics professor hat on*

Seeing as how matter is just a form of energy (via good ol' E=mc2) and all known life forms are made up of matter, therefore all known life forms are also made up of energy.

Thus, the OP is moot, except to say that ghosts are a bunch of hooey :p

Soapy Sam
26th February 2010, 11:44 PM
I did rather like the "ghosting" effect in the Dr.Who episode "The Library"- the personal electronics a person carried were so closely linked to the brain as to keep the consciousness operating for a minute or so after the person was organically dead.
That was rather spooky.

JoeyDonuts
26th February 2010, 11:56 PM
They may be an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of an underdone potato.

Stray Cat
27th February 2010, 02:27 AM
While looking through the back pages of Squid Fishing Monthly, I came across an ad for this new innovation from Duracell, obviously designed to cash in on the "my batteries went flat so I couldn't photograph the poltergeist" phenomenon.

On the face of it, it looks like a good idea for any dedicated ghost hunter to stock up on them, I look forward to seeing some positive results.

http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/gg117/ThePsychoClown/Duracell-Ghost-Hunter.jpg

PS: Sorry, but they closed the UFO thread. :D

rorylee
27th February 2010, 03:20 AM
So why is it that on these stupid ghost shows they always have a "witness" who claims to have seen a ghost in perfect human form with hair and clothing and facial features, but when these yahoos go mucking about in the dark with their cameras the best they can ever come up with is a vague wispy smudge?

Steve S
First thought on the question - from what we know about ghosts in general from stories n so on. We know they can 'SEE' you.

Now if i was a ghost and could see you with a camera walking around, i wouldn't want to be caught on tape just as a thief doesn't. Though people might get lucky now n again and who knows ghosts could be telepathic as well.

The Fallen Serpent
27th February 2010, 03:25 AM
First thought on the question - from what we know about ghosts in general we know they can 'SEE' you. some have faith in their existence and some are not convinced by the lack of empirical evidence. There is overlap between the two groups.


If "we" meant humanity in general my correction is more accurate. If "we" meant a subset you need to specify which subset as "we" within a skeptics forum will generally refer to skeptics unless stated otherwise.

Floyt
27th February 2010, 03:38 AM
Watching Ghost Hunters and other ghost hunting programs one fact has always intrigued me. Batterys go dead and unopened packs of batteries arte found to be dead when opened. Supposedly this is because ghosts use this type of energy to exist.

Ok would this be scientifically possible? Could a living thing made up of energy live and reproduce and develope a type of intelligence? If so then these creatures would not be the souls of the dead but a life form.

Ghost behaviour seems similar to an animal protecting its space in much the same way as a cave bear would resist intrusion by humans. Even the Casper type stories could be explained by the fact that many species of animals enjoy the company of human beings.

The programs are probably hogwash but has anyone else ever suggested this?


If there was an energy-only equivalent to what we define as life (system showing reproduction, a mrtabolism etc.), such "organisms" would presumably be so different from "matter" life that they'd neither attempt interaction nor show interpretable behaviour patterns. I wouldn't expect a virus to protect a territory or enjoy someone's company, and these would be incomparably stranger...

Floyt
27th February 2010, 03:39 AM
And quit being so self-righteous, guys, this is a thought experiment and not a case of some creduloid that needs to be educated.

Safe-Keeper
27th February 2010, 03:43 AM
And quit being so self-righteous, guys, this is a thought experiment and not a case of some creduloid that needs to be educated.
Agreed. Lighten up, people.

Brian-M
27th February 2010, 04:32 AM
Watching Ghost Hunters and other ghost hunting programs one fact has always intrigued me. Batterys go dead and unopened packs of batteries arte found to be dead when opened. Supposedly this is because ghosts use this type of energy to exist.


How fresh were those batteries, and how often does this happen in real-life? Most batteries have a limited shelf life and will go flat if left too long. (The basic dry-cell battery (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zinc-carbon_battery) has a shelf life of around 1.5 years.)

But why would a ghost bother with batteries when it can get thousands of times the electricity from the nearest power outlet? (The fact that the ghost can supposedly get to the battery even though it's sealed in the packet means it would have no trouble getting to the back of the power outlet where there's always power even when the switch is turned off.) Or can ghosts only live off of DC power?

Ok would this be scientifically possible? Could a living thing made up of energy live and reproduce and develope a type of intelligence? If so then these creatures would not be the souls of the dead but a life form.


What form of energy would this be? "Energy" is merely an abstract concept. What particles and forces are you suggesting would be at work for a real-life "ghost" to exist?

