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Rolfe
14th February 2005, 11:01 AM
Stop me if there's already a thread on this. I noticed that tonight's Bodyshock on Channel 4 (9 pm I believe) is to be about Natasha/Natalia/whatever her name is who is alleged to have x-ray eyes. This programme is usually quite good, and there was absolutely no clue from the Radio Times billing about whether the presentation was going to be rigorous or credulous. Worth a look, maybe.

Rolfe.

CFLarsen
14th February 2005, 11:26 AM
Here. (http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=52541)

Definitely worth a look.

Rolfe
14th February 2005, 11:36 AM
Thanks. And thanks for the spoilers too, because it wasn't worth the damage to my blood pressure if they'd given her an easy ride.

Rolfe.

Rolfe
14th February 2005, 03:28 PM
She did better than I expected, getting 4 out of 7 in the formal test. However, her whole demeanour suggested that she was wildly out of her depth and was guessing. There was nothing of the aura of certainty you'd have expected if she was really getting paranormal information. I agree with the CSICOP spokesman - she was picking up subtle clues from the patients despite the precautions, and she got a bit lucky.

It was an unsatisfactory outcome though, because (if I've got my statistics right), she could have been said to have passed at the level of p=0.02. This would have been considered a positive result in many biological experiments - not a definite declaration of "eureka", but enough to suggest that further investigation was warranted.

Just supposing she really is doing something, it would surely be important to find that out. If she'd been my experiment, I'd have been keen to do further trials to try to get to the bottom of it. However, because she wasn't an obvious success first go out of the box, all her faithful believers are talking about stress and insisting that she shouldn't undergo further tests.

She's got her place at medical school. My prediction - she'll gradually forget the whole thing as she grows up and gets on with the real world. And her believers will always declare that she had such an amazing gift when she was a teenager. On the other hand, it may be that a medical education will simply turn he into a better guesser, and she'll end up setting up as a professional woo-woo.

In which case, we can hope for the further trials, I suppose.

Rolfe.

jambo372
14th February 2005, 03:43 PM
I wasn't convinced by the sceptics verdict of Natasha for several reasons :

a) She scored 4 out of 7. She has beaten chance (according to the documentary there was a 1 in 50 chance of this).

b) Sceptics claim her high success rate is due to a psychological method similar to cold reading because she is allowed to interact with patients, question them and diagnose more than one condition.
She diagnosed (hence probably saving the lives of) patients at home with rare and life threatening conditions who didn't know themselves what was wrong with them - not even specialists knew. She obviously couldn't question them about this. This is extremely unlikely to be done by guesswork and naming a list of likely conditions :
i) Because the conditions are uncommon
ii) She doesn't fully understand medical terminology, yet.
Examples are the woman with the Cancer in the upper third of her lung which specialist doctors failed to diagnose and the man with Sarcoidosis.
iii) She was stressed and in unfamiliar surroundings with strange people.
iv) The patient could be suffering from multiple conditions, some of which they aren't aware of.

Azrael 5
14th February 2005, 03:59 PM
She missed someone who had a great big metal plate in their head! how is that possible with X Ray vision,jambo?
You are dumb!

TheBoyPaj
14th February 2005, 04:02 PM
Originally posted by jambo372
I wasn't convinced by the sceptics verdict of Natasha for several reasons :

a) She scored 4 out of 7. She has beaten chance (according to the documentary there was a 1 in 50 chance of this).

What do you mean by "beaten chance"? There is no agreed level of "beating" chance, other than that which is agreed in advance by the participants. She agreed to 5 out of 7.

I think what you mean is she has beaten YOUR idea of chance. I guess that your success level would have been "whatever result she got".


b) Sceptics claim her high success rate is due to a psychological method similar to cold reading because she is allowed to interact with patients, question them and diagnose more than one condition.

And she did nothing to answer that suggestion.

i) Because the conditions are uncommon

But painfully obvious to anyone with her supposed ability.

ii) She doesn't fully understand medical terminology, yet.

She didn't have to. She was shown real x-rays of the conditions. All she had to do was match them with what she saw.

iii) She was stressed and in unfamiliar surroundings with strange people.

Diddums. I bet she could perform on TV if the fee was right.

iv) The patient could be suffering from multiple conditions, some of which they aren't aware of.

She was SHOWN what to look for. Are you saying that the person she claimed had a metal skull had something that LOOKED like a metal skull, but which they didn't know was there?

Rolfe
14th February 2005, 04:13 PM
Originally posted by TheBoyPaj
What do you mean by "beaten chance"? There is no agreed level of "beating" chance, other than that which is agreed in advance by the participants. She agreed to 5 out of 7.

I think what you mean is she has beaten YOUR idea of chance. I guess that your success level would have been "whatever result she got".No, I don't agree. She got 4 right out of 7. That was agreed to be only a 1 in 50 probability of being a "chance result". Not good enough for the CSICOP people to cave in and agree she was for real on this single test. But also not bad enough to prove for absolute certain sure that she was only guessing.

After all, a 1 in 20 probability of a "chance result" is agreed to be enough to suggest there might be something there in ordinary biological experiments. The point is, it isn't proof there's something there, it's only an indication that it's worth a closer look.

Natasha didn't pass at the "no argument" level, but she did pass at the "worth a closer look" level.

However, given that she has now withdrawn from further testing on the advice of her handlers, we'll never know who's right - me, who believes she was getting a few clues from the subjects, and got a bit lucky, or Jambo, who thinks she has some spooky power (which just isn't tuned to dirty great metal plates in the head).

Rolfe.

jambo372
14th February 2005, 04:20 PM
No - my idea of chance is that over 50 % correct is significant.

QUOTE]And she did nothing to answer that suggestion.[/QUOTE]

Yes she did. Did you read the rest of the post ?
She can't question patients who don't know what their own condition is - the specialist doctors didn't even know. It is extremely unlikely that such accurate diagnoses, ie Cancer in the upper third of the lung, would be obtained by guesswork and multiple suggstions and impossible that it would be found out by questioning the patient.

Also, the strange foreigners and unfamiliar surroundings and cynical attitudes may have made her feel frustrated, interfering with her vision making it difficult to detect otherwise obvious things eg the metal plate.

Azrael 5
14th February 2005, 05:03 PM
Originally posted by jambo372

Also, the strange foreigners and unfamiliar surroundings and cynical attitudes may have made her feel frustrated, interfering with her vision making it difficult to detect otherwise obvious things eg the metal plate.
Yet she had no such trouble the previous day,when allowed to guess,make various suggestions and list various ailments in the hop eof getting some right.Also she made the diagnocese(sp?)
straight away the previous day when as previously stated she was allowed to ramble.Yet in the test she took four hours to get 4 out of 7! Given that amount of time Id have come up with results as good as chance as well!
When you are in a strange place jambo or feel frustrated does your eyesight go?
:D

nbenami
14th February 2005, 05:07 PM
I haven't seen the show, but I would suspect that the 1 in 50 rating is naive. You'd expect there to be some ways of doing basic elimination in order to improve the odds, no?

DevilsAdvocate
14th February 2005, 09:01 PM
Originally posted by jambo372
[B]No - my idea of chance is that over 50 % correct is significant. Ermm. What? Flip a penny three times. Did you get heads at least two times? Or did you get tails at least two times? Holy significance! That's 66%! Well above 50% chance. Must be those paranormal forces...

Tanja
15th February 2005, 12:35 AM
I was wondering why they asked her to loke at only seven people. Was it so difficult to find participants?
Any result she got on more participants would have been more certain either way. This was just the type of result which will keep skeptics skeptics and keep believers believers.
Did you notice the journalist character who was supposedly first skeptical and then a firm believer and saying things like "I don't think she should allow to be tested ever again" and "why don't they just believe her?"
My guess is that Natalia is a bright girl determined to make her name and be succesful, and that she spent lots of time in the library reading medical books and combined that with good guesswork and cold reading.

CFLarsen
15th February 2005, 01:38 AM
Originally posted by Tanja
I was wondering why they asked her to loke at only seven people. Was it so difficult to find participants?

I can't remember if they said anything about it, but it turned out to be a wise move: She took about an hour for each patient, something that stood in stark contrast with her performance when at home: She could take dozens of patients every day (after school).

Sniff test.

Oleron
15th February 2005, 01:39 AM
Originally posted by Tanja
I was wondering why they asked her to loke at only seven people. Was it so difficult to find participants?
Any result she got on more participants would have been more certain either way. This was just the type of result which will keep skeptics skeptics and keep believers believers.
Did you notice the journalist character who was supposedly first skeptical and then a firm believer and saying things like "I don't think she should allow to be tested ever again" and "why don't they just believe her?"
My guess is that Natalia is a bright girl determined to make her name and be succesful, and that she spent lots of time in the library reading medical books and combined that with good guesswork and cold reading.


My thoughts exactly.

The most telling thing, IMO, was that in real life she makes nearly instant diagnoses of her 'patients' whereas in the test she took all day and was clearly reluctant and uncertain.

She got 4 but missed the 'easiest' patient with the metal plate. Anyone could see that she was under immense pressure from her entourage and really wanted to be elsewhere. I just got the impression that the whole thing was getting way out of control for her and she probably never realised how far the situation would develop.

She's obviously a very bright girl who I hope will devote herself to real study now.

mgdwcb
15th February 2005, 02:17 AM
I was dissapointed that there were no controls for both the `informal' and `strict' tests. Prof Wiseman suggested cold reading could have been involved in the informal tests where exchange of information was allowed with the patients - why were not experienced cold readers used as controls to compair her performance with them?

And in the strict test, about six people taking guesses would have shown us how Natasha faired statisticaly speaking.

TheBoyPaj
15th February 2005, 02:25 AM
Originally posted by jambo372
Yes she did. Did you read the rest of the post ?
She can't question patients who don't know what their own condition is - the specialist doctors didn't even know.

Yes, I did read that. I assume you are talking about diagnoses which were not part of the main test, but I did not see the start of the programme. How were these early diagnoses controlled? How do we know what information she was given? Who supervised these tests?

CFLarsen
15th February 2005, 02:34 AM
Originally posted by jambo372
She can't question patients who don't know what their own condition is

Oh, yes, she can. In the show, she points out diseases that the patients don't know they have.

TheBoyPaj
15th February 2005, 02:50 AM
I think that's Jambo's point, Claus. He proposes that, since the patients were not aware of their condition, they could not have been cold read.

What I want to know is how these diagnoses were controlled to remove the possibility of other methods of information leak (had no one examined these people?) and simple guesswork.

CFLarsen
15th February 2005, 03:04 AM
Originally posted by TheBoyPaj
I think that's Jambo's point, Claus. He proposes that, since the patients were not aware of their condition, they could not have been cold read.
Ah, OK.

Originally posted by TheBoyPaj
What I want to know is how these diagnoses were controlled to remove the possibility of other methods of information leak (had no one examined these people?) and simple guesswork.

Or even if the patients had these diseases at all.

Zep
15th February 2005, 04:32 AM
Has anyone considered the possibility that she was using other clues besides the "diseases" to match X-rays to patients?

For example, I can easily tell my own X-rays from my wife's - I have the flatter shoulder-line and beefier arms in the chest X-rays. Not to mention the typical male chest shape versus the female. And female and male body structures are quite distinctive - any anatomy student can tell you this (in excrutiating detail, no doubt).

In fact, the test above could be as easy as simply matching the body profile from the X-ray to the appropriate person's body when viewed at the right angle...hardly "X-ray vision" stuff. More like baby-puzzles - matching the shape to the hole it belongs in.

Odin
15th February 2005, 05:45 AM
non paranormal ways she could do this:

1) tell by the x-rays
2) tell by whats common to each persons age/sex (I think they controlled this)
3) body language. (were the people aware of what disease she was looking for each time?)
4) unusual movements caused by the disease (how the person stood?)

Rolfe
15th February 2005, 06:13 AM
Originally posted by nbenami
I haven't seen the show, but I would suspect that the 1 in 50 rating is naive. You'd expect there to be some ways of doing basic elimination in order to improve the odds, no? You needed to have seen the show.

It was a very good test which was devised. And seven people was about the maximum number it could have coped with - as Claus said, it took her ages to get through even that many.

To recap. They had six people with very definite abnormalities - from memory, a metal plate in the skull, no appendix, a lung lobe removed, an artificial hip, a section of oesophagus removed and I've forgotten the last one. And one healthy person.

Natasha was told what the seven diagnoses were. She didn't have to fly off at tangents looking for things at random, she knew that each of these abnormalities was present in one of the subjects - all she had to do was sort them out. This should have been much easier for her than her usual method - for example, rather than thinking, what's that weird thing in that person's head (assuming she could sense such a thing), she could immedicately look at the list and see that a metal plate in the skull was one of the things she was looking for. So, if she was anywhere close to her mother's claim of "Natasha is never wrong", she should have found it very simple to get five out of seven right. She didn't.

But she did get four right. Now I'm not an expert on this sort of statistics, but you can calculate what the probability is of a random guesser getting any specified number from 0 to 7 right. (OK, I think 6 right is impossible.) And I'm sure they did this, they just didn't tell us each figure. But they did tell us that a random guesser had only a 1 in 50 chance (2%) of getting four right.

Now CSICOP were right. A 2% chance of accidental success is too high for them to declare unequivocably that there is a paranormal effect there. If they did that, every 50 random guessers they tested, on average, would pass the test. So they had to class Natasha as "not proven".

However, she did very considerably better than many claimants. Consider all the dowsers who have performed, as Randi reports, "exactly what would be expected by chance". This would not describe Natasha. The most probable number of hits on that test for a random guesser is certainly less than four (maybe someone with statistical powers will tell me exactly what the number is). The fact is, it could well have been a fluke, I think it probably was a fluke (Natasha just happened to be the 50th claimant who struck it lucky, maybe combined with some subtle clues she was able to pick up), and we simply don't know.

But I'll tell you what. If she could repeat that performance, that is get four out of seven again on a similar test with a different seven people of a similar level of difficulty, I'd be bloody impressed. And very interested in investigating further.

It was definitely "significant if it turns out to be repeatable", and to be fair to both Natasha and unbiassed science, that point should have been made a bit more clearly. Unfortunately, there seems now to be no possibility of being able to do the necessary repetition of the experiment.

Rolfe.

Ernesto
15th February 2005, 06:49 AM
I missed the last 15 minutes of the show. Did they ask her supporters what they made of her failed test result?

Psiload
15th February 2005, 07:09 AM
Did you catch the part where Natasha protested that she was having trouble identifying which "subject" had had their appendix removed because "It may have grown back."

When she was informed that appendixes do not grow back, she responded, "They do in Russia."

:D

TheBoyPaj
15th February 2005, 08:30 AM
Originally posted by Ernesto
I missed the last 15 minutes of the show. Did they ask her supporters what they made of her failed test result?

Yes. They said that the test was unfair, etc. One guy said he didn't care what anyone says, HE knows she's got the power. They also said that she should not submit to testing by sceptics any more.

Any why should she? She has a "talent" which will earn her big bucks on talk shows, where no one really cares if it's true or not.

CFLarsen
15th February 2005, 08:47 AM
Originally posted by TheBoyPaj
Any why should she? She has a "talent" which will earn her big bucks on talk shows, where no one really cares if it's true or not.

It's worse. She wants to become a doctor.

JamesM
15th February 2005, 09:00 AM
Originally posted by Rolfe
(maybe someone with statistical powers will tell me exactly what the number is)
I don't have time to work out the proper numbers, so I wrote a quick program to randomly shuffle the numbers 1 - 7, and then count the number of times any number is in its "right" position.

It looks like the probabilities are pretty much converged after 100,000,000 runs (at least for our purposes).

0 right, p = 0.37
1 right, p = 0.37
2 right, p = 0.18
3 right, p = 0.062
4 right, p = 0.014
5 right, p = 0.0042
7 right, p = 0.00002

So at the 5% level, 4/7 is indeed significant. The average score is 1.

Normally when I do these calculations I make a horrendous mistake. I suspect now is no different, so it might be best to wait for the impending corrections.

TheBoyPaj
15th February 2005, 09:13 AM
Significant if she was just guessing, perhaps. But we have already indicated problem areas which mean that this was not properly blind.

Now, of course the attending scientists would have been aware of these possible info leaks, which may have been why they insisted on a slightly higher level of performance than a traditional study might require.

Ashles
15th February 2005, 09:14 AM
I think it's fair to say that however we look at it her results don't reflect anywhere near pure chance.

I'm sure there was a level of cold reading. In four hours of viewing people who are there with specific complaints I would imagine anyone reasonably practised could have picked up clues.

It's like if you've hidden something in a room and tell someone to find it the urge to continually look at where you have hidden it is huge.
I am sure there could well be clues she could have picked up on (fidgeting etc.).

(Wish I'd seen the programme).

The metal plate is a real giveaway though. If someone had any type of 'x-ray vision' whatsoever this would have been the very first thing they would have detected.

Maybe the fact that this person had the plate in their head meant they weren't giving away any unconscious signals.
It's hard to keep furtively glancing at your own head.

Rolfe
15th February 2005, 09:35 AM
One thing we haven't made clear. She wasn't given 4 hours to sort out the lot. She was presented with the abnormalities one at a time, while looking at all 7 people. She had to make up her mind on who had that abnormality before moving on to the next one. So far as we could see, once she had settled on the patient who had abnormality 1, she couldn't go back and change her mind.