As far as I'm aware, it is not possible (based on our current understanding of physics) for incorporeal creatures exhibiting the properties generally attributed to ghosts to exist.

Ghost behaviour seems similar to an animal protecting its space in much the same way as a cave bear would resist intrusion by humans. Even the Casper type stories could be explained by the fact that many species of animals enjoy the company of human beings.


As we have no reliable documented accounts of ghost behavior (or even ghost existence) generally accepted as factual, it's nothing more than unfounded speculation (ie. blind guesswork) debating why ghosts may or may not act in a manner they are rumored to behave. It achieves nothing. Better to debate whether or not they actually exist before debating possible motives for various behavior.

rorylee
27th February 2010, 05:40 AM
If "we" meant humanity in general my correction is more accurate. If "we" meant a subset you need to specify which subset as "we" within a skeptics forum will generally refer to skeptics unless stated otherwise.

understandable, when put like that is does form another group within this forum. Most thread starters who are different to the repliers =]

jayh
27th February 2010, 06:13 AM
Funny that the 'dead battery packs' seem to be happening to ghost hunters (who in turn make a big deal of it on those tv shows). Judging from the wild sensationalism of the rest of the show, how much do you trust that 'analysis'.

But if ghosts are around, they're NOT just in the places ghost hunters happen to be. They'd be in thousands of places, even places where they're not previously noticed. Why doesn't Duracell have lots of problems with bad battery packs from these ghosts being returned as defective?

Stray Cat
27th February 2010, 06:17 AM
Why doesn't Duracell have lots of problems with bad battery packs from these ghosts being returned as defective?

They obviously do.
I point you to this post: http://forums.randi.org/showpost.php?p=5663344&postcount=38
Which clearly shows that Duracell recognise the problem and are addressing it.

Cainkane1
27th February 2010, 06:17 AM
First thought on the question - from what we know about ghosts in general from stories n so on. We know they can 'SEE' you.

Now if i was a ghost and could see you with a camera walking around, i wouldn't want to be caught on tape just as a thief doesn't. Though people might get lucky now n again and who knows ghosts could be telepathic as well.
Why would a ghost avoid being photographed? If they exist they have as much right to life as anything else. If they are inhabiting an abandoned house or whatever they could be helped. For instance if they really do use battery type energy then you could set up a transformer. They would have a banquet then.


If they existed I'd really enjoy living in a haunted house. Talk to them. Interract with them.

Ok this is hogwash. I made this post for the fun of it.

Tricky
27th February 2010, 07:24 AM
. When we down in the bowels of the boat into the spectral apparition areas, my camera wouldn't take any pictures!
"Battery Exhausted" on the LCD.
Yeah, right.*
Didn't get any photos of the ghosts in the swimming pool, or the power room, or "Half-Hatch Harry" with -that- camera.
The camera on my cell phone worked just fine, as did the cameras of other people on the tour.
*The batteries did recover enough for a couple flash photos in the engine room.
The spirit was willing but the flash was weak?

TX50
27th February 2010, 08:01 AM
I'm still waiting for someone to patent the first ghost-powered refrigerator
or airco. Well, doesn't the temperature drop in the presence of a ghost? What a boon to developing countries!

rorylee
27th February 2010, 08:10 AM
Why would a ghost avoid being photographed? If they exist they have as much right to life as anything else. If they are inhabiting an abandoned house or whatever they could be helped. For instance if they really do use battery type energy then you could set up a transformer. They would have a banquet then.


If they existed I'd really enjoy living in a haunted house. Talk to them. Interract with them.

Ok this is hogwash. I made this post for the fun of it.

I can see what you're getting at. Its just the same as why people don't like there photo been taken. If they exist, maybe they have some set of rules they have to live by, like we do.

Imagine yourself as a ghost ( i guess thats what you did ) you'd know more existed and might follow the rules to get beyond ghost like or just simply turn negative and haunt ppl - which usually are the most common experiences.

Though i would personally love to have a ghost friend like in the movie 'High How' ;)

Jimbo07
27th February 2010, 09:03 AM
But why would a ghost bother with batteries when it can get thousands of times the electricity from the nearest power outlet? ....Or can ghosts only live off of DC power?

Of course you realize you've just invented the ultimate ghost-hunting apparatus/trap?

Please do not attempt the following, unless you are comfortable working with exposed 120V AC leads:

Strip the leads off one end of a power cord, leave a good length of each stripped. Plug the other end into a wall outlet and leave the exposed leads in the middle of the room. For safety's sake, support them in a mechanical apparatus, before plugging in the cord.

Or, if ghosts only eat DC, you can use a 120V AC to 24V DC converter and leave a pair of exposed leads, as above. You wouldn't want to use a 12V DC battery, because the ghosts might be able to drain it too quickly.

Either way, just get a chair, turn off the lights and wait for all the power hungry ghosts to show up!

If the ghosts only take trickle-charge, you could even measure that by putting a meter in line with your apparatus. If you're not sure whether ghosts eat AC or only DC, you can experiment and try it both ways! Science!

:D

I Ratant
27th February 2010, 09:18 AM
The spirit was willing but the flash was weak?
.
For shame, Sir, for shame!
:)

I Ratant
27th February 2010, 09:21 AM
Of course you realize you've just invented the ultimate ghost-hunting apparatus/trap?

Please do not attempt the following, unless you are comfortable working with exposed 120V AC leads:

Strip the leads off one end of a power cord, leave a good length of each stripped. Plug the other end into a wall outlet and leave the exposed leads in the middle of the room. For safety's sake, support them in a mechanical apparatus, before plugging in the cord.

Or, if ghosts only eat DC, you can use a 120V AC to 24V DC converter and leave a pair of exposed leads, as above. You wouldn't want to use a 12V DC battery, because the ghosts might be able to drain it too quickly.

Either way, just get a chair, turn off the lights and wait for all the power hungry ghosts to show up!

If the ghosts only take trickle-charge, you could even measure that by putting a meter in line with your apparatus. If you're not sure whether ghosts eat AC or only DC, you can experiment and try it both ways! Science!

:D
.
You've found the reason car batteries discharge when left on a concrete floor!
It's not the charge is never topped off, it's all those ghosts sucking the ergs out!
The mystery is solved!
CONFIRMED!

Cheetah
27th February 2010, 12:05 PM
We had a lot of rain the past two days and there was some lightning, my girlfriend thought she heard strange noises last night and this morning my car's battery was flat. There was also a strange smell in the car, I think it smells vaguely evil......

Skeptic Ginger
27th February 2010, 12:26 PM
....
The programs are probably hogwash but has anyone else ever suggested this?Oh, maybe only a dozen movie plots and who knows how many sci-fi stories.

Skeptic Ginger
27th February 2010, 12:37 PM
Thats true but has there been any reality based scientific discussions on this possibility?I think the idea there could be life forms, including intelligent life forms which are so different from us we can't yet comprehend the fact they are sentient or alive as we define it is a legit scientific contemplation.

For example, plants were recently shown to be using some kind of quantum computing (if this NewScientist article is reliable):

Nature's hot green quantum computers revealed (http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20527464.000-natures-hot-green-quantum-computers-revealed.html)

shadron
27th February 2010, 01:08 PM
_uQob7CzYpw

(Give it a little time - it gets to ghosts eventually.)

Cainkane1
27th February 2010, 05:46 PM
_uQob7CzYpw

(Give it a little time - it gets to ghosts eventually.)
Well this pretty well clinches it. Empty batteries aside there ain't no ghosts.

Stray Cat
27th February 2010, 05:58 PM
Maybe everyone's been looking at this the wrong way up.

Maybe instead of Ghosts draining the power from batteries, the batteries are full of ghosts, and then it stands to reason that when the ghosts escape from the batteries, people see/sense them but their cameras don't work because there is no ghost left in the battery... in an Elvis has left the building kind of way?

MattusMaximus
27th February 2010, 09:03 PM
And quit being so self-righteous, guys, this is a thought experiment and not a case of some creduloid that needs to be educated.

I was actually being serious about my E=mc2 comment - I hope I did not offend :o

Brian-M
27th February 2010, 11:48 PM
Or, if ghosts only eat DC, you can use a 120V AC to 24V DC converter and leave a pair of exposed leads, as above. You wouldn't want to use a 12V DC battery, because the ghosts might be able to drain it too quickly.


Or you could just leave the 12V car battery permanently hooked up to a charger.

And make sure it's one of those expensive chargers which have a switch-mode power supply inside instead of a transformer, so you're more likely to pick up strange readings on your RF meter. :)
___________________________________________

@ rorylee...

Is your avatar supposed to be blinking that fast? It's set up to blink for 20ms every 60ms, which is 12.5 blinks per second. I don't know if it was intentionally done that way, but I've made up a slower version for you if you're interested...

http://forums.randi.org/imagehosting/265734b8a113ecab51.gif

rorylee
28th February 2010, 03:03 AM
@ rorylee...