However, I wonder if the patients knew which abnormality was being discussed at any one time? I think in fact they did, because it was all said in their hearing. So some people might have been giving out subtle "that's me they're talking about" clues.

Or she could have hit 4 by pure blind luck. By sheer chance, that's going to happen every 50 times you do that test.

The problem is that the level of significance she reached was sufficient that one couldn't exclude "special powers", and in fact mandated further investigation to see if that result could be repeated.

(I agree, if she could perform up to the hype of her mother and others, she should have got all 7 in ten minutes. But just on the evidence shown, we couldn't in all fairness say she was definitely a total fraud.)

Rolfe.

JamesM
15th February 2005, 09:44 AM
Originally posted by TheBoyPaj
Significant if she was just guessing, perhaps. But we have already indicated problem areas which mean that this was not properly blind.
I agree, I was just providing the probabilities as requested by Rolfe.

Now, of course the attending scientists would have been aware of these possible info leaks, which may have been why they insisted on a slightly higher level of performance than a traditional study might require.
I don't know if I can go along with this. It seems to me that the design of the experiment means calculating any probabilities accurately is impossible. I don't think it's fair to say "well, these are the probabilities if we designed the experiment so she was entirely blind, but there's a good deal of sensory leakage, so we'll just up the alpha value" - the answer is to design the experiment properly in the first place. The significance threshold shouldn't be used to compensate for a poor design. A stricter answer to the wrong question doesn't get us anywhere.

In this case, the nature of Demkina's claimed skill is such that it seems impossible to me to design the experiment so that you could calculate accurate probabilities. Perhaps the opportunity to test her under less-than-ideal conditions outweighs the downsides, but let's say she's tested again under the same conditions. And she gets 4/7 again. Believers will point to the significance, skeptics will just say "well, that just proves she's definitely cold reading!".

In fact, no amount of repetitions with this design will ever convince anyone to change their minds. That suggests to me it's a bad experiment.

Azrael 5
15th February 2005, 09:52 AM
Originally posted by Ashles

The metal plate is a real giveaway though. If someone had any type of 'x-ray vision' whatsoever this would have been the very first thing they would have detected.

Maybe the fact that this person had the plate in their head meant they weren't giving away any unconscious signals.
It's hard to keep furtively glancing at your own head.
Maybe it was meade of lead!!! :D
Appendixes that grow back in Russia though...what kind of freaks are they over there!!! ;)

Psiload
15th February 2005, 09:59 AM
Originally posted by Ashles
I think it's fair to say that however we look at it her results don't reflect anywhere near pure chance.

I'm sure there was a level of cold reading. In four hours of viewing people who are there with specific complaints I would imagine anyone reasonably practised could have picked up clues.

It's like if you've hidden something in a room and tell someone to find it the urge to continually look at where you have hidden it is huge.
I am sure there could well be clues she could have picked up on (fidgeting etc.).

(Wish I'd seen the programme).

The metal plate is a real giveaway though. If someone had any type of 'x-ray vision' whatsoever this would have been the very first thing they would have detected.

Maybe the fact that this person had the plate in their head meant they weren't giving away any unconscious signals.
It's hard to keep furtively glancing at your own head. I repair X-ray machines for a living. You know what they call an X-ray machine that can't detect a metal plate in a person's skull? They call it broken, and then they call me.

Too bad there's no Natasha repairman they can call.

TheBoyPaj
15th February 2005, 10:35 AM
Originally posted by JamesM
I don't know if I can go along with this. It seems to me that the design of the experiment means calculating any probabilities accurately is impossible. I don't think it's fair to say "well, these are the probabilities if we designed the experiment so she was entirely blind, but there's a good deal of sensory leakage, so we'll just up the alpha value" - the answer is to design the experiment properly in the first place. The significance threshold shouldn't be used to compensate for a poor design. A stricter answer to the wrong question doesn't get us anywhere.

I agree, totally. I'm not suggesting that raising the bar is a good way to compensate for a leaky test, just that it may have been the reason for the strict passing criteria.

How hard would it have been for the subjects to be in one of those one-way mirror booths used by police lineups? And I wonder if they could give her example x-rays of people with similar conditions, but not of the actual people involved in the test?

delphi_ote
15th February 2005, 10:40 AM
Originally posted by JamesM
I don't have time to work out the proper numbers, so I wrote a quick program to randomly shuffle the numbers 1 - 7, and then count the number of times any number is in its "right" position.

It looks like the probabilities are pretty much converged after 100,000,000 runs (at least for our purposes).

0 right, p = 0.37
1 right, p = 0.37
2 right, p = 0.18
3 right, p = 0.062
4 right, p = 0.014
5 right, p = 0.0042
7 right, p = 0.00002

So at the 5% level, 4/7 is indeed significant. The average score is 1.

Normally when I do these calculations I make a horrendous mistake. I suspect now is no different, so it might be best to wait for the impending corrections.

If we do this right, it shold be a binomial distribution:
http://mathworld.wolfram.com/BinomialDistribution.html

Unfortunately, there's no real way what to say p is, as we don't know the actual probability of success vs. failure of a given trial. p could go from 50 percent (she answered in a true double blind test "yes" or "no" to 7 illnesses for 7 patients) to 99.99999% (she hot read the patients somehow and took very educated guesses) to .00001% or less (she was told to name the illness 7 different people had with absolutely no knowledge.)

assuming p = 50%
Exactly 0 right, probability = 0.0078125
Exactly 1 right, probability = 0.0546875
Exactly 2 right, probability = 0.1640625
Exactly 3 right, probability = 0.2734375
Exactly 4 right, probability = 0.2734375 Note: 4 is not only probable, but EXPECTED
Exactly 5 right, probability = 0.1640625
Exactly 6 right, probability = 0.0546875
Exactly 7 right, probability = 0.0078125

assuming p=75%
Exactly 0 right, probability = 6.103515625E-5
Exactly 1 right, probability = 0.00128173828125
Exactly 2 right, probability = 0.01153564453125
Exactly 3 right, probability = 0.05767822265625
Exactly 4 right, probability = 0.17303466796875
Exactly 5 right, probability = 0.31146240234375
Exactly 6 right, probability = 0.31146240234375
Exactly 7 right, probability = 0.13348388671875

assuming p=25%
Exactly 0 right, probability = 0.13348388671875
Exactly 1 right, probability = 0.31146240234375
Exactly 2 right, probability = 0.31146240234375
Exactly 3 right, probability = 0.17303466796875
Exactly 4 right, probability = 0.05767822265625
Exactly 5 right, probability = 0.01153564453125
Exactly 6 right, probability = 0.00128173828125
Exactly 7 right, probability = 6.103515625E-5

So as you can see, what we define the odds of success to be GREATLY influence the resulting statistical calculation. If you guys can get me some better numbers on that, I'll get you the corresponding statistics.

Edit: added a couple notes.

TheBoyPaj
15th February 2005, 10:46 AM
Isn't it impossible to get 6 right? After all, if she matched 6 conditions correctly, she HAS to get the last one right.

They're not independent trials, are they?

JamesM
15th February 2005, 10:53 AM
Originally posted by delphi_ote
If we do this right, it shold be a binomial distribution:
It's not 7 independent trials. She was given 7 conditions to match up to 7 people, without replacement. Say condition a goes with Person A and so on. As soon as she incorrectly assigns condition a to person B, she will also be unable to correctly assign condition b. That's why, as previously noted, it's impossible for her to get 6 right.

Not entirely sure what the distribution is, but it's not binomial.

Oops, I see TheBoyPaj has beaten me to it.

Rolfe
15th February 2005, 10:53 AM
Originally posted by TheBoyPaj
I agree, totally. I'm not suggesting that raising the bar is a good way to compensate for a leaky test, just that it may have been the reason for the strict passing criteria.I thought the strict criterion was in order to guard against her getting lucky. Like I said, if you allow a pass at the level of significance they quoted for the 4/7 result, then every 50th applicant would be a pass. Assuming everybody was guessing.

On that basis, I'd be bloody amazed if she managed 4/7 a second time. In fact, 4/7 is good enough that if she could do it repeatedly she's either got some amazing power or she's the most phenomenal cold reader ever spawned. Constantly turning in a performance so good that only 1 in 50 would get that by guesswork is certainly proof that she isn't just guessing.

But she only did it once, so we can't possibly draw any definite conclusions.

Rolfe.

delphi_ote
15th February 2005, 11:07 AM
Originally posted by JamesM
It's not 7 independent trials. She was given 7 conditions to match up to 7 people, without replacement. Say condition a goes with Person A and so on. As soon as she incorrectly assigns condition a to person B, she will also be unable to correctly assign condition b. That's why, as previously noted, it's impossible for her to get 6 right.

Not entirely sure what the distribution is, but it's not binomial.

Oops, I see TheBoyPaj has beaten me to it.

I was trying to find a good description of the experiment, but failed. Your simulation looks like it's probably right, but I'll try and work up the exact equation and get back to you on it. Thanks for the info!

(Sorry, I'm a math nerd. I'm actually excited about this...)

joobie
15th February 2005, 11:12 AM
Originally posted by jambo372
She can't question patients who don't know what their own condition is - the specialist doctors didn't even know.

if she has x-ray vision, why is it so important that the patient know what the condition is?

(besides the obvious - that she's cold reading her subjects)

pjh
15th February 2005, 11:33 AM
I know that 'X-ray eyes' sounds great (ala superman) but is it not a physical impossibility? X-rays need an emitter and then a plate (receiver).

So even if she had miraculous eyes that indeed were sensitive to x-rays she'd still need an X-ray emitter to see through bodies.

Did anyone (from her entourage) try to at least make up some scientific explanation as to how she did it?

Does any wavelength of EM radiation that could penetrate body occur naturally (at ground level on the planet Earth!) without an artificial emitter?

If so what are the chances that it would not pass straight through her eyes - given they're also made flesh?

Rolfe
15th February 2005, 11:34 AM
Originally posted by joobie
if she has x-ray vision, why is it so important that the patient know what the condition is?When she was seen working on her own, she frequently told patients they had something they didn't know they had. One of the cases featured was a man who'd been diagnosed as TB, but who wasn't improving on TB treatment. She said it wasn't TB, and presented him with a rather abstract-looking drawing. He went to a specialist who confirmed that indeed he did not have TB, and diagnosed schistosomiasis. The specialist claimed to see some resemblance between what Natasha had drawn and what she saw down the microscope. That bit was anybody's guess, frankly.

She doesn't claim that she can read minds. She claims that she has x-ray vision, and indeed can "see" down to the cellular level just by looking at someone with their clothes on. I was disappointed that nobody asked her to describe what she sees or the way she perceives it. This might have been quite illuminating.let's say she's tested again under the same conditions. And she gets 4/7 again. Believers will point to the significance, skeptics will just say "well, that just proves she's definitely cold reading!".I find the statistics a little mind-bending, but I trust that CSICOP had competent statisticians who could manage these things. They stated that the chances of someone who was guessing randomly getting 4 out of 7 were only 1 in 50.

So, it's possible she was indeed guessing randomly and got lucky. If that is the case then she will not be able to repeat the 4/7 score. If she did manage to repeat the 4/7, or even consistently beat random chance every time she did the test, I think it would have to be conceded that she wasn't just guessing randomly. I think any sceptic who greeted three tests in a row coming up 4/7 with "well, that just proves she's definitely cold reading!" would truly merit the tag "pseudosceptic".

Of course she could still have been cold reading, but they really did quite a good job of giving her as few clues as possible. Personally, I think she mainly got lucky. Never forget, that every 50 times CSICOP tests someone who is only guessing, a performance this good will be turned in. For that person, it may seem like they've done astoundingly well, and should be considered to have passed. I think Natasha was the "50th person".

Clues that she can't do what she claims to be able to do were mainly that when she got no feedback from the patients her whole attitude changed and she was obviously extremely unsure of herself. Instead of beginning to talk confidently, she sat and fidgeted for an hour. She herself thought she'd performed "*****". I don't think she even thought she'd got four right. And of course that if her actual claim to "x-ray eyes" was true, how come she missed the dirty great plate in the skull?

But just on the statistics, she did well enough to warrant further testing. Shame it won't happen.

Rolfe.

edthedoc
15th February 2005, 11:47 AM
From today's Guardian newspaper, a fairly "liberal" UK national newspaper:

".. So Natasha agrees to undergo a series of tests in New York by a team of specialists who test people like Natasha. And guess what? Natasha fails the test. So I suppose that's the end of it. The little liar."

walthrup48
15th February 2005, 01:36 PM
Originally posted by edthedoc
From today's Guardian newspaper, a fairly "liberal" UK national newspaper:

".. So Natasha agrees to undergo a series of tests in New York by a team of specialists who test people like Natasha. And guess what? Natasha fails the test. So I suppose that's the end of it. The little liar." I had a gander at most of today's rags and the Guardian was the only one that covered the prog. Sam Wollaston (the article's author) makes the same mistake that I read and hear too frequently in paranormal-themed pieces from the media: "If they ain't genuine, they've gotta be conniving, calculating con artists". Uh, no, actually. As we all know here there is also the 'sincere but sadly mistaken' third option.

CFLarsen
15th February 2005, 01:56 PM
The Guardian (http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,,1312477,00.html)

"The atmosphere of the testing was unfriendly. The conditions I was looking for were in some cases dubious."

Ehhh....no, Natasha. They were crystal clear.

Prof Wiseman, who helped design the test, says that although they have no proof Natasha cheated, a lot of text messages were being sent between her and her companions during the test, something the scientists had expressly forbidden.

Whaaaaaa??? :eek:

CFLarsen
15th February 2005, 02:06 PM
Originally posted by JimTheBrit
As we all know here there is also the 'sincere but sadly mistaken' third option.

True, but I am convinced that this is not the case here. There is a very tell-tale sign that Demkina knows she's a fake:

Before she is told of the results, she looks despondent. Not confident at all. They have to drag it out of her.

Now, if she was confident of her own abilities, she would simply just whizz through the test. That's what she did at home: She was spewing out diagnoses at an alarming rate. She did that in NY too, when she was not under scrutiny, but was allowed to throw out a plethora of guesses.

During the real test, she realized that she couldn't get feedback, she realized that nobody would simply suck up her vague diagnoses. So, she knew she couldn't bluff her way.

She knew she is a fake. Before the results were in, she knew she had lost.

Rolfe
15th February 2005, 02:08 PM
Originally posted by edthedoc
".. So Natasha agrees to undergo a series of tests in New York by a team of specialists who test people like Natasha. And guess what? Natasha fails the test. So I suppose that's the end of it. The little liar."Mmmm, not fair.

Natasha failed, in that she failed to do as well as she claimed she would, as well as her mother ("Natasha never fails, Natasha has never failed") claims she can. However, she did not fail totally, in that she did perform significantly better than chance. In the absence of totally authoratative statistical advice (and obviously any probability which assigns a positive figure to getting 6 right must have dropped a stitch), I'll stick with what the CSICOP guys said, which was that for someone who was only guessing, Natasha's score of 4/7 would only come up once in every 50 tries. This is easily good enough to be called "statistically significant" in a normal experiment. We cannot, on this result, be confident that Natasha has no powers at all.

There seem to me to be three possibilities. She has paranormal powers, she just isn't quite as good as she's cracked up to be.
She was getting information some other way, for example cold reading.
She struck it lucky - in fact, a 1 in 50 bet paid off for her.I don't totally exclude the second one, as I said there were ways she might have twigged (specifically, by looking for clues that someone was doing a "they're talking about me" reaction). However, the more I think about it, the less I think this is capable of explaining it all.

Consider the difference between the controlled test and the uncontrolled one.

For information. The uncontrolled test was done first, and in that Natasha was presented with six American "believers" who wanted to be tested by the great Natasha. The way this worked was that before seeing her, each one had to tell the CSICOP representative what their diagnosed illness was. Then they went to see Natasha and she did her usual act on them. Now that was very suspicious of cold reading. She started throwing out ideas immediately, and she said a lot of vague things that could be interpreted different ways - for example, "problems with the circulation" was linked by the patients severally to migraines and to pins and needles. She was given positive feedback when she got warm.

Result? She actually named the right condition in only one case out of the six. But of the remaining five, four of them were convinced she was the real deal, because she had said stuff they had managed to interpret as a hit. Including a woman who had had her thyroid checked by her doctor and been told all the tests were normal, whom Natasha said had an underactive thyroid. The woman was impressed by this total miss, and said she'd get the doctor to test again! Only one actual objective success out if six, but five out of six were prepared to swear that she had diagnosed them correctly!

This suggests that if she is cold reading normally, she does it the usual way - throw out loads of ideas, work on the ones that get positive feedback, and throw in vague or non-specific things that the patients might interpret in their own way.

She couldn't do that in the controlled test. The situation was quite different. She had one diagnosis in front of her, and all she had to do was to say which of the seven people in front of her showed "x-ray" evidence of that abnormality. No talking, no feedback, and no vague ribbiting about "circulation". She was quite obviously thrown, and very unsure of herself. She thought she'd done very badly.

But she actually did much better than in the uncontrolled test!

If she was getting clues in that test, she was using quite different means from the usual modus operandi. Maybe so. But she showed so little confidence, and she was clearly so far out of her depth, that I suspect not. Or not enough to make a huge difference.