Is your avatar supposed to be blinking that fast? It's set up to blink for 20ms every 60ms, which is 12.5 blinks per second. I don't know if it was intentionally done that way, but I've made up a slower version for you if you're interested...

http://forums.randi.org/imagehosting/265734b8a113ecab51.gif

legend mate cheers!! it was a bit slower but some reason it went faster when uploaded here.

Thanks again =]

Brian-M
28th February 2010, 03:12 AM
legend mate cheers!! it was a bit slower but some reason it went faster when uploaded here.

Thanks again =]

No problem, glad to help.

dlorde
28th February 2010, 12:14 PM
For example, plants were recently shown to be using some kind of quantum computing

The headline is nonsense. What the article describes is photosynthesis, not computing. The only commonality is that they use quantum effects at larger scales than expected/normal.

Skeptic Ginger
28th February 2010, 11:01 PM
The headline is nonsense. What the article describes is photosynthesis, not computing. The only commonality is that they use quantum effects at larger scales than expected/normal.From the article:The evidence comes from a study of how energy travels across the light-harvesting molecules involved in photosynthesis....

The route the energy takes as it jumps across these large molecules is important because longer journeys could lead to losses. In classical physics, the energy can only work its way across the molecules randomly. "Normal energy transfer theory tells us that energy hops from molecule to molecule in a random walk, like the path taken home from the bar by a drunken sailor," says Gregory Scholes at the University of Toronto, Canada, one of the co-authors of the paper published in Nature this week (DOI: 10.1038/nature08811).

But Scholes and his colleagues have found that the energy-routeing mechanism may actually be highly efficient. The evidence comes from the behaviour of pigment molecules at the centre of the Chroomonas antenna. The team first excited two of these molecules with a brief laser pulse, causing electrons in the pigment molecules to jump into a quantum superposition of excited states. When this superposition collapses, it emits photons of slightly different wavelengths which combine to form an interference pattern. By studying this pattern in the emitted light, the team can work out the details of the quantum superposition that created it.

The results are a surprise. Not only are the two pigment molecules at the centre of the antenna involved in the superposition; so are the other six pigment molecules. This "quantum coherence" binds them together for a fleeting 400 femtoseconds (4 10-13 seconds). But this is long enough for the energy from the absorbed photon to simultaneously "try out" all possible paths across the antenna. When the shared coherence ends, the energy settles on one path, allowing it to make the journey without loss. (emphasis mine) The bolded part is my understanding of quantum computer mechanisms. So I'm not sure what your issue is.

Cainkane1
1st March 2010, 06:55 AM
If there was an energy-only equivalent to what we define as life (system showing reproduction, a mrtabolism etc.), such "organisms" would presumably be so different from "matter" life that they'd neither attempt interaction nor show interpretable behaviour patterns. I wouldn't expect a virus to protect a territory or enjoy someone's company, and these would be incomparably stranger...
Why would they necessarily not want to interact with humans? Humans obviously want to interact with them. The relationship could be mutually beneficial. We could help supply them with essentials of life and they could reward us with whatever.

EHocking
2nd March 2010, 06:11 AM
I can see what you're getting at. Its just the same as why people don't like there photo been taken. If they exist, maybe they have some set of rules they have to live by, like we do...It's pretty obvious.
Ghosts are those souls that have been stolen when the person's photograph was taken. That's why they don't like photography.

Jack by the hedge
2nd March 2010, 09:16 AM
The relationship could be mutually beneficial. We could help supply them with essentials of life and they could reward us with whatever.

The ability to walk through walls would have obvious benefits in search & rescue after earthquakes. If all they want in return is a few boxes of AAs, then that sounds like a great deal.

Cainkane1
2nd March 2010, 09:57 AM
_uQob7CzYpw

(Give it a little time - it gets to ghosts eventually.)
This video is from the point of view that people believe ghosts are the souls of the dead. The idea that ghosts are not dead but living energy beings is a bit different. Lightening goes into the ground but it doesn't go all the way through the earth or fly up into the cosmos. An energy being would evolve a way to stay put as it walked the halls of deserted buildings, old hotel corridores and basements and attics. many reports of ghosts have them walking above the floor and such. The fact that they look vaguely human or whatever may be protective mimicry.

Ok remember to keep this discussion civil. I deliberately made this discussion very very far fetched.

I Ratant
2nd March 2010, 10:17 AM
What would the environmental pressures working to evolve a more successful "energy being".. one that walks thru walks, yet can manage to go up the stairs?

Idiot Wind
2nd March 2010, 10:28 AM
If you're not sure whether ghosts eat AC or only DC, you can experiment and try it both ways! Science!