I think she was just supremely lucky. And that she couldn't repeat that performance on a bet. But we don't know that unless she has another go.

The journalist was a bit hard on her, I wish she'd been encouraged to have a shot at it. Then we'd all be a lot better informed.

Rolfe.

Rolfe
15th February 2005, 02:18 PM
Originally posted by CFLarsen
During the real test, she realized that she couldn't get feedback, she realized that nobody would simply suck up her vague diagnoses. So, she knew she couldn't bluff her way.

She knew she is a fake. Before the results were in, she knew she had lost. Now that's what struck me too. That's what convinced me that she'd just struck a very lucky guessing streak. (Though I'm not sure it proves deliberate fraud - if she'd never been deprived of feedback before, maybe she'd never realised that was how she was doing it?)Prof Wiseman, who helped design the test, says that although they have no proof Natasha cheated, a lot of text messages were being sent between her and her companions during the test, something the scientists had expressly forbidden.To echo Claus, WHAT???!!!

But on the other hand, does that not argue against the earlier point? She'd got information via texting - so she would have been more confident, no? (Come on, who in his right mind let her keep her mobile phone on her person during this test, gimme a break!)

My main gripe here was that the test in fact failed to provide convincing evidence that Natasha was just guessing. And yet she was simply told to go away, she hadn't done well enough. A properly scientific investigation would have accepted the need for repetition, and admitted this.

Repetition, I think, would have revealed that she just had a very lucky streak. But on the other hand, if it didn't turn out like that, more investigation could be done as to whether she was indeed finding some way to cheat even though she was working in such a different way from here usual method.

Rolfe.

CFLarsen
15th February 2005, 02:23 PM
Rolfe,

If Wiseman is correct that she got information from other people, it immediately invalidates the result.

That is one huge leak. No luck needed, when you got free access to inside information.

What I don't understand is, why didn't Wiseman stop the experiment the moment the messages started flying about?

CFLarsen
15th February 2005, 02:31 PM
Originally posted by Rolfe
Now that's what struck me too. That's what convinced me that she'd just struck a very lucky guessing streak. (Though I'm not sure it proves deliberate fraud - if she'd never been deprived of feedback before, maybe she'd never realised that was how she was doing it?)

............perhaps. If she had been a dimbo, I could have accepted this. But she is very smart - no question about that. She has given this a lot of thought, a lot of consideration. She is not some stupid, naive farm girl from the steppes. She studies, she passes exams, she is (becoming) educated.

Originally posted by Rolfe
To echo Claus, WHAT???!!!

You bet. I'm sorry I didn't know of this at TAM3, because I would have grilled Wiseman on this. (We need him here!)

Originally posted by Rolfe
Repetition, I think, would have revealed that she just had a very lucky streak. But on the other hand, if it didn't turn out like that, more investigation could be done as to whether she was indeed finding some way to cheat even though she was working in such a different way from here usual method.

I think - and this is only a guess - that she didn't dare ask straight questions in her messages. I think she was hinting, and those answering gave her hints - perhaps unwittingly.

That's the way they work: Hints, allegations, and a stunning ability to derive answers from vague data. They should work for the Secret Service!!

Zep
15th February 2005, 02:42 PM
ONCE AGAIN, I ask - in the X-ray tests, could she not have gained clear and obvious clues from the X-rays themselves sufficient to match them a particular person, REGARDLESS of the "disease information?

Should not the CONTROL (which I don't seem to have heard being mentioned yet) have been for her to match seven COMPLETELY HEALTHY people and their respective X-rays?

CFLarsen
15th February 2005, 02:47 PM
Originally posted by Zep
ONCE AGAIN, I ask - in the X-ray tests, could she not have gained clear and obvious clues from the X-rays themselves sufficient to match them a particular person, REGARDLESS of the "disease information?

Should not the CONTROL (which I don't seem to have heard being mentioned yet) have been for her to match seven COMPLETELY HEALTHY people and their respective X-rays?

No, no, no....you see, Demkina doesn't know the "medical terms". She said this at least once. She's just acting on the information she gets.

You can't fault her, GET IT???

Sheeeeeesh........you should know by now how this works....

JamesM
15th February 2005, 03:04 PM
Originally posted by Rolfe
In the absence of totally authoratative statistical advice
If it will help any, I'm going to get off the fence and assert that I'm pretty darn sure my statistics are correct.

I'll stick with what the CSICOP guys said, which was that for someone who was only guessing, Natasha's score of 4/7 would only come up once in every 50 tries.
1/50 is for at least 4/7:
The odds of Natasha getting four or more correct matches out of seven was 1 in 50 (or 2 percent)
from here (http://www.csmmh.org/demkina/answerstocritics.html). The probabilities I calculated yield 1 in 55 for this performance, which seems close to enough that we're almost certainly talking about the same thing.

Also from the above site, Ray Hyman states that:
She would have had to get at least 5 correct matches to have surpassed the .01 level.
Which is also what my calculations show.

FWIW, some more arguments are covered at this (pro-Natasha) site (http://geocities.yahoo.com.br/criticandokardec/embarrassing_answers.htm), which responds to the CSMMH rebuttal.

And of course, our dear friend Victor Zammit (http://www.victorzammit.com/articles/natashacansue.html) has something to say on the matter, although he curiously refers to her as "Demenko" at one point.

Rolfe
15th February 2005, 03:08 PM
Originally posted by CFLarsen
If Wiseman is correct that she got information from other people, it immediately invalidates the result.

That is one huge leak. No luck needed, when you got free access to inside information.

What I don't understand is, why didn't Wiseman stop the experiment the moment the messages started flying about? Claus, you are perfectly correct. I was watching pretty carefully, but I didn't hear that said. If that actually happened, why bother? Why bother putting it on TV? What on earth were they thinking of? Surely, the very first thing to do when designing that test would be to take her bloody mobile phone away from her!!!!!

And I'll tell you what, if I'd been designing it and she said no, she must keep her mobile phone, I'd have said no dice, if you won't do the test without a mobile phone on your person, you don't do the test. Goodbye darling, and goodbye TV crew and everybody. But don't forget to tell the viewers why we didn't go ahead.

I have great difficulty believing they'd do anything that stupid, to be honest.

It only leaves a small question. If she was getting reasonably reliable information from outside, why was she so sure she'd failed?

I wonder, though. What sort of information could have been available to her supporters? Maybe they put their heads together and "phoned a friend" and so on to try to get as much of an edge as possible on the appearance and demeanour of the patients? Or what? I can't quite see exactly how that would work. Though I suppose it's no less implausible than the whole tale of the Major and "So you want to be a millionnaire?"

If would answer one question though - if she took the precaution to have a mobile phone and had some system for getting information through it, she's definitely a deliberate fraud.

Grrrr. It was just so unsatisfactory. It was a well-designed test, but they should have been prepared to allow for a "not proven" result so as not to appear unreasonably dismissive. However, if it leaked to the point of mobile phone use, what a crock.

Rolfe.

Zep
15th February 2005, 03:13 PM
Originally posted by CFLarsen
No, no, no....you see, Demkina doesn't know the "medical terms". She said this at least once. She's just acting on the information she gets.

You can't fault her, GET IT???

Sheeeeeesh........you should know by now how this works.... No, Claus. I don't mean try to deceive her. I mean the testing procedure as I understand it has not been reduced to a single variable under test, an absolute essential if any reliable results are to be obtained. There are at least two variables I can see - her ability to match X-rays using ordinary and banal methods, and her ability to match X-rays using her "special" methods. They have NOT been differentiated at all, so I have no confidence in the 4/7 result as being indicative of anything whatsoever.

What I suggest is that the control process would be to first ask her to try to match up the X-rays of healthy people to their owners. This SHOULD give a fair baseline for her success rate at simply guessing, OR her using obvious clues from the information at hand (eg. cold-reading, physical profiles, etc).

Then, when the set of diseased people and their X-rays are done using the same testing method, you would be looking for any improvement over the baseline rate of success from the control process.

TheBoyPaj
15th February 2005, 03:18 PM
It would have been interesting if they had given the files to a first year medical student and see if they could match the x-rays to the people.

Rolfe
15th February 2005, 03:19 PM
Originally posted by JamesM
If it will help any, I'm going to get off the fence and assert that I'm pretty darn sure my statistics are correct.

1/50 is for at least 4/7:Yes, it was the other lot (which assigned probabilities to 6 correct out of 7, which is obviously impossible even to me) I was doubtful of.

I was just thinking that it was possible to make a fair case for Natasha on the face of it on the 4/7 result, even though the CSICOP guys just said, tough, you failed. However, given how much worse she did objectively in the uncontrolled test, when she was working in her usual (obviously cold-reading) manner, it seemed very anomalous.

I was thinking pure luck, but if the system was mobile-phone-leaky the entire edifice collapses. Even though it isn't very clear how she could have got particularly reliable information that way - which could of course explain why she obviously thought she'd done very badly.

Rolfe.

JamesM
15th February 2005, 03:32 PM
Originally posted by Rolfe
Even though it isn't very clear how she could have got particularly reliable information that way - which could of course explain why she obviously thought she'd done very badly.

I don't think we need to speculate on how she could have cheated, once we have such a glaring example of how lax the controls were.

Zep makes a good point:
What I suggest is that the control process would be to first ask her to try to match up the X-rays of healthy people to their owners.
it's possible a subject would try to do as badly as possible at this stage, if they knew what was wanted. How to get around this?

and TheBoyPaj makes another:
It would have been interesting if they had given the files to a first year medical student and see if they could match the x-rays to the people.
establishing a baseline this way would be interesting, but this raises another question: what would be the correct population to sample from?

Zep
15th February 2005, 04:02 PM
Originally posted by JamesM
It's possible a subject would try to do as badly as possible at this stage, if they knew what was wanted. How to get around this? Fairly easy to arrange, I imagine. For example, run two test groups, one healthy and one sick, but don't tell Demkina which is which. Success = differentiate the sick group significantly (a 50/50 guess is chance, I suppose).

Other controls required - ensure X-rays do not have banal differentiators (this is more difficult than it seems).

You know, I've just thought of some VERY obvious clues that may not have been controlled:

What do most X-rays usually have on them somewhere? The patient's name.

WHY do you take X-rays anyway? And of what? They are usually of the affected area, and show the affliction being sought.

Can it get too much easier than that to pick the matching person? Persoanlly, I'd wait until they say their name - "OK, Joe, you can take a break now". Gee whillickers, even Blind Freddy can do this... :D

jambo372
15th February 2005, 04:11 PM
Originally posted by joobie
if she has x-ray vision, why is it so important that the patient know what the condition is?

(besides the obvious - that she's cold reading her subjects)

That's the whole point - she's diagnosed patients who didn't know what was wrong with them. Patient's who specialists couldn't even diagnose or misdiagnosed.
The woman with lung cancer and the man who was misdiagnosed as having TB but actually had sarcoidosis.

Azrael 5
15th February 2005, 04:32 PM
Originally posted by jambo372
That's the whole point - she's diagnosed patients who didn't know what was wrong with them. Patient's who specialists couldn't even diagnose or misdiagnosed.
The woman with lung cancer and the man who was misdiagnosed as having TB but actually had sarcoidosis.
Did she say sarcoidosis? No. Did she see a metal plate in someone's head? No.
Explain again jambo how someone with X-Ray vision cannot see what was probably the easiest ailment to spot(if you had X-Ray vision,that is).No ifs or buts,the patients turned around/side on and after four hours she didnt see a great big metal plate ;)
I feel sorry for the girl,I think she has a pushy Mum,who is putting pressure on her.Maybe it was a joke that went on too long(like Pretend):D

CFLarsen
16th February 2005, 12:47 AM
Originally posted by jambo372
That's the whole point - she's diagnosed patients who didn't know what was wrong with them. Patient's who specialists couldn't even diagnose or misdiagnosed.
The woman with lung cancer and the man who was misdiagnosed as having TB but actually had sarcoidosis.

The metal plate is the problem, isn't it? There's not much ambiguity there. Whether she can misinterpret what she sees in the bodies in regard to diseases is - perhaps - an excuse, but if she really has "x-ray" vision, then the metal plate should be a walk in the park.

I'll see if I can find time to watch the show again today.

Tanja
16th February 2005, 12:47 AM
One more thought just occured to me. I wonder if people in her home town believe that she has only diagnostic powers, or also healing powers?

I am saying that because during the documentary we could see (at least twice) parents bringing their severely disabled children to be seen by her. Were they hoping for a miracle diagnosis, or were they hoping that the children will get better by being seen by her?

mgdwcb
16th February 2005, 02:22 AM
It would have been interesting if they had given the files to a first year medical student and see if they could match the x-rays to the people.

That was the flaw with the whole test; that there should have been controls, both medical students and skeptical cold readers to compare their performances with Natasha. I can't understand why these wern't used.

Rolfe
16th February 2005, 02:37 AM
Nobody mentioned healing powers, although one guy involved in the uncontrolled trial said it was good to know what the diagnosis was ( :nope: ), but he'd secretly hoped to be made better. I suppose the idea is, if Natasha can find out what's really wrong, maybe the doctors can fix it.

I see the whole mobile phone thing was actually from the newspaper article, which is maybe why I didn't pick it up during the programme ;) ! It still boggles my mind. I presume Prof. Wiseman is trustworthy? I mean, who in his right mind would have allowed Natasha to keep a phone on her during the test? Doesn't this really cast a lot of doubt on the whole design of the experiment?

The other thing that struck me from the related links was that CSICOP had stated that a "pass" in the controlled test was merely a trigger for further investigation, not an unqualified endorsement of her powers. Fair enough, I'd want more information too. But in that case I think they did set the pass mark too high.

Yes, extraordinary claims require an extraordinary level of proof. But I don't see why they should be dismissed when a result which would ordinarily be considered significant is achieved. I agree, such claims should not be accepted until they have proved themselves to an extremely high degree of rigour. Nevertheless, to dismiss a result with only a 1 in 50 chance of being achieved by random guessing as "not good enough, goodbye", and refuse to investigate any further, does smack of closed-mindedness.

I think Azrael might well be right. A childish fantasy game which has gone too far, egged on by a pushy mother. But it doesn't help anyone when respected sceptics are seen dismissing what (on the face of it) appeared to be a reasonably significant outcome.

Rolfe.

TheBoyPaj
16th February 2005, 03:03 AM
Originally posted by jambo372
That's the whole point - she's diagnosed patients who didn't know what was wrong with them. Patient's who specialists couldn't even diagnose or misdiagnosed.
The woman with lung cancer and the man who was misdiagnosed as having TB but actually had sarcoidosis.

I'll ask again. Were these subjects part of the televised test, or are these stories from Russia?

And if they were part of the test, who DID know that the subjects had these complaints?

DeVega
16th February 2005, 03:25 AM
that, for Natasha, her 'gift' had already borne fruit i.e. a trip to America.

In a cultural context, she and her family have had possibly the 'trip of a lifetime.' Moldova is a desperately poor country and it is unlikely that she would ever travel outside it. Many young women from this area attempt to marry out (often via the internet!) of their situation (and who can blame them - the city and the tower blocks certainly looked grim.) It certainly tugged at my heartstrings as she looked at the NY skyline and muttered "How beautiful."

She seemed like a really bright girl and I'm sure she will make a great doctor. If she is deluding herself it is a delusion built on her unquestioning religious faith. I feel she will put all this behind her as she grows up - I hope the people of her town - and her mum will allow her to do so...

(Just my 2 cents worth!)

DeVega

Jaggy Bunnet
16th February 2005, 04:22 AM
Originally posted by Rolfe
Nevertheless, to dismiss a result with only a 1 in 50 chance of being achieved by random guessing as "not good enough, goodbye", and refuse to investigate any further, does smack of closed-mindedness.

But there is no evidence the result is only a 1 in 50 chance. We know there were breaches of the agreed test procedure so the results are meaningless anyway, but the 1 in 50 figure is based on there being NO information available to her which would allow her to perform better than guesswork. If she was simply given a list of seven conditions (carefully chosen to occur equally between the sexes and age groups in the patient sample) and had correctly identified which patient had which condition, then the 1 in 50 figure may be relevant. But she did something very different.

As I understand it she was given copies of x-rays of seven people and asked to match them to the individuals. This is additional information - unless you factor this into the calculation of probabilities, then any figures used are meaningless.

For example - look at the two x-rays on this page:

http://biology.clc.uc.edu/courses/bio105/ribs.htm

Imagine that you have the two patients standing in front of you and are given a copy of the x-ray on the left. How difficult would it be to match it correctly to the patient, knowing that it is of one of those two people? If 100 people did this, how many do you think would get it correct? The calculation of the 1 in 50 figure is entirely based on an assumption that only 50 out of 100 people would do so, ie they would do no better than chance. I would be amazed if the figure was not very significantly higher - there is information contained in that x-ray and unless you control for that you cannot calculate meaningful probabilities.

Rolfe
16th February 2005, 06:03 AM
Originally posted by Jaggy Bunnet
But there is no evidence the result is only a 1 in 50 chance. We know there were breaches of the agreed test procedure so the results are meaningless anyway, ....I agree with you, there was more going on there than met the naked eye. Or even the naked TV camera it appears. However, on the face of it, according to the way it was presented, Natasha managed a result which was significant at the 1 in 50 level, and this was just dismissed as a "fail".

We've been discussing a lot of reasons why Natasha might have managed to score 4 out of 7 without superpowers, and yours are interesting to consider too, but my point is mainly that it wasn't presented like that on camera, and the impression at the end for the viewers might have been that was unreasonably dismissed.

Rolfe.

CFLarsen
16th February 2005, 06:21 AM
Originally posted by Rolfe
I agree with you, there was more going on there than met the naked eye. Or even the naked TV camera it appears. However, on the face of it, according to the way it was presented, Natasha managed a result which was significant at the 1 in 50 level, and this was just dismissed as a "fail".

We've been discussing a lot of reasons why Natasha might have managed to score 4 out of 7 without superpowers, and yours are interesting to consider too, but my point is mainly that it wasn't presented like that on camera, and the impression at the end for the viewers might have been that was unreasonably dismissed.

She did fail: The conditions for succeeding was made clear in advance, and all parties accepted them.

She didn't get enough hits. She failed. End of story.

mgdwcb
16th February 2005, 06:25 AM
If 100 people did this, how many do you think would get it correct? The calculation of the 1 in 50 figure is entirely based on an assumption that only 50 out of 100 people would do so, ie they would do no better than chance. I would be amazed if the figure was not very significantly higher - there is information contained in that x-ray and unless you control for that you cannot calculate meaningful probabilities.

Yes. Its a pity that we have to ask `what if'. A test with controls would have shown us if Natash's performance was better than chance.

TheBoyPaj
16th February 2005, 06:38 AM
Originally posted by Rolfe
my point is mainly that it wasn't presented like that on camera, and the impression at the end for the viewers might have been that was unreasonably dismissed.

"TV Programme fails to accurately portray scientific experiment - Shock!"

;)

Rolfe
16th February 2005, 07:39 AM
Originally posted by TheBoyPaj
"TV Programme fails to accurately portray scientific experiment - Shock!"

;) Yes, exactly! :D

Claus, you said "she failed" as bluntly as that before I'd seen the programme. It was partly because of that that I was surprised when she got as many hits as she did. This is exactly my point. Even though Natasha's side agreed to the protocol, simply asserting that getting a result statistically significant at (I think) p<0.02 is a "fail" looks intolerant and closed-minded.

If I was being an advocate for Natasha, I'd point out that originally she agreed to make no more than two mistakes. Then she was presented with two of the seven cases as being conditions she wasn't confident about identifying. She then seemed to be pressurised into going ahead by the argument that never mind, even if you get those two wrong, you'll still pass. But was that not in effect removing her agreed margin of error?

Now you've seen what I said earlier. I think she either hit a very lucky streak, or was getting information other than from her superpower (mobile phone or extra information on the x-ray plates or whatever).

But that's not the point. My point is that the scientists appeared to be faced with a statistically significant result, but simply brushed it aside because it didn't reach the very high goal they had previously set. Repeating all that and reasserting that "she failed" is exactly the problem.

From the point of view of an objective scientist, if I saw a possible interesting effect, and designed a preliminary experiment, and then got a p<0.02 result out of it, I'd be gagging to do more work because I'd have a strong feeling I might be on to something. So why was that not the attitude here? Well, it looked as if it was dismissed just because the apparent effect was paranormal.

OK, maybe that's not quite true, maybe it's as someone suggested earlier, they knew the experiment was leaky and assumed that anything under the high score they set would be explained by the leakage. But that certainly wasn't made clear, and indeed, if it was the case, I'd argue that the experiment wasn't well enough designed.

SO WHO THE HELL LET HER KEEP THE MOBILE PHONE THEN???

Rolfe.

geni
16th February 2005, 07:44 AM
Originally posted by Rolfe
It still boggles my mind. I presume Prof. Wiseman is trustworthy? I mean, who in his right mind would have allowed Natasha to keep a phone on her during the test?


Someone who knew she was threatening to pull out.

CFLarsen
16th February 2005, 08:07 AM
I've seen the show again.

Many come to her after the local doctors have failed. The hospital did not exactly look modern. There is definitely a possibility of someone informing her in advance from time to time.

She did not diagnose someone in Moldova with sarcoidosis, but merely made a crude drawing of a body with doodles around the chest area. The patient had been under treatment for TB for a year, but had not gotten better. When he took her drawing to the doctors in Moscow, they found out that it was sarcoidosis.

She wanted to do the test with CSICOP, so she wouldn't have to be tested anymore. The first "test" in NY is performed the way she usually does her thing: 6 people, with lots of feedback. 5 of them was persuaded of her abilities, although she only had one hit with one of the 5. The quality of her guesses were poor, and she had a lot of help. E.g., she was told to focus on a 25-30 year old woman's pelvis and tell what she saw. Did anyone think "trouble with ovaries"? Yup.

During the real test, her rate of diagnosing slowed down drastically. She took 1 hour each to guess the first four people, and then quickly jotted down her guesses for the rest.

She could not detect either the metal plate in the skull or the staples (presumably metal) after a heart surgery. She had no real explanation for her failure with the metal plate, but merely threw off some vague excuses, e.g. "I should have looked closer". 1 hour is not enough?

She had a cell phone. You can see it lying in front of her at the table:

http://www.skepticreport.com/resources/demkina.jpg

Since she did not speak English at all, we have to assume that she used it to speak to her mom or her own interpreter.

Igor Monichev, the reporter who got convinced of her abilities, has written this article. (http://www.satori-5.co.uk/word_articles/misc/xray_eyes.html) He now believes that the test was a mistake, and that she should never let herself be tested again.

She has started asking for donations, so she can go to medical school. From Monichev's article:

Natasha often has headaches after consultations, for which her mum charges 400 roubles — about £8.

In the TV programme, it was mentioned that an average day's wage is about £15. So, she's actually charging quite a bit. At home, she sees 20 people a day, 5 days a week (at night, after school). That's £800 a week, which I seriously doubt are reported to the tax authorities.

Monichev said that people come from all over Russia to see her. He does have a point about her not needing to be tested again: She rakes in 100 times the average day's wage.

Rolfe
16th February 2005, 08:07 AM
Originally posted by geni
Someone who knew she was threatening to pull out. No. If she refused to take the test without access to a mobile phone, I'd have let her pull out, and widely publicised the reason for her pulling out. And I think that would have been the only sensible position to take.

For goodness sake, assuming the story is true, they didn't even make it clear on the programme that she had a mobile phone on her, and had insisited on that. Why not?

Rolfe.

mgdwcb
16th February 2005, 08:08 AM
I presume Prof. Wiseman is trustworthy? I mean, who in his right mind would have allowed Natasha to keep a phone on her during the test?

Wasn't there some controvesy about how Wiseman handled the test on UK medium Chris Robinson? I can't remember exactly what he was accused of (I think letting controls mix with subjects and changing the agreed tests on the day?) Does anyone have a link to a report?

Ashles
16th February 2005, 08:27 AM
Imagine if it turns out Wiseman's working for Victor Zammit!

It would be the most shocking betrayal since Fielding sold out Walker in Timecop.

materia3
16th February 2005, 08:28 AM
She did not diagnose someone in Moldova with sarcoidosis, but merely made a crude drawing of a body with doodles around the chest area. The patient had been under treatment for TB for a year, but had not gotten better. When he took her drawing to the doctors in Moscow, they found out that it was sarcoidosis.


Sarcoidosis is difficult to diagnose from imaging under the best of circumstances and I seriously doubt she even knows the term let alone be able to diagnose it with x-ray eyes. :cool: TB is one of the diseases which sarcodosis is mistaken for or vice-versa. The only highly specific diagnostic for sarcoid is the Kveim test which involves injecting sarcoidosis antigen and even this is subject to error.

Who cares why and or whether they allowed her to have the cel phone... why did she have it in the first place? Reason?


Because of the protean manifestations of sarcoidosis, many different diseases must be considered in the differential diagnosis. Neoplasms (lymphoma, metastases), infections (tuberculosis, fungal), noninfectious inflammation (idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, hypersensitivity pneumonitis), pneumoconioses (berylliosis, silicosis, asbestosis), and autoimmune diseases (systemic lupus erythematosus, scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis) must be considered and ruled out before the diagnosis of sarcoidosis is accepted.

……The Kveim test is an intracutaneous injection of previously validated saline suspension of human sarcoid spleen or lymph nodes. Although the test is specific, it is limited by unavailability of the antigen, a 4-6-week reaction time, and variability in the interpretation of results

http://www.rsna.org/REG/publications/rg/afip/privateM/1995/0015/0002/0421/9.htm

CFLarsen
16th February 2005, 09:12 AM
Originally posted by materia3
Who cares why and or whether they allowed her to have the cel phone... why did she have it in the first place? Reason?

We don't know, but it raises serious questions about leakage. E.g., during the test, she takes a bathroom break, during which she gets help.

TheBoyPaj
16th February 2005, 09:15 AM
Originally posted by materia3
Who cares why and or whether they allowed her to have the cel phone... why did she have it in the first place? Reason?

I emailed her to ask why she had her cell phone with her all the time. She wrote back saying...

"Yeah, but no, but yeah. Shut up you don't even not know nothing about it right because it was like sooooo important that I get a text message because Meredith's been stirring it all up saying that I fancy Ivan which I DON'T and I only snogged him like once for a BET. And by the way, do you have pain in your lower back?"

materia3
16th February 2005, 09:21 AM
Originally posted by CFLarsen
We don't know, but it raises serious questions about leakage. E.g., during the test, she takes a bathroom break, during which she gets help.

I am assuming you were not trying to be funny when you say there was the possibility for leakage during bathroom break.

But seriously, didn't anyone ask her or her handlers why she needed the phone?

Insofar as the story of taking her doodles to Moscow and this showed the doctors there the subject had sarcoidosis and not TB, it is ridiculous. .

Azrael 5
16th February 2005, 09:45 AM
Originally posted by TheBoyPaj
I emailed her to ask why she had her cell phone with her all the time. She wrote back saying...

"Yeah, but no, but yeah. Shut up you don't even not know nothing about it right because it was like sooooo important that I get a text message because Meredith's been stirring it all up saying that I fancy Ivan which I DON'T and I only snogged him like once for a BET. And by the way, do you have pain in your lower back?"
Funniest post in a loooong time! Thanks paj!:D

Ashles
16th February 2005, 10:07 AM
Brilliant Paj. Absolutely great. :D

CFLarsen
16th February 2005, 10:11 AM
Originally posted by materia3
I am assuming you were not trying to be funny when you say there was the possibility for leakage during bathroom break.

Oh, hehe...no, I didn't mean it that way.

Originally posted by materia3
But seriously, didn't anyone ask her or her handlers why she needed the phone?

There was nothing in the TV programme about the cell phone. She had one, though. Which I find strange, since she had just gotten to the US, from poverty in Moldova. I wonder who gave it to her.

Originally posted by materia3
Insofar as the story of taking her doodles to Moscow and this showed the doctors there the subject had sarcoidosis and not TB, it is ridiculous. .

What do you mean?

jambo372
16th February 2005, 11:08 AM
Originally posted by Azrael 5
Did she say sarcoidosis? No. Did she see a metal plate in someone's head? No.
Explain again jambo how someone with X-Ray vision cannot see what was probably the easiest ailment to spot(if you had X-Ray vision,that is).No ifs or buts,the patients turned around/side on and after four hours she didnt see a great big metal plate ;)
I feel sorry for the girl,I think she has a pushy Mum,who is putting pressure on her.Maybe it was a joke that went on too long(like Pretend):D

Probably the easiest ailment ?
You're just assuming that, you'd need to actually have x-ray vision to know for certain.
I would actually guess this to be the most difficult to diagnose anyway due to the thickness of the surrounding skull.

She didn't have to say sarcoidosis ... her drawing said it for her.

CFLarsen
16th February 2005, 11:17 AM
Originally posted by jambo372
Probably the easiest ailment ?

Yes, if she has X-ray sight. She would not have had to use a medical term. Could she see the plate? No.

Originally posted by jambo372
You're just assuming that, you'd need to actually have x-ray vision to know for certain.
I would actually guess this to be the most difficult to diagnose anyway due to the thickness of the surrounding skull.

Who's assuming now? Jambo, she was very specific: She could see all through the body, through the bones, organs, whatever.

Originally posted by jambo372
She didn't have to say sarcoidosis ... her drawing said it for her.

No, her drawing was so vague that it could have been anything. The patient went to Moscow, because he had been treated for TB for a year, but with no sign of improving. The doctors in Moscow would then start thinking of something else than TB.

Did you watch the program at all?

Rolfe
16th February 2005, 11:23 AM
Originally posted by jambo372
She didn't have to say sarcoidosis ... her drawing said it for her. Don't be ridiculous. That drawing was an abstract doodle. There wasn't even any indication of scale. The only way it could be said to represent sarcoidosis is in retrospect, by some creative imagination after you know that sarcoidosis is the diagnosis.

Show that drawing to any pathologist or thoracic physician who doesn't know anything about the case and ask them what it represents. They aren't going to say "sarcoidosis", that's for sure!

Rolfe.

jambo372
16th February 2005, 11:23 AM
He showed the doctors in Moscow Natasha's drawing and they said it was almost identical to what they had found. The doctors told him to tell the girl that she was correct and that the proper name for what she described was sarcoidosis.

jmercer
16th February 2005, 11:27 AM
What's your source for that statement, Jambo?

jambo372
16th February 2005, 11:31 AM
My source ?
The patient and the doctor with the frizzy blonde hair said so in the program.

CFLarsen
16th February 2005, 11:41 AM
Originally posted by jambo372
He showed the doctors in Moscow Natasha's drawing and they said it was almost identical to what they had found. The doctors told him to tell the girl that she was correct and that the proper name for what she described was sarcoidosis.

The patient, about the Moscow doctor: "She looked through a microscope and said, It's not TB but sarcoidosis."

The drawing could have some resemblance with sarcoidosis. It also looks like the Creature from the Black Lagoon.

jmercer
16th February 2005, 11:42 AM
Originally posted by jambo372
My source ?
The patient and the doctor with the frizzy blonde hair said so in the program.

Thanks. I haven't seen the program - I appreciate the response. :)

CFLarsen
16th February 2005, 11:44 AM
Originally posted by jambo372
My source ?
The patient and the doctor with the frizzy blonde hair said so in the program.

What doctor with the frizzy blonde hair? There is only the patient's testimony.

Rolfe
16th February 2005, 12:01 PM
Originally posted by jambo372
He showed the doctors in Moscow Natasha's drawing and they said it was almost identical to what they had found. The doctors told him to tell the girl that she was correct and that the proper name for what she described was sarcoidosis. That's an interesting take on what was actually said! If you have the tape, Claus, can you confirm?

I recall that the doctor was quite tolerant of Natasha and said that the picture maybe looked a bit like what she could see under the microscope. However, there's no way anyone just looking at the drawing would possibly guess. In fact I thought the drawing was meant to be a whole-body frame, with legs or something, not a microscope picture.

Rolfe.

Ashles
16th February 2005, 12:15 PM
Originally posted by jambo372
Probably the easiest ailment ?
You're just assuming that, you'd need to actually have x-ray vision to know for certain.
I would actually guess this to be the most difficult to diagnose anyway due to the thickness of the surrounding skull.

She didn't have to say sarcoidosis ... her drawing said it for her.
So she can see down to a cellular level, but can't see a metal plate?

Jambo I didn't see the programme but I am guessing one of the following:
The metal plate was replacing part of the skull
The metal plate was over the skull to hold it in place
The metal plate was inside the skull to hold lots of fragmented pieces in place (I'm not sure if that would even be done)

Which of these could an X-Ray vision girl not see in any possible interpretation of her 'ability'?

Honestly, I am convinced you are joking Jambo, but I can't understand why you would continue for so long.

materia3
16th February 2005, 12:20 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by materia3
Insofar as the story of taking her doodles to Moscow and this showed the doctors there the subject had sarcoidosis and not TB, it is ridiculous. .
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Larsen: What do you mean?


__________________

from your subsequent posts, I think you got the idea already but if I wasn't clear, let me spell it out:

1. Sarcoid is only definitely diagnosed via the Kveim antigen test.

2. Sarcoid CANNOT be diagnosed through imagery -- x-rays, doodles, scans or whatever. Ergo, her doodles mean nothing to the diagnosis. I didn't see them but I don't have to.

3. Any doctor who says the doodles looked like sarcoid is being funny.

4. Sarcoid is frequently mis-diagnosed as fibrosis, TB, other lung infections and other diseases. Sometimes some of these diseases may also be mistaken for sarcoid. For example it is not difficult to determine someone has TB if you can culture M. tuberculosis from the sputum but you can't always do so. SO if you are basing a diagnosis of pulmonary TB on a chest x-ray only it might also be sarcoidosis. In Eastern Europe everyone has had BCG vaccine, usually on multiple occasions, so a positive skin antigen test for TB doesn't mean anything there.

5. Sarcoid would be on the list of differentials I have given above to rule-out in this case. If they confirmed this diagnosis they did not do so on the basis of any imagery.

Does that help?


So you are all saying that none of the investigators testing the X-Ray Eyes girl asked her why she had a cel phone and reported the reason? That's strange.