I'm pretty sure Nikola Tesla's ghost would never eat DC

Wrathernaut
2nd March 2010, 11:09 AM
I'm convinced these ghost hunter shows are merely the modern equivalent of the table-floaters and cabinet knockers. They try and use the tricks they have to video things happening, using their own shadows, reflections and kicking knocking something a few feet away from the camera (about two outstretched arms distance) to make it seem like they're not responsible. Using old batteries which even "fully charged" reach empty rather quickly, or using tiny holes in the packaging and a bulb to drain them beforehand is an easy trick.

JohnG
2nd March 2010, 11:42 AM
Ok remember to keep this discussion civil. I deliberately made this discussion very very far fetched.


I take your point and hope I didn't come off snarky in my earlier post. I personally enjoy discussions about "far fetched" subjects and have read books about the science of Star Trek and Indiana Jones. It's fun to think about how a being such as Superman might theoretically exist or how he would interact with the "real world". The difference between the discussion you're trying to have and a similar discussion about Superman is that practically no one believes that Superman is real. Lots of otherwise rational and intelligent people though do believe that ghosts exist. Hell, I did myself for about the first 20 or so years of my life. There's lots of emotional and intellectual baggage that comes along in a discussion that overlaps with real life in a way that other discussions don't. Looking at it from a another angle, someone wanting to suggest as a thought experiment that the battle of Agincourt didn't have anywhere near the death toll as historians have described isn't going to provoke people in quite the same way as suggesting a similarly themed thought experiment about the Holocaust. Some people will, rightly or wrongly, assume there's an agenda behind the supposedly harmless discussion.

All I'm trying to say is, it's OK to have a problem with people here being uncivil, but for crying out loud, it's a Skeptic's forum, if you or someone else cites some piece of evidence that suggests ghosts might be real, no one should get bent out of shape if someone else chimes in and mentions that that particular piece of evidence has been debunked. Going back to the Superman example, if someone points out that superheroes could exist because an ant can lift 50 times its body weight, it's perfectly OK for some pedantic bore like me to chime in and mention that such comparisons between tiny insects and relatively "massive" human beings are meaningless due to scale and the laws of physics.

yomero
3rd March 2010, 12:43 AM
I hope this isn't off topic, but I have a good ghost story that really happened to me.

When I was 12 we moved into a house that had previously been used by an out-of-town forwarding agency. The 2 rooms in the front were used as offices, and the rooms in the back were the employees' living quarters. One of the workers, named Manjarrez happened to die in the house. The remaining employees demanded to move somewhere else because Manjarrez's ghost would come at night and terrorize them. They felt him touching their bed covers or heard him working with his mechanical typewriter.

During the first year we spent there, on the first cold night of November, I very clearly heard the typewriter being used. But the sound didn't come from the front rooms, instead, it came from an old, cheap desk where my mother kept her OWN typewriter. The house was totally dark, everyone else was sleeping. Very scared but skeptical (not completely) of ghost appearances, I decided to investigate. There was nothing strange with our typewriter but the noise of someone typing was still there. Then I lowered my ear to the thin wooden boards of the desk and found they were creaking, probably due to the change in temperature.

It wasn't that similar to a typewriter, but in my nervous state I could almost hear the little bell sound at the end of each line.

JohnG
3rd March 2010, 12:52 AM
"Old man Manjarrez?!"

"Bah! I would've gotten away with it, too if it wasn't for that meddling yomero!"

Cainkane1
3rd March 2010, 07:21 AM
I hope this isn't off topic, but I have a good ghost story that really happened to me.

When I was 12 we moved into a house that had previously been used by an out-of-town forwarding agency. The 2 rooms in the front were used as offices, and the rooms in the back were the employees' living quarters. One of the workers, named Manjarrez happened to die in the house. The remaining employees demanded to move somewhere else because Manjarrez's ghost would come at night and terrorize them. They felt him touching their bed covers or heard him working with his mechanical typewriter.

During the first year we spent there, on the first cold night of November, I very clearly heard the typewriter being used. But the sound didn't come from the front rooms, instead, it came from an old, cheap desk where my mother kept her OWN typewriter. The house was totally dark, everyone else was sleeping. Very scared but skeptical (not completely) of ghost appearances, I decided to investigate. There was nothing strange with our typewriter but the noise of someone typing was still there. Then I lowered my ear to the thin wooden boards of the desk and found they were creaking, probably due to the change in temperature.

It wasn't that similar to a typewriter, but in my nervous state I could almost hear the little bell sound at the end of each line.
Yes the imagination can and does play tricks on us. Theres no ghosts and no living beings made entirely of energy that feels about batteries the same way we feel about a pizza delivery. Reality is strange enough without us making things up.