CFLarsen
16th February 2005, 12:32 PM
Originally posted by Rolfe
That's an interesting take on what was actually said! If you have the tape, Claus, can you confirm?

No, I cannot confirm jambo's version.

Speaker: "One patient, named Edik, had spent a whole year sectioned(?) in Saransk TB hospital without getting better. So he turned to Natasha."

Voice over for Edik: "She simply looked at me for several minutes. Then she said it was not a case of tuberculosis. She said, "I don't even know the name, but I can draw it, explain it, describe it.""

Speaker: "Armed with Natasha's drawing, Edik got a referral to Moscow"

Voice over for Edik: "They sent me to a doctor - if I remember, her name was Novikova. She looked through a microscope and said: Yes, it's not TB, it's sarcoidosis. Then I tell her about the girl in our republic. When I opened the drawing and showed her, she said: "I see the same thing, and tell this girl that we call it sarcoidosis."

Speaker: "Natasha's drawing could indicate some characteristics of sarcoidosis granuloma, a lesion in the lung, made up of clusters in the immune cells."

There is no other mention or footage of the doctor in question. At least not on my tape.

A Wav-file of this is, of course, available in the foyer.

CFLarsen
16th February 2005, 12:36 PM
Originally posted by materia3
Does that help?

Yes, thank you.

Originally posted by materia3
So you are all saying that none of the investigators testing the X-Ray Eyes girl asked her why she had a cel phone and reported the reason? That's strange.

No, I am saying that we don't know if they asked her. Wiseman could clear this up, of course. A good reason why he should post here!

MESchlum
16th February 2005, 02:31 PM
Originally posted by delphi_ote
I was trying to find a good description of the experiment, but failed. Your simulation looks like it's probably right, but I'll try and work up the exact equation and get back to you on it. Thanks for the info!

(Sorry, I'm a math nerd. I'm actually excited about this...)

A fellow addict! Welcome!

Time for some fun combinatorics.

We are looking at the 7! arrangements of 1...7, and seeing how well they fit. To do this when many are right, I'll identify which ones are wrong, and count them.

The chance for 7 right is 1 arrangement in 7! (1*2*3*4*5*6*7 = 5040)

The chance for 6 right is 0 (the last must be too)

The chance for 5 right is found as follows:

2 are wrong, there are 7*6/2 = 21 possible wrong pairs. Each pair has exactly one way to be wrong, so the chance is 21/7! (or 1 in 240)

The chance for 4 right is found as follows:

3 are wrong, there are 7*6*5/2*3=35 possible wrong triplets. Once you have a triplet, it can be wrong in 2 ways (out of 6 potential arrangements). Hence the chance is 70/7! (or 1/72)

The trick here is to note that once you've indentified the wrong triplet, you need to be a bit more careful. Say, for convenience's sake, that 1,2,3 are in the wrong locations.

1,2,3 is not a wrong outcome - don't count it.
1,3,2 has only 2 in wrong locations (so 5 right), and we don't count it either.
2,1,3 also has 5 right (not 4)
2,3,1 has 3 wrong!
3,2,1 has 5 right
3,1,2 has 3 wrong!

So for each triplet of wrong choices, there are 2 possible arrangements.


The other chances are left as an exercise to the reader (note, however, that my method does not work well with few mistakes, since figuring out the arrangements becomes a lot harder).

The solution to getting 0 right is a classic, and converges to 1/e for large numbers of tests.

Odin
16th February 2005, 03:45 PM
Is anyone able to post the sarcoidosis drawing she did? What was it susposed to represent (whole body or just the infected area?)

chance144
16th February 2005, 03:56 PM
I'm wondering if they allowed her to keep the phone, understanding that she would not talk on it, but not knowing that she could text-message (that it was possible, in other words).

Does not excuse the shoddy control, though.

Rolfe
16th February 2005, 04:17 PM
Originally posted by Odin
Is anyone able to post the sarcoidosis drawing she did? What was it susposed to represent (whole body or just the infected area?) I'm sorry I didn't tape it. That last question is pertinent. I thought it was meant to be a caricature of a whole body, it seemed to have legs or arms or something, but it was way out of proportion, and seemed to be mostly chest. The "mostly chest" part had a number of tadpoley things swimming in it.

Then the doctor was said to have said that the picture looked a bit like what she could see down the microscope. Sounded to me like she was just humouring the kid - assuming she said it at all.

Rolfe.

CFLarsen
17th February 2005, 12:07 AM
Originally posted by Odin
Is anyone able to post the sarcoidosis drawing she did? What was it susposed to represent (whole body or just the infected area?)

http://www.skepticreport.com/resources/demkinadrawing.jpg

SarcInfo.com - How a Pathologist can see Bacteria causing Sarcoidosis (http://www.sarcinfo.com/pathology.htm)

Let the wild interpretations begin. Because we're going to need them.....

TheBoyPaj
17th February 2005, 01:59 AM
Hmm. "Take us to your leader".

Darat
17th February 2005, 02:28 AM
http://www.darat.org/JREFPhotos/natsar.jpg

CFLarsen
17th February 2005, 02:48 AM
Darat,

I see you have the tape as well. ;)

Was there anything about a frizzy-haired doctor on your tape?

Azrael 5
17th February 2005, 02:48 AM
I see it now,Natasha was implying he had had fish for tea!:D

Temp3st
17th February 2005, 05:00 AM
or a headless chicken,

jmercer
17th February 2005, 07:40 AM
Originally posted by jambo372
Probably the easiest ailment ?
You're just assuming that, you'd need to actually have x-ray vision to know for certain.
I would actually guess this to be the most difficult to diagnose anyway due to the thickness of the surrounding skull.

Jambo - they don't put plates under the skull. The replace parts of the skull with the plate, or put the plate over sections of the skull. There's nothing between the plate and the rest of the world but skin.

jmercer
17th February 2005, 07:45 AM
Here are some pictures of the bacteria associated with sarcoidosis, along with an article:

http://www.sarcinfo.com/pathology.htm

Gee... doesn't look much like her drawing. Surprise, surprise. :)

Open Mind
17th February 2005, 10:40 AM
I notice quite a few post keep referring to an ‘x-ray’ vision like test and how she could miss for example a metal plate ……. I think you are missing the point somewhat …..

‘The girl with the x-ray eyes’ is a metaphor, nothing more than a nickname. To test her for x-ray eyes makes as much sense as testing Mohammed Ali for his ability to ‘dance like a butterfly and sting like a bee’ …… one could then conclude he had no claim to such an ability.

CSICOP seems to have assumed detecting the metal object in brain should be easy (i.e. x-ray like vision), I’m not sure how they got that idea , perhaps they wanted to test the metaphor ;) or if they really assumed it was x-ray like, I did not see them test her with a Geiger counter :D (Will Stewart, Demakina manager claims in an e-mail to programme’s producer before trials that detecting metal was difficult for her).

Also the assumption medical conditions she was not familiar with should be easy to see appears somewhat blinkered approach from csicop. They were testing a human (none of which have machine like accuracy), espescially on abilities at the edge of human ability (assuming such an ability exists). The human eye focusses better and quicker on images the brain recognizes and makes sense of than it can on a strange objects never seen before .....to assume an unknown sense should operate just as well on the unfamiliar and that Demakina find conditions she was clearly unhappy with and didn't understand doesn't actually prove much.

If only CSICOP had sincere interest in looking for paranormal ability rather than appearing professional debunkers ….. other researchers might actually have considered the possibility (however remote) to detect active disease in another human might have had some advantage to our ancestors. A hole in the skull with a metal plate is not an active disease (the disease and tumour was gone). Neither is a missing appendix a ‘disease’ as such. (And the guy with the metal plate had a missing appendix - a condition she was to detect in another - so csicop broke the rules of the test, not just Demakina with her text messages) .

Not that we should conclude anything from this. There is no proof Demakina has any paranormal ability. And there is no proof CSICOP have the ability to run a proper paranormal investigation on this performance. The huge TV audience is left with a girl successfully getting 1 in 50 odds and the confident CSICOP team saying she has no ability and uses visual clues (but they feel no obligation to provide evidence of such a claim or test further despite it only being a preliminary trial).

CFLarsen
17th February 2005, 11:02 AM
Originally posted by Open Mind
I notice quite a few post keep referring to an ‘x-ray’ vision like test and how she could miss for example a metal plate ……. I think you are missing the point somewhat …..

‘The girl with the x-ray eyes’ is a metaphor, nothing more than a nickname. To test her for x-ray eyes makes as much sense as testing Mohammed Ali for his ability to ‘dance like a butterfly and sting like a bee’ …… one could then conclude he had no claim to such an ability.

I'm afraid you are wrong. Here is how Demkina, in her own words, describe her ability:

The mechanism of my vision is pretty simple. I have two ways of seeing: The first is normal, like everyone else. The second kind of vision I call "medical vision".

When the "medical vision" is switched on, I can see general traits. Like when you open an anatomy book, you see the anatomical structures.

If I need to examine a particular organ more closely, let's say the heart, lung, kidney or liver, I focus more closely on the details.

I can see all the processes at work, for instance the circulation of the blood or respiration.

She is crystal clear: She can actually see through people's bodies, into their bodies, and look at specific organs.

Try again.

jmercer
17th February 2005, 11:05 AM
I believe the burden of proof rests with the subject and not the testers, Open Mind. Demakina failed to provide that proof under conditions that she agreed to - and in point of fact, violated.

Regarding your comments about x-ray eyes... I certainly don't take that literally, and never did. In order to take this claim seriously, however, I have to assume that Demakina is able to sense normal from abnormal in a biological sense.

I cannot think of anything more obviously biologically abnormal than living bone being replaced with inert metal. If she can detect the absence of an appendix, she should certainly be able to detect the absence of a section of the skull.

LTC8K6
17th February 2005, 11:25 AM
The test was flawed, so it should have been dismissed even if she got 6 out of 7. The results mean nothing, so there is no point in saying that a 4/7 result should have gotten more attention or further examination, etc.

She failed according to the test rules, and she failed to take a valid test in the first place.

sackett
17th February 2005, 11:47 AM
Originally posted by Rolfe
She did better than I expected . . . enough to suggest that further investigation was warranted. . . . I'd have been keen to do further trials to try to get to the bottom of it. . . . we can hope for the further trials, I suppose.

Rolfe, get with the program here.

WE ARE CLOSED-MINDED SKEPTICS! WE DO NOT FIND ANECDOTES INTRIGUING! WE DO NOT RE-TEST ANYBODY! WE DO NOT CONDUCT FURTHER RESEARCH! WE KNOW WHAT WE KNOW AND WE ALREADY KNOW ENOUGH!

Not get those fingers in those ears. I want to hear "Neenah Neenah Neenah Neenah! Can't hear you!" in chorus with the rest of us.

CFLarsen
17th February 2005, 12:20 PM
Originally posted by LTC8K6
The test was flawed, so it should have been dismissed even if she got 6 out of 7. The results mean nothing, so there is no point in saying that a 4/7 result should have gotten more attention or further examination, etc.

She failed according to the test rules, and she failed to take a valid test in the first place.

This is an important point: She claims (or at least her mother claims) that she is never wrong. Not once has she been wrong.

So, she should be able to get 7 out of 7. That she only has to get 5 is testament to the honesty and integrity of CSICOP.

Heck, I'd ask her how well she could do, and keep her to that....

jmercer
17th February 2005, 12:58 PM
Originally posted by CFLarsen
I'm afraid you are wrong. Here is how Demkina, in her own words, describe her ability:

[didn't bother to cut & paste the quote]


She is crystal clear: She can actually see through people's bodies, into their bodies, and look at specific organs.

Am I stating the obvious when I point out that x-rays don't work that way, even CAT scans? This would be more like an MRI, which works pretty well with soft tissues and harder tissue like bones...

Open Mind
17th February 2005, 06:15 PM
Mercer, my post was not actually aimed at your comment in particular, I never took your post that way …… I was more referring to another posters earlier post that somehow missing a metal plate is a worse miss.

Larsen, was that the interview by Monica? That newspapers can rearrange? A link to the whole interview would be cool……according to ….
……http://geocities.yahoo.com.br/criticandokardec/embarrassing_answers.htm

Actually, they relied only on "hearsay" (news reports) and on Monica. The full feedback that Monica gave to them on April 6 is the following: "I double-checked a few things with her last night. ... She usually scans people all over first, by making them stand up fully clothed and looking them up and down; delivers a general diagnosis; and then goes into more detail when the patients have discussed their concerns with her. She says she can certainly see ribs, heart, lungs, initially in general 'like in an anatomy book,' but can see right down to the cell level if she concentrates.". The researchers decided on their own to take the leap of faith of declaring that Natasha could spot molecules from afar, and that she claims never to make a mistake. The celluler level vision is only mentioned very briefly by Monica. And she does not say that Natasha can see abnormalities at this level (contrary to what Skolnick says in his CSMMH site, at this link ). Any true scientist that wants to take that as a working parameter should have asked for additional information on that, and the researchers never did it. Further, all the items listed by Monica under "can certainly see" are far bigger than appendix or circular scars in resected esophagus..

If we assume it is all occurring within her mind, then she must be using imagination. The key point is whether her mind is perceiving extra sensory information or it is all total fantasy and visual clues, that is what scientists were there to test, not to compare her with what an x-ray or some scanner can detect. It is possible for people to be able to do things with the wrong explanation of how they mentally achieve it, the role of the scientist is IMHO is to solve the puzzle, not pull out prematurely because she didn’t pass their design (not hers) to the successful degree they set (not her). Whether CSICOP fulfilled their "preliminary examinations intended to give some guidance as to the warranty of further research" is debatable


This is an important point: She claims (or at least her mother claims) that she is never wrong. Not once has she been wrong.

Well my dear mother grossly exaggerates my very humble talents in life too, somebody ought to tell her :D However Demkina didn’t claim to be 100% accurate. ……..


So, she should be able to get 7 out of 7. That she only has to get 5 is testament to the honesty and integrity of CSICOP.



[I]
"Your test has been set for someone who is not Natasha. Had you asked us in advance instead of evidently relying on tabloid newpaper and internet accounts of what she could do, we would have said that there are certain conditions which Natasha claims she can see more evidently than others. One example is that she does not always spot the early stages of pregnancy. Another is a missing appendix." (Stewart to Wiseman, 28 May, 2004). Also, Stewart told Hyman: "She does not claim to see ALL but a considerable amount. (...) We made clear beforehand to Monica that metal implants can be hard in some circumstances.". (Stewart to Hyman, 28 May, 2004).
……..
………
So it seems clear that the researchers failed to ask the most preliminary question to the claimant: "What can you do, and what can't you do?".
http://geocities.yahoo.com.br/criticandokardec/CSICOP-vs-Natasha-Demkina.htm


Hmm ...

Azrael 5
17th February 2005, 06:40 PM
So it seems clear that the researchers failed to ask the most preliminary question to the claimant: "What can you do, and what can't you do?".
I can answer that in the abscence of the researchers(voice of translator)" I can make wild guesses that are no better than chance,but only when no-one is around to query it.Ye but no,but"
[apologies the boypaj];)

jmercer
17th February 2005, 07:42 PM
Originally posted by Open Mind
Mercer, my post was not actually aimed at your comment in particular, I never took your post that way …… I was more referring to another posters earlier post that somehow missing a metal plate is a worse miss.

Ah, thanks. :) However, I have to say that missing a chunk that's gone from someone's skull is pretty damning, especially if you can 'detect' a missing appendix - which is an organ about as big as the pinky finger.

Even if she couldn't 'detect' the metal plate, she should have noticed something unusual about his head. Unless, of course, she's a fraud. :D

CFLarsen
17th February 2005, 11:19 PM
Originally posted by Open Mind
Larsen, was that the interview by Monica? That newspapers can rearrange? A link to the whole interview would be cool……according to ….

No, that was a transcript from the tape. Her own words. Not rearranged.

You are wiggling, but you can't get away from it: She can see through people's bodies. But she couldn't see the metal plate.

Darat
18th February 2005, 01:42 AM
Originally posted by CFLarsen
Darat,

I see you have the tape as well. ;)

Was there anything about a frizzy-haired doctor on your tape?

Just gone through it at 2x and I didn't notice someone whom I would describe as a "frizzy-haired" doctor.

CFLarsen
18th February 2005, 01:49 AM
Originally posted by CFLarsen
In the TV programme, it was mentioned that an average day's wage is about £15. So, she's actually charging quite a bit. At home, she sees 20 people a day, 5 days a week (at night, after school). That's £800 a week, which I seriously doubt are reported to the tax authorities.

Monichev said that people come from all over Russia to see her. He does have a point about her not needing to be tested again: She rakes in 100 times the average day's wage.

Correction: The average week's wage is about £15. So, she rakes in 266 times the average day's wage.

TheBoyPaj
18th February 2005, 01:59 AM
Voice over for Edik: "They sent me to a doctor - if I remember, her name was Novikova. She looked through a microscope and said: Yes, it's not TB, it's sarcoidosis. Then I tell her about the girl in our republic. When I opened the drawing and showed her, she said: "I see the same thing, and tell this girl that we call it sarcoidosis."

"I double-checked a few things with her last night. ... She usually scans people all over first, by making them stand up fully clothed and looking them up and down; delivers a general diagnosis; and then goes into more detail when the patients have discussed their concerns with her. She says she can certainly see ribs, heart, lungs, initially in general 'like in an anatomy book,' but can see right down to the cell level if she concentrates.".

So, she can see something which normally requires a microscope, but misses an apendix.

She can see down to the cellular level if she concentrates, so what was she doing for an hour?

Hmm, indeed.

CFLarsen
18th February 2005, 02:33 AM
Originally posted by jambo372
My source ?
The patient and the doctor with the frizzy blonde hair said so in the program.

Neither I or Darat could find this doctor with the frizzy blonde hair in the program.

Do you have any comments?

Open Mind
18th February 2005, 07:44 AM
Originally posted by CFLarsen
No, that was a transcript from the tape. Her own words. Not rearranged.

You are wiggling, but you can't get away from it: She can see through people's bodies. But she couldn't see the metal plate.

No, you are missing the point, my criticism is of CSICOP ability to run an unbiased, proper, investigation. Where have I ever said the girl has genuine paranormal ability , we are none the wiser due to csicop :p :)

I would trust CSICOP to run a raffle though ..... well perhaps ;)

jmercer
18th February 2005, 07:56 AM
Oh, I don't think anyone's missing your point at all. :D

Rolfe
18th February 2005, 07:56 AM
My initial assessment of the test was that it looked well-designed. When she for 4 out of 7 I was surprised and put it down to pure luck. Especially as she only got 1 out of 6 in the uncontrolled test! This was why I thought there was a good case for further testing - to ascertain whether it was indeed only luck, or if she could consistently perform above chance.

However, comments on this thread and links provided to discussion elsewhere have demonstrated that the test design was probably quite leaky, and indeed it seems that it was the recognition of that fact which caused CSICOP to set the score for passing so high.

This does rather negate the whole point of the thing. Even accepting that there were practical difficulties, what was the point in allowing a leaky test to go ahead, and thus ending up with the situation in which it appeared that Natasha had scored significantly above chance, but that this was being closed-mindedly dismissed by the scientists?

Rolfe.

CFLarsen
19th February 2005, 09:32 AM
Natasha's own interpreter, sending a text message... (http://www.csmmh.org/demkina/)

On the site, we can also find responses to criticism, as well as the protocols.

CFLarsen
19th February 2005, 09:36 AM
One of the six test cards the Commission for Scientific Medicine and Mental Health and the Committee for the Scientfic Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal used to test Natasha Demkina, the 17-year-old Russian who claims to be able to diagnose medical problems with her "x-ray vision." This card required her to identify which of seven subjects had had his or her appendix removed. Finding the challenge dificult, the young psychic protested that appendixes can grow back. When told that appendixes do not grow back after an appendectomy, she insisted that they do in Russia. She failed to correctly identify the subject without an appendix.
Source (http://www.csmmh.org/demkina/appendix.htm)

:dl:

jmercer
19th February 2005, 09:38 AM
Originally posted by CFLarsen
Natasha's own interpreter, sending a text message... (http://www.csmmh.org/demkina/)

On the site, we can also find responses to criticism, as well as the protocols.

Great links, CF! :)

CFLarsen
19th February 2005, 09:48 AM
All in a day's work for..........SKEPTICMAN!!

CFLarsen
19th February 2005, 09:58 AM
"Try as I might I can see no resemblance whatsoever of this drawing to a granuloma or to any other microscopic pathologic finding that I know of. If I were presented with this drawing and no background history I would guess that it was made by a 4-6 year old child who was trying to depict a human-like head with 4 appendages (? arms and legs) attached. If Ms. Demkina is claiming that a physician made a diagnosis of sarcoidosis based upon this drawing I would say that that's simply unbelievable."
-- Yale Rosen, MD
Professor of Pathology
SUNY Downstate Medical Center
Source (http://www.csmmh.org/demkina/sarcoidosis.htm)

It just gets better and better...

Open Mind
19th February 2005, 04:54 PM
"Try as I might I can see no resemblance whatsoever of this drawing to a granuloma or to any other microscopic pathologic finding that I know of. If I were presented with this drawing and no background history I would guess that it was made by a 4-6 year old child who was trying to depict a human-like head with 4 appendages (? arms and legs) attached. If Ms. Demkina is claiming that a physician made a diagnosis of sarcoidosis based upon this drawing I would say that that's simply unbelievable."
-- Yale Rosen, MD
Professor of Pathology
SUNY Downstate Medical Center


According to Julio Siqueira ......



'The researchers believed (and keep beliving...) that the drawing that Natasha did was of something she saw at the cellular level. So they asked an expert on sarcoidosis about it, Dr Yale Rosen. He said, obviously, that it does not resemble sarcoidosis microscopically. But, surprisingly enough, I found a picture of a macroscopic lung with sarcoidosis at the very website of Dr. Yale Rosen (!) that, to my untrained eyes, seems similar to Natasha's drawing (this link). And it is described as a "honeycomb lung with emphysema in the upper part of specimen" (this link) (http://www.granuloma.homestead.com/files/gross_sarcoid_honeycomb1.jpg )

http://www.granuloma.homestead.com/files/gross_sarcoid_honeycomb1.jpg

' ..... I sent an email to Dr. Rosen about it. No reply... Hope Skolnick and colleagues will talk about it in their report. So far it seems to me another instance of embarassing lack of attention from the part of the "researchers". By the way: even though the researchers believe the drawing was of a microscopic structure, they never bothered to ask Natasha about it, as it seems. Moreover, they understood wrongly that passage in the documentary. Actually, the man with sarcoidosis only showed the drawing to the doctor after she made the diagnosis looking into the microscope, and it could very well be that when she said that "I see the same thing" she was not really referring to what she saw at the cellular level, but to macroscopic lungs instead.

http://geocities.yahoo.com.br/criticandokardec/CSICOP-vs-Natasha-Demkina

Darat
19th February 2005, 05:05 PM
http://www.darat.org/JREFPhotos/lungnatdrawing.jpg

CFLarsen
20th February 2005, 01:09 AM
seems similar to Natasha's drawing (this link).

Perhaps Julio Siqueira could explain what the legs, the arms, the fish-tail, and antennas in the drawing have to do with sarcoidosis?

that, to my untrained eyes

Say no more.

Open Mind, do you think Julio has a point?

CFLarsen
1st April 2005, 11:16 PM
Bumped for Open Mind and Jambo.

T'ai Chi
2nd April 2005, 07:01 AM
A probability of 1 out of 50, not bad.

Open Mind
2nd April 2005, 08:56 AM
Originally posted by CFLarsen
Open Mind, do you think Julio has a point? [/B]

On the picture? I see a resemblance of sorts with this one picture. But of course that is not good evidence to me, I posted it because some had claimed there was no similarity whatsoever ....

Claus, I have no idea whether the girl has any paranormal ability or not ....... what alarms me is that if CSICOP has been aborting/looking for possibly weak effect paranormal abilities in such a manner they aren't going to find anything ... would be interesting to film CSICOP at work more often ......how about a committee to test the scientific claims of CSICOP? ;)

Garrette
3rd April 2005, 08:18 AM
Originally posted by Open Mind:

what alarms me is that if CSICOP has been aborting/looking for possibly weak effect paranormal abilities in such a manner they aren't going to find anything

I think you have mis-stated this.

CSICOP looked for the effect that the subject claimed to be able to produce.

The subject then was unable to produce it.

Originally posted by Open Mind:

would be interesting to film CSICOP at work more often ......how about a committee to test the scientific claims of CSICOP?

Their findings are always available for review, as any reputable organization's is. Feel free to point out any deficiencies.

T'ai Chi
3rd April 2005, 09:10 AM
Originally posted by Garrette

Their findings are always available for review, as any reputable organization's is.

In the case of JREF, no one seems to even know something as basic as 'what % of applicants are dowsers', for example, let alone the more interesting statistical questions.

Yes yes, I know, take weeks off my job, spend $ to fly down and stay in a hotel for weeks, and do it myself for something that should already be done.

This is an example of 'making the data available'?

Open Mind
3rd April 2005, 09:13 AM
Garrette, why didn't magicians Hyman, Wiseman take the opportunity to show us how easily they could also have cold read 4 out of 7 .....what a golden opportunity for them to show their cold reading abilities? :) Instead they finished trying to sell the public a 1 in 50 success was a failure.

CFLarsen
3rd April 2005, 09:36 AM
Originally posted by Open Mind
On the picture? I see a resemblance of sorts with this one picture. But of course that is not good evidence to me, I posted it because some had claimed there was no similarity whatsoever ....

I can post a picture of a liver and still find similarities. Or a picture of a sponge. The thing is, what Demkina drew was not sarcoidosis. Or rather, it could be anything.

Originally posted by Open Mind
Claus, I have no idea whether the girl has any paranormal ability or not ....... what alarms me is that if CSICOP has been aborting/looking for possibly weak effect paranormal abilities in such a manner they aren't going to find anything ... would be interesting to film CSICOP at work more often ......how about a committee to test the scientific claims of CSICOP? ;)

Apart from you misrepresenting what CSICOP does, that is another issue. We are discussing Demkina in this thread.

CFLarsen
3rd April 2005, 09:39 AM
Originally posted by Open Mind
Garrette, why didn't magicians Hyman, Wiseman take the opportunity to show us how easily they could also have cold read 4 out of 7 .....what a golden opportunity for them to show their cold reading abilities? :) Instead they finished trying to sell the public a 1 in 50 success was a failure.

This is completely disingenious of you. You try to turn Demkina's failure into a criticism of CSICOP, simply because they didn't do what you want them to do. And you do it by misrepresenting them.

Feh.

T'ai Chi
3rd April 2005, 09:41 AM
Originally posted by CFLarsen
I can post a picture of a liver and still find similarities. Or a picture of a sponge.


Does a 1 in 50 chance obtained in a scientific test deserve more testing, regardless of the applicant's claimed abilities?

Yes or no?

CFLarsen
3rd April 2005, 10:49 AM
I've asked Richard Wiseman about the cell phones, and here's his reply:

I think that the cell was hers and she certainly seemed to know how to text.
I saw her doing it once and asked her not to do it again. I then saw her do
it a second time. According to her agent, she was texting her boyfriend
back in Russia, but I have no idea if this was the case.
I guess the bottom line for us was that she didn't pass the test, despite us
cutting her as much slack as possible.
I think the next issue of SI will carry some articles about the test.

T'ai Chi
3rd April 2005, 10:56 AM
Originally posted by CFLarsen
I've asked Richard Wiseman about the cell phones, and here's his reply:

Claus, can you provide evidence that Wiseman said it was OK to post his comments on an internet forum?

Thanks.

CFLarsen
3rd April 2005, 11:08 AM
Originally posted by jzs
Claus, can you provide evidence that Wiseman said it was OK to post his comments on an internet forum?

Thanks.

I specifically asked him, and he said yes.

T'ai Chi
3rd April 2005, 11:13 AM
Originally posted by CFLarsen
I specifically asked him, and he said yes.

That may very well be.

Can you provide evidence for that, however?

CFLarsen
3rd April 2005, 11:15 AM
Originally posted by jzs
That may very well be.

Can you provide evidence for that, however?

What would satisfy you? I asked him via email. What do you want, a cut & paste? :rolleyes:

Donks
3rd April 2005, 11:18 AM
Originally posted by jzs
That may very well be.

Can you provide evidence for that, however?
This seems a bit hypocritical considering what you replied when Central Scrutinizer asked to see the email form Linda:

Originally posted by jzs
It is up to you to email Linda and ask her if she emailed me, not for me to provide you with her email, if you are interested in persuing that line further. I'm not required to jump through hoops for you (even though I did by emailing Dace and Linda, when that wasn't even necessary to discuss the contents of an article).

T'ai Chi
3rd April 2005, 11:23 AM
Originally posted by Donks
This seems a bit hypocritical considering what you replied when Central Scrutinizer asked to see the email form Linda:

The diference, dude, is that I didn't just post what Linda said and then claim that she said it was ok without offering evidence.

T'ai Chi
3rd April 2005, 11:26 AM
Originally posted by CFLarsen
What would satisfy you? I asked him via email. What do you want, a cut & paste? :rolleyes:

Provide evidence in any way you see fit.

So far, you haven't.

CFLarsen
3rd April 2005, 11:28 AM
Originally posted by jzs
The diference, dude, is that I didn't just post what Linda said and then claim that she said it was ok without offering evidence.

What evidence did you offer??

CFLarsen
3rd April 2005, 11:30 AM
Originally posted by jzs
Provide evidence in any way you see fit.

So far, you haven't.

Can I post your reply on the JREF Forum?

Yep, fine to post any or all of my comments
Cheers
R

There you go.

T'ai Chi
3rd April 2005, 11:33 AM
Originally posted by CFLarsen
What evidence did you offer??

I never said I did. That reading comphrension thingy again...

I said I didn't just post what Linda said and then claim she said it was ok without offering evidence. ie, you just posted what Wiseman supposedly said without offering any evidence that he gave permission prior to you posting that.

T'ai Chi
3rd April 2005, 11:35 AM
Originally posted by CFLarsen
There you go.

Um... actual evidence. How do we know you didn't just type that?

Don't be selective. The full email. Actual headers.

"Put up or shut up".

CFLarsen
3rd April 2005, 11:37 AM
Originally posted by jzs
Um... actual evidence. How do we know you didn't just type that?

Don't be selective. The full email. Actual headers.

"Put up or shut up".

In the header, there is his IP address. You are asking me to provide you with that?

CFLarsen
3rd April 2005, 11:40 AM
Originally posted by jzs
I got responses from both Mr. Dace and Linda. Mr. Dace said he was there. Linda said he was there.
Source (http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?s=&postid=1870843243&highlight=Linda)

That's it. You posted her response, with no evidence that she had given her permission. And you didn't even try to provide evidence that you had permission.

And then, when asked to provide a copy of the email, you say that it is up to CS to email Linda and ask her if she emailed you.

Can you explain this, Justin?

T'ai Chi
3rd April 2005, 11:46 AM
Originally posted by CFLarsen
Source (http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?s=&postid=1870843243&highlight=Linda)

That's it. You posted her response, with no evidence that she had given her permission. And you didn't even try to provide evidence that you had permission.


I paraphrased. I did not post the exact contents. You can do to former without permission.

Still, no evidence from Clausminded... What part of "full email" are you having a hard time understanding?

CFLarsen
3rd April 2005, 11:51 AM
Originally posted by jzs
I paraphrased. I did not post the exact contents. You can do to former without permission.

You conveyed her message, which was a "yes, he was there". You did not ask permission to convey an email from Linda.

Originally posted by jzs
Still, no evidence from Clausminded... What part of "full email" are you having a hard time understanding?

OK, so you are asking me to reveal Wiseman's IP address.

Why do you need the IP address of Richard Wiseman, Justin?

T'ai Chi
3rd April 2005, 12:36 PM
Originally posted by CFLarsen
You conveyed her message, which was a "yes, he was there". You did not ask permission to convey an email from Linda.


I did not post the exact message as you did. I paraphrased. I guess you don't understand the difference.


OK, so you are asking me to reveal Wiseman's IP address.

Why do you need the IP address of Richard Wiseman, Justin?

That's was a pretty lame attempt. I asked for actual evidence. You are free to choose and give it in any form you'd like of course.

Of course, you don't have to provide any evidence... which is what you are indeed doing. I must have forgot that the "rules" don't apply to you and Claus Larsen doesn't have to provide evidence. He's immune.

Speaking of IP addresses... will you EVER present your amazing secret evidence for your claim of "similar" IP's of Lucianarchy?

"Put up or shut up."

CFLarsen
3rd April 2005, 12:49 PM
Originally posted by jzs
I did not post the exact message as you did. I paraphrased. I guess you don't understand the difference.

No, I don't. I don't understand the difference between these two:

"Linda said yes"

and posting this:

Linda: "Yes".

There is absolutely nothing in your post that indicates that Linda said anything else. Which means, you conveyed a specific message from Linda without providing evidence that she had allowed it. That's a fact, Justin.

You also demanded that others should email Linda to verify that you had emailed her. That's a fact, Justin.

You also demanded that I provided evidence of my own email correspondance with Richard Wiseman. That's a fact, Justin.

That included revealing his IP address. That's a fact, Justin.

Originally posted by jzs
That's was a pretty lame attempt. I asked for actual evidence. You are free to choose and give it in any form you'd like of course.

Of course, you don't have to provide any evidence... which is what you are indeed doing. I must have forgot that the "rules" don't apply to you and Claus Larsen doesn't have to provide evidence. He's immune.

Speaking of IP addresses... will you EVER present your amazing secret evidence for your claim of "similar" IP's of Lucianarchy?

"Put up or shut up."

You can obfuscate anyway you like. That doesn't change the fact: You wanted to see the IP address of Richard Wiseman.

Why?

Garrette
3rd April 2005, 01:05 PM
Originally posted by Open Mind:

Garrette, why didn't magicians Hyman, Wiseman take the opportunity to show us how easily they could also have cold read 4 out of 7

What opportunity? The test was of the x-ray girl. Arrange such a test, if you wish. I'll participate.

In addition, you -- as usual -- mis-state the position of magicians. We cheat, just as I accuse x-ray girl of cheating. Cold reading is but one method. And my success rate at it is not an absolute; I will compare my success rate to those who claim legitimate abilities.

You post straw men. You change your position and deny it. You move goal posts.

What you emphatically do not do is look at evidence objectively.


Originally posted by Open Mind:

Instead they finished trying to sell the public a 1 in 50 success was a failure.

You simply do not tire of misrepresentation, do you?

What they told the public was what the claimant agreed to:

Her performance did not meet the agreed upon standard of success.

The rest is you spinning it.

T'ai Chi
3rd April 2005, 01:14 PM
Originally posted by CFLarsen
No, I don't. I don't understand the difference between these two: "Linda said yes" and posting this: There is absolutely nothing in your post that indicates that Linda said anything else. Which means, you conveyed a specific message from Linda without providing evidence that she had allowed it. That's a fact, Justin. You also demanded that others should email Linda to verify that you had emailed her. That's a fact, Justin. You also demanded that I provided evidence of my own email correspondance with Richard Wiseman. That's a fact, Justin. That included revealing his IP address. That's a fact, Justin. You can obfuscate anyway you like. That doesn't change the fact: You wanted to see the IP address of Richard Wiseman. Why?

More talk... still no evidence of either claim.

I wonder why?

"Put up or shut up".

CFLarsen
3rd April 2005, 01:20 PM
Originally posted by jzs
More talk... still no evidence of either claim.

I wonder why?

"Put up or shut up".

Bull. You want me to post the IP address of Richard Wiseman. I want to know why.

You can email him yourself, thereby not only getting an answer to whether or not I actually did ask for his permission, but also his IP address itself.

A simple email to Wiseman will solve your problems Yet, you demand that I post Wiseman's IP address.

Are you trying to trick me here, Justin? Because right now, that's the only explanation I can see.

Why do you want me to post Richard Wiseman's IP address?

T'ai Chi
3rd April 2005, 01:36 PM
Originally posted by CFLarsen
Bull. You want me to post the IP address of Richard Wiseman. I want to know why.

You can email him yourself, thereby not only getting an answer to whether or not I actually did ask for his permission, but also his IP address itself.

A simple email to Wiseman will solve your problems Yet, you demand that I post Wiseman's IP address.

Are you trying to trick me here, Justin? Because right now, that's the only explanation I can see.

Why do you want me to post Richard Wiseman's IP address?

Your critical thinking is about as real as a 3 dollar bill. You avoid presenting evidence that you demand others should, then you attribute something to me I did not say.

Looks like you will neither "put up" nor "shut up".

Oh well.

T'ai Chi
3rd April 2005, 01:58 PM
Either way, 1/50 = .02, and is less than typical levels of statistical significance in standard topics of science.

Should warrant further investigation.

walthrup48
3rd April 2005, 02:00 PM
jzs, what evidence could Claus present that would convince you that the text he claims comes from an email reply from Wiseman is genuine?

This is a really trivial matter. Why do we have to have so many posts about it?

T'ai Chi
3rd April 2005, 02:16 PM
Originally posted by JimTheBrit
jzs, what evidence could Claus present that would convince you that the text he claims comes from an email reply from Wiseman is genuine?

This is a really trivial matter. Why do we have to have so many posts about it?

I guess you too have problems understanding what "full email" means.

It is trivial; all he has to do is present actual evidence. The full email stating he had permission.

Makes you wonder why he's waited so long..

Azrael 5
3rd April 2005, 02:23 PM
Originally posted by JimTheBrit
jzs, what evidence could Claus present that would convince you that the text he claims comes from an email reply from Wiseman is genuine?

This is a really trivial matter. Why do we have to have so many posts about it?

Agreed.I believe CF Larsen,why would he lie? This petty nit picking is dumb.;)

JPK
3rd April 2005, 02:24 PM
Good afternoon jzs

Originally posted by jzs
Either way, 1/50 = .02, and is less than typical levels of statistical significance in standard topics of science.

Should warrant further investigation.

Can you explain why this would warrant further investigation? For that matter, what would you consider "the line", if you will, to not warrant serious investigation?
OK, I just read what I wrote and it is coming out wrong.
This was one test. A test with mutually agreed upon terms for success or failure. It was a failure. If some other group wishes to test her, go ahead. If they wish to lower the standards for a positive result so be it. I guess everyone will just have to way the body of tests.

JPK

walthrup48
3rd April 2005, 02:39 PM
Originally posted by jzs
Makes you wonder why he's waited so long.. Perhaps, with his '3 dollar bill' critical thinking, Claus realises that you can respond to anything he posts about the communication (including the full email stating he had permission which you demand) with...Originally posted by jzs
How do we know you didn't just type that?

T'ai Chi
3rd April 2005, 02:54 PM
Originally posted by JimTheBrit
Perhaps, with his '3 dollar bill' critical thinking, Claus realises that you can respond to anything he posts about the communication (including the full email stating he had permission which you demand) with...

More apologetica, still no evidence.

T'ai Chi
3rd April 2005, 03:03 PM
Originally posted by JPK
A test with mutually agreed upon terms for success or failure. It was a failure.


So you're saying we should judge an experiment a success or failure as compared to the claimants perception of their skills? Why not just examine their actual performance and look at the probability of that occuring?

From Josephson's page, quoting Keith Rennolls, Professor of Applied Statistics, University of Greenwich:

"I have reviewed Professor Josephson’s arguments, published on his web page, and find them to be scientifically and statistically correct. In contrast, the statement of Professor Wiseman, of CSICOP, “I don’t see how you could argue there’s anything wrong with having to get five out of seven when she agrees with the target in advance”, demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of how experimental data should be interpreted statistically, as pointed out by Professor Josephson in his web site.
The experiment is woefully inadequate in many ways.
The chance of the observed 4 successes 7 subjects by pure guessing, is 1 in 78, an indication of a significantly non-random result, as claimed by Professor Josephson. But, suppose Natasha had a diagnosis rate of 1 in 2, compared with the chance rate of 1 in 7: then there is equal chance of getting 4 or more from 7, or 3 or less from 7. That is, the probability (power) of detecting a true 50% diagnosis rate on 7 subjects using a 0.01 significance level is only 50% (calculations use a Binomial approximation). There should have been at least 21 subjects to ensure a 90% probability/power of detecting a true diagnosis rate of 50% (using a 0.01 significance level test). Only if Natasha had a true diagnosis rate as high as 72% would there have been a 90% chance of detecting the effect using a 0.01 test (i.e. 4 more as the criterion) on 7 subjects. The experiment, as designed, had high chances of failing to detect important effects. This may have been due to the lack of involvement of a statistician in the design of the CSICOP experiment, rather than its intentions.
Finally, the lack of blinding of Natasha to the sex, age, and state of the subjects means that no inferences are possible about the cause of any increased diagnosis rate that might have been detected."

Open Mind
3rd April 2005, 09:03 PM
Originally posted by Garrette


You post straw men. You change your position and deny it. You move goal posts.


I don't have any fixed 'position', I am free to move position ..... ... I call it 'doubt', trying to keep an open mind ..... … it used to be called skepticism before skepticism became a inner knowing that whatever contradicts established science must be wrong and labeled an error or fraud :)

It would appear Hyman was so confident 1 in 50 success is a failure, he said at the end of trial he hopes Demkina gives it up. Not much doubt in his mind. Her extraordinary claim didn’t pass his extraordinary lack of curiosity to test further.

As for Wiseman, he claimed he felt embarrassed at her doing so badly in pre-test ……. then Wiseman loses his embarrassment and also says perhaps she is good at making judgments from visual clues? ... then later to hinting at a text message fraud theory too …… take your pick …. at least he has doubt (and doubt is fine) but is it doubt over which explanation to justify not testing further?

Actually my criticism of Hyman and Wiseman attitude could be very unfair .... perhaps they were reluctant to test further due to external influence?

Andrew Skolnick, director of the ‘Commission for Scientific Medicine and Mental Health ' (CSMMH) …. He seems more interested in mocking a young girl than having any sense of doubt.. He says ‘. I had a big fight with them (Hyman, Wiseman) at breakfast before the test. During the test, I just had to bite my tongue and "pray" that we weren’t going to pay dearly for the numerous compromises that were permitted. We came awfully close to paying for those lapses ‘
http://geocities.yahoo.com.br/criticandokardec/CSICOP-vs-Natasha-Demkina.htm

CFLarsen
3rd April 2005, 11:11 PM
Originally posted by jzs
Your critical thinking is about as real as a 3 dollar bill. You avoid presenting evidence that you demand others should, then you attribute something to me I did not say.

Looks like you will neither "put up" nor "shut up".

Oh well.

It is clear by now that you are not the slightest interested in knowing whether or not I had permission. You don't want the evidence, that's for sure.

All you need to do is email Wiseman and ask, and you will have your answer. You demand that of others. Heck, you might even catch me in a lie. That would be detrimental to me, to my reputation, and to SkepticReport. So, there's a huge potential benefit for you.

But you don't email Wiseman. Instead, you insist that I post Wiseman's IP address here.

If your little scheme was that you wanted his IP, you could simply email him with some question, and you'd get it. But you don't do that either.

What you want is this: I must post Wiseman's IP address here.

I want to know why.

CFLarsen
3rd April 2005, 11:15 PM
Originally posted by Open Mind
I don't have any fixed 'position', I am free to move position ..... ... I call it 'doubt', trying to keep an open mind ..... … it used to be called skepticism before skepticism became a inner knowing that whatever contradicts established science must be wrong and labeled an error or fraud :)

You have a very fixed position: That skepticism is simply about labeling anything paranormal as error or fraud. Unfortunately for you, your position is wrong.

Originally posted by Open Mind
It would appear Hyman was so confident 1 in 50 success is a failure, he said at the end of trial he hopes Demkina gives it up. Not much doubt in his mind. Her extraordinary claim didn’t pass his extraordinary lack of curiosity to test further.

You misrepresent Hyman's position and argument. He doesn't wish Demkina would give it up because he lacks curiosity, but because she is living in a fantasy world. Don't forget that Hyman knows what he is talking about: He was once a palmist himself, but discovered that he was merely fooling not only his clients but also himself.

Originally posted by Open Mind
As for Wiseman, he claimed he felt embarrassed at her doing so badly in pre-test ……. then Wiseman loses his embarrassment and also says perhaps she is good at making judgments from visual clues? ... then later to hinting at a text message fraud theory too …… take your pick …. at least he has doubt (and doubt is fine) but is it doubt over which explanation to justify not testing further?

Nice attempt of portraying Wiseman as wishy-washy, when he is seeking natural explanations, the way a true skeptic does.

Originally posted by Open Mind
Actually my criticism of Hyman and Wiseman attitude could be very unfair .... perhaps they were reluctant to test further due to external influence?

Andrew Skolnick, director of the ‘Commission for Scientific Medicine and Mental Health ' (CSMMH) …. He seems more interested in mocking a young girl than having any sense of doubt.. He says ‘. I had a big fight with them (Hyman, Wiseman) at breakfast before the test. During the test, I just had to bite my tongue and "pray" that we weren’t going to pay dearly for the numerous compromises that were permitted. We came awfully close to paying for those lapses ‘
http://geocities.yahoo.com.br/criticandokardec/CSICOP-vs-Natasha-Demkina.htm

Let me get this straight: You think it is a point of criticism if Hyman and Wiseman listens to criticism?

Garrette
4th April 2005, 09:06 AM
Originally posted by Open Mind:

I don't have any fixed 'position',


I must agree with CFLarsen on this. You most certainly have a position which you attempt to disguise but betray in nearly all your posts.

Your claim of objectivity is false, and your moniker a mistake.


Originally posted by Open Mind:

I am free to move position ..... ... I call it 'doubt', trying to keep an open mind

This would be commendable, if it were in fact what you do. Sadly, it is not.

You shift positions when their flaws are pointed out then deny that you have done so. Show me an instance of you actually changing your position and admitting it on this forum.


Originally posted by Open Mind:

it used to be called skepticism before skepticism became a inner knowing that whatever contradicts established science must be wrong and labeled an error or fraud

Ah, the school of Ian. I hope he and your straw men keep you company.


Originally posted by Open Mind:

It would appear Hyman was so confident 1 in 50 success is a failure

Funny, isn’t it, that the claimant also said it was a failure?

Further funny, isn’t it, that the standard of success had been openly agreed prior to the experiment?

Further further funny, isn’t it, that the claimant could not achieve the standard of success she agreed to (but which was still less than she said she actually could achieve) even with the holes in the experiment?

And funniest of all that you claim open mindedness and a skeptical attitude yet when a test is carried out as agreed upon and all participants admit it does not demonstrate psi you try to shift attention to an admitted bias of the experimenter. A bias which could have no effect on the experiments as the protocols did not allow it.

As for me, I’d even accept a study by the incredibly biased Schwartz if the experiment had proper protocols and were repeated. You see, I base my positions on evidence, not bias.

Sadly, you do the opposite.


Originally posted by Open Mind:

he said at the end of trial he hopes Demkina gives it up.

CFLarsen addressed this. It is more indication of your disingenuousness.



Originally posted by Open Mind:

Not much doubt in his mind. Her extraordinary claim didn’t pass his extraordinary lack of curiosity to test further.

Balderdash. Read the write up.

Did the girl agree to stay for further testing?



Originally posted by Open Mind:

As for Wiseman, he claimed he felt embarrassed at her doing so badly in pre-test ……. then Wiseman loses his embarrassment and also says perhaps she is good at making judgments from visual clues? ... then later to hinting at a text message fraud theory too …… take your pick …. at least he has doubt (and doubt is fine) but is it doubt over which explanation to justify not testing further?

My, my, but how you twist things to your liking.

The truth must really hurt you.


Originally posted by Open Mind:

Actually my criticism of Hyman and Wiseman attitude could be very unfair .... perhaps they were reluctant to test further due to external influence?

Perhaps my criticism of you could be very unfair…..perhaps you make these accusations because you have actual evidence to back them up?

Perhaps you twist the results and commentary not because you are dishonest but because you simply haven’t the skills to see your illogic?



Originally posted by Open Mind:

Andrew Skolnick, director of the ‘Commission for Scientific Medicine and Mental Health ' (CSMMH) …. He seems more interested in mocking a young girl than having any sense of doubt.. He says ‘. I had a big fight with them (Hyman, Wiseman) at breakfast before the test. During the test, I just had to bite my tongue and "pray" that we weren’t going to pay dearly for the numerous compromises that were permitted. We came awfully close to paying for those lapses ‘

I fail to see how this supports an accusation of ridicule on Hyman’s or Wiseman’s part.

CFLarsen
4th April 2005, 10:04 AM
Originally posted by Garrette
Did the girl agree to stay for further testing?

No. And that's odd. Really odd.

In the program, we saw a clip of her seeing New York for the first time. Her reaction? Completely awed. She said "How beautiful".

Then, compare that to her pallid home in Saransk.

If I was her, I would fight to be tested again in New York. Or anywhere else than Saransk.

T'ai Chi
4th April 2005, 02:45 PM
Originally posted by CFLarsen
You don't want the evidence, that's for sure.


I'm asking you for evidence however you want to present it, yet you keep dodging.


All you need to do is email Wiseman and ask, and you will have your answer. You demand that of others.


The difference is that I paraphrased Linda's email. You claimed you posted what he actually said, something which requires his permission.


Heck, you might even catch me in a lie. That would be detrimental to me, to my reputation, and to SkepticReport. So, there's a huge potential benefit for you.


It wouldn't benefit me in the slightest either way.


, you insist that I post Wiseman's IP address here.


I never said that. You are attempting, poorly, to make it seem like I said that by assuming I wanted that and then repeating that.

Tactics worthy of a thug.

Open Mind
4th April 2005, 06:09 PM
Originally posted by CFLarsen
You have a very fixed position: That skepticism is simply about labeling anything paranormal as error or fraud.


Claus feel free to name just one example where you have ‘doubt’ …. In other words you feel some reported paranormal phenomena or parapsychology trial could have been real because there isn’t sufficient reason or evidence to dispute it ……. If you cannot do that you are confirming my stereotype that ‘skeptic’ to many is not doubt but to believe all cases are error or fraud, in other words a priori belief reported phenomena is error or fraud, there isn’t much ‘doubt’ in such skepticism.


Unfortunately for you, your position is wrong.

Again, no doubt is expressed ‘your position is wrong’. Well of course we are going to disagree over this.


You misrepresent Hyman's position and argument. He doesn't wish Demkina would give it up because he lacks curiosity, but because she is living in a fantasy world.
Don't forget that Hyman knows what he is talking about:

I don’t think Hyman’s opinion is worth more than most parapsychologists (not that Hyman is a parapsychologist, he is a critic of their work) …. . he is entitled to his opinion. Hyman's trial here was too inconclusive for him to make any scientific claim about Demkina, unless it is something along the lines of ‘she didn’t pass our test’


He was once a palmist himself, but discovered that he was merely fooling not only his clients but also himself.

He also says 'When I was in high school I went to every spiritualist seance I could find in the Boston area because I wanted to be like Houdini. I was going to expose all this stuff.’



Let me get this straight: You think it is a point of criticism if Hyman and Wiseman listens to criticism?

I just think Skolnick sounds desperate for Demkina to fail before trial. I don’t think this attitude is appropriate or acceptable in any test of psi.

Originally posted by Garrette
I must agree with CFLarsen on this. You most certainly have a position which you attempt to disguise but betray in nearly all your posts.

Your claim of objectivity is false, and your moniker a mistake.


I am indeed defending claims against close minded skepticism, if you view that as a fixed opinion on the actual claimed phenomena ….. I think you are mistaken


Ah, the school of Ian. I hope he and your straw men keep you company.

I’m pleased others come here to this forum to present the other side of the debate.. The skeptic side is the easy side of the debate, it basically is ‘I only trust and defend what is well established in science’. The trouble is science redefines every so often and a whole generation of skeptics become wrong on some issues.


Further funny, isn’t it, that the standard of success had been openly agreed prior to the experiment?

It seems more designed after she arrived. She traveled all that way and possibly felt obliged to agree.


Further further funny, isn’t it, that the claimant could not achieve the standard of success she agreed to (but which was still less than she said she actually could achieve) even with the holes in the experiment?

I’m not really interested in people passing arbitrary levels of pass or failure …. If psi exists to the weakest degree physics is going to be redefined to accommodate it…..


And funniest of all that you claim open mindedness and a skeptical attitude yet when a test is carried out as agreed upon

She clearly is reluctant to agree in TV program, two conditions she is unhappy with. If my memory serves me didn’t Wiseman say something like ‘you can get these 2 wrong and still pass’?




Did the girl agree to stay for further testing?


Did CSICOP ask her to do so? Not that she should, when people like Skolnick ‘praying’ or willing for her to fail, I don’t think CSICOP’s attitude is equipped to fairly test for psi.

Darat
4th April 2005, 11:39 PM
Originally posted by Open Mind
Claus feel free to name just one example where you have ‘doubt’ …. In other words you feel some reported paranormal phenomena or parapsychology trial could have been real because there isn’t sufficient reason or evidence to dispute it ……. If you cannot do that you are confirming my stereotype that ‘skeptic’ to many is not doubt but to believe all cases are error or fraud, in other words a priori belief reported phenomena is error or fraud, there isn’t much ‘doubt’ in such skepticism.

...snip...

Er.. this doesn't follow - consider if there are no (which is NOT a claim I am making but merely an illustration to show why your logic is incorrect) "examples" which meet the criteria you mention.

CFLarsen
5th April 2005, 12:01 AM
Originally posted by jzs
I'm asking you for evidence however you want to present it, yet you keep dodging.

That is a lie. You insist that I present it the way you want it. You are a liar, Justin.

Originally posted by jzs
The difference is that I paraphrased Linda's email. You claimed you posted what he actually said, something which requires his permission.

Bull.

Originally posted by jzs
It wouldn't benefit me in the slightest either way.

Rrrrrrrright........ :rolleyes:

Originally posted by jzs
I never said that. You are attempting, poorly, to make it seem like I said that by assuming I wanted that and then repeating that.

Tactics worthy of a thug.

You never said that? Can you explain how I can post the "full email" without revealing Wiseman's IP address? What can I leave out, and still post the "full email"?

You need to explain this, Justin.

CFLarsen
5th April 2005, 12:05 AM
Originally posted by Open Mind
Claus feel free to name just one example where you have ‘doubt’ …. In other words you feel some reported paranormal phenomena or parapsychology trial could have been real because there isn’t sufficient reason or evidence to dispute it ……. If you cannot do that you are confirming my stereotype that ‘skeptic’ to many is not doubt but to believe all cases are error or fraud, in other words a priori belief reported phenomena is error or fraud, there isn’t much ‘doubt’ in such skepticism.

It doesn't work that way: We don't think something is real because there isn't enough evidence to dispute it: If we are to think that something is real, there has to be something to support it.

You know this, because it has been explained to you so often, yet you still try to misrepresent it.

Originally posted by Open Mind
Again, no doubt is expressed ‘your position is wrong’. Well of course we are going to disagree over this.

Oh, it's not a matter of disagreeing: You are, factually, wrong.

Originally posted by Open Mind
I don’t think Hyman’s opinion is worth more than most parapsychologists (not that Hyman is a parapsychologist, he is a critic of their work) …. . he is entitled to his opinion. Hyman's trial here was too inconclusive for him to make any scientific claim about Demkina, unless it is something along the lines of ‘she didn’t pass our test’

What was so unscientific about the test?

Originally posted by Open Mind
He also says 'When I was in high school I went to every spiritualist seance I could find in the Boston area because I wanted to be like Houdini. I was going to expose all this stuff.’

He got money for school by reading palms. Once again, you leave out the pertinent points.

Originally posted by Open Mind
I just think Skolnick sounds desperate for Demkina to fail before trial. I don’t think this attitude is appropriate or acceptable in any test of psi.

It doesn't matter what people think, as long as the test is well designed. Would you say the same, if he had sounded desperate for her to succeed?

Originally posted by Open Mind
I am indeed defending claims against close minded skepticism, if you view that as a fixed opinion on the actual claimed phenomena ….. I think you are mistaken

It isn't. I just want to see the evidence. Who are these close minded skeptics? Names, please.

Originally posted by Open Mind
It seems more designed after she arrived. She traveled all that way and possibly felt obliged to agree.

Bull: She specifically went to the US to be tested. Wiseman said that she had offered to be tested any way they wanted.

Originally posted by Open Mind
I’m not really interested in people passing arbitrary levels of pass or failure …. If psi exists to the weakest degree physics is going to be redefined to accommodate it…..

Unfortunately for your point, the more we learn about physics, the less likely we are to find evidence of this weakest degree of psi.

If it really is so weak, how come all these psychics, dowsers, healers etc claim it is strong enough to do what they do? They are all fakes?

If so, how did we discover this "weak" psi effect?

Originally posted by Open Mind
She clearly is reluctant to agree in TV program, two conditions she is unhappy with. If my memory serves me didn’t Wiseman say something like ‘you can get these 2 wrong and still pass’?

She is reluctant, because she isn't allowed to cold-read people. And, with a claimed record of 100%, as well as simply finding known diseases, it should have been a breeze.

Originally posted by Open Mind
Did CSICOP ask her to do so? Not that she should, when people like Skolnick ‘praying’ or willing for her to fail, I don’t think CSICOP’s attitude is equipped to fairly test for psi.

CSICOP isn't the only organization around. Why didn't the PEAR group jump in? Rhine Research Center was silent, too. Nobody at the Consciousness Research Laboratory said anything.

Why don't you criticize those organizations?

Garrette
5th April 2005, 06:41 AM
All quotations originally posted by Open Mind:


Claus feel free to name just one example where you have ‘doubt’ …. In other words you feel some reported paranormal phenomena or parapsychology trial could have been real because there isn’t sufficient reason or evidence to dispute it

This was not addressed to me, but I’m feeling effusive so I’ll respond.

First: You have it backwards. The rational, defensible stance is one in which we suspect a reported phenomenon may be real because there is sufficient evidence to support it. That is the stance of, imo, most skeptics here, including even CFLarsen.

Second: “Doubt” in the scientific sense is not, as you imply here, a wavering uncertainty but an acknowledgment that any stance, finding, theory, or law might possibly be shown to be wrong. Doubt is not extinguished nor belied when one says of a particular demonstration: “Bunk. You have not shown what you claim to have shown.”

Third: Why do you feel you can demand this of CFLarsen when you have not answered my request to support your claim to have shifted positions on this forum and admitted it?


If you cannot do that you are confirming my stereotype that ‘skeptic’ to many is not doubt but to believe all cases are error or fraud, in other words a priori belief reported phenomena is error or fraud, there isn’t much ‘doubt’ in such skepticism.

Yes. It is “your stereotype.” You engage in this practice a lot. It should disturb you.

What interests me about you is that you also stereotype the supporters of PSI as demonstrated in the last thread in which you and I debated. You took it upon yourself to determine under what conditions claims should be tested instead of allowing claimants to state their abilities.

You demonstrate prejudice in every direction.



I don’t think Hyman’s opinion is worth more than most parapsychologists (not that Hyman is a parapsychologist, he is a critic of their work)

If it were merely unsupported opinion you would be correct. Hyman, however, outlines his objections.

And of course he is not a parapsychologist; he has, after a lifetime of experience, found the field to be bunkum.

He is a professor of psychology who finds the research and experimental methods of parapsychologists to be highly flawed.

He was also a professional magician and, as CFLarsen has pointed out more than once, he practiced palmistry.

You incorrectly and ineffectively attempt to deride his qualifications. He is, in fact, eminently qualified to critique parapsychologists.

he is entitled to his opinion.

Of course he is.

He is also entitled to unequivocally state the unequivocal results of an unequivocal trial.

Hyman's trial here was too inconclusive for him to make any scientific claim about Demkina, unless it is something along the lines of ‘she didn’t pass our test’

And where, exactly, did he say more than that?

He [Hyman] also says 'When I was in high school I went to every spiritualist seance I could find in the Boston area because I wanted to be like Houdini. I was going to expose all this stuff.’

Yep. Because he had experience in it.


I just think Skolnick sounds desperate for Demkina to fail before trial. I don’t think this attitude is appropriate or acceptable in any test of psi.

Attitudes only matter when they impinge upon protocol. Do you have evidence of this happening?

On the contrary, the evidence suggests that protocols were in favor of the claimant.

I am indeed defending claims against close minded skepticism,

Let’s review then:

1. Claimant makes claim
2. Skeptic offers to test claim under conditions agreeable to claimant
3. Claimant agrees
4. Claimant and skeptic agree to conditions
5. Claimant and skeptic agree on exactly what result will constitute success
6. Agreed-upon success is significantly less than what claimant claims she is capable of
7. Test is conducted in the presence of skeptics and believers
8. Claimant fails to meet agreed upon standard of success
9. Claimant and skeptic agree that claimant failed to demonstrate claimed ability
10. Skeptic publicly says that claimant failed to demonstrate claimed ability
11. Open Mind cries foul

You are demagoguing in sheep’s clothing.

you view that as a fixed opinion on the actual claimed phenomena ….. I think you are mistaken

It is, as always, possible that I am mistaken, but the evidence on this forum is strongly in my favor.

It is also possible that you:

a. Recognize the flaws in your arguments but intentionally ignore them
b. Honestly do not recognize the flaws in your arguments
c. Something else

The evidence suggests either a or b. I believe it is a, but I can present no evidence of it over b.

I am pleased others come here to this forum to present the other side of the debate..

As am I.

the skeptic side is the easy side of the debate, it basically is ‘I only trust and defend what is well established in science’.

You are sorely mistaken.

First: It is the position that I trust and defend what the evidence supports with the proviso that new evidence may arrive to cause me to change.

Second: This is, by far, the harder of the two positions to debate. I have been on both sides, extensively. The believer side requires no discipline and gives sway to emotion. The skeptic side requires that one subsume one’s emotions and inclinations and that one follow the evidence regardless of the desirability of the outcome

The trouble is science redefines every so often

The trouble?

This is exactly what is commendable about science (and I recognize I am not using science in a precise sense here). The system has a built-in correcting mechanism. That which is shown to be wrong is thrown out, regardless how cherished it was. That which is shown to be (provisionally) right is accepted, even if it first takes gnashing of teeth, which is actually the exception btw.

and a whole generation of skeptics become wrong on some issues.

You, of course, have examples?

Or is this simply more of your ‘debate by pronouncement?’

It seems more designed after she arrived. She traveled all that way and possibly felt obliged to agree.

Ah, yes. How could I be so blind? Dirty rotten skeptics brow-beat the poor girl, her parents, her lawyers, her handlers.

Tell me, OM, given that Demkina claimed a 100% success rate when diagnosing people who simply wandered into her residence back in Russia, and given that she did not have to diagnose anyone out of the blue in the test but rather only had to match a set of given conditions to a set of given patients, exactly how was the test unfair?

She traveled all that way precisely so she could participate in the test.


I’m not really interested in people passing arbitrary levels of pass or failure

Of course not.

You are only interested when you personally get to set the conditions and get to claim success or experimenter bias after the fact.

Come off it, OM. There was nothing arbitrary in the pass/fail level, and you know it.

The pass/fail level was significantly less than the rate Demkina claimed she could achieve and was based solely on the level that would demonstrate statistical significance.

Is there no end to your spinning?

If psi exists to the weakest degree physics is going to be redefined to accommodate it

Yes.

Pity that no one can demonstrate it exists at all.


She clearly is reluctant to agree in TV program, two conditions she is unhappy with.

And they are?


If my memory serves me didn’t Wiseman say something like ‘you can get these 2 wrong and still pass’?

I don’t know.

If he did, it gets back to what I have repeatedly said. Demkina claimed 100% success rate, but this test required less than that for success.

Exactly how is that unfair to her?


Did CSICOP ask her to do so [stay for further testing]?

I don’t know.

Did the SPR ask to test her?

This is amusing. I will paraphrase your position from the claimant's point of view:

I can run the 100 meters in under 8 seconds though no one else in the world has even come close. I offer as proof the fact that at the last Olympics I ran the 100 meters in 9.5 seconds which is very nearly statistically significant. The Olympic Committee, however, refuses to run another official trial for me. In fact, they openly state that they do not believe I can do what I claim. Their refusal to test me again demonstrates that their first trial was flawed. Yes, I know that I have access to official tracks and stop watches elsewhere, including among my supporters, but you should ignore the fact that I will not use them to demonstrate my claim. I will now go home and continue to run the 100 meters in 7.9 seconds for everyone who comes to my house.


Not that she should, when people like Skolnick ‘praying’ or willing for her to fail

More nonsense.

1. Show that he did so.
2. Show that it had an effect.
3. Show that the protocols were impinged as a result.

By your logic, we should refuse to test her because Demkina’s entourage were praying or willing for her to pass. They agreed to the test, too.

You’re a hoot.

I don’t think CSICOP’s attitude is equipped to fairly test for psi.

You don’t think their “attitude is equipped?”

What the heck does that mean?

More importantly, what, exactly, would properly equip some one or some organization to fairly test for psi. You obviously have some idea, yes?

Open Mind
5th April 2005, 09:35 AM
Originally posted by Darat
Er.. this doesn't follow - consider if there are no (which is NOT a claim I am making but merely an illustration to show why your logic is incorrect) "examples" which meet the criteria you mention.

Fair enough Darat, you have expressed a degree of doubt by not making the claim there are no examples, to me that is a reasonable attitude.

Open Mind
5th April 2005, 05:32 PM
Originally posted by CFLarsen
It doesn't work that way: We don't think something is real because there isn't enough evidence to dispute it: If we are to think that something is real, there has to be something to support it.


But not my question. I didn’t say it has to be real, I asked you to name a case you thought ‘could have been real’ :) This may seem an unimportant difference to you but it is the difference between a close minded skeptic looking for any error or fraud theory to debunk (without much concern for whether it is the correct explanation or not) and a person willing to view claims as meriting consideration whether likely or not.

So you cannot think of a single case which has ‘something to support it’? :)


Oh, it's not a matter of disagreeing: You are, factually, wrong.

Factually wrong on what specifically? Even this sounds close minded. :)


What was so unscientific about the test?

A trial of only 7 was never going to lead to a result that could be stated with much confidence over whether Demkina had any ability or not.


He got money for school by reading palms. Once again, you leave out the pertinent points.

But you cannot believe this is real ;) because you just said above ’ : If we are to think that something is real, there has to be something to support it. ;)

You don't believe anecdotal claims but you trust Hyman's anecdotal claim? Do you have something to support his claim? On the contrary …..

- Hyman as youth claims ’ I wanted to be like Houdini. I was going to expose all this stuff.’ … did Houdini support palmistry or palmists? Houdini was however a fake fortune teller early on.
- Hyman was charging money for his palmistry, if he claims he didn’t believe in it, would he be guilty of fraud?
- Hyman is still (or at least was in 1990s) a member of the Psychic Entertainers Association, why?

Other than trust, what evidence do you have to believe Hyman’s claim, if you honestly standby ‘to think that something is real, there has to be something to support it’

No I’m not saying Hyman isn’t telling the truth, I’m suggesting some skeptics are trusting professional skeptic opinions with little questioning…and treating parapsychologists who claim positive effects with maximum suspicion


It doesn't matter what people think, as long as the test is well designed.

I disagree, if someone is testing a weak psi ability such as telepathy, etc. the assumption other attitudes or beliefs of experimenters cannot interfere is again to assume weak psi doesn’t exist or a claim to know how it must operate. The experimenters should be passive (or perhaps willing the person to succeed),

I don’t know why Andrew Skolnick even said ’ During the test, I just had to bite my tongue and "pray" that we weren’t going to pay dearly for the numerous compromises that were permitted. We came awfully close to paying for those lapses ‘

‘Pray’ is an odd choice of word, it sounds like he subconsciously believes in his own paranormal ability to change an outcome? ;) I assume he means is he was hoping Demkina fails … does this sound ‘impartial’

CSICOP website claims……



3. Encourages research by objective and impartial inquiry in areas where it is needed





It isn't. I just want to see the evidence. Who are these close minded skeptics? Names, please.

Politeness prevents me from naming anyone ……. little point doing so if I did of course they would deny it.


Unfortunately for your point, the more we learn about physics, the less likely we are to find evidence of this weakest degree of psi.

Feel free to prove that statement.


If it really is so weak, how come all these psychics, dowsers, healers etc claim it is strong enough to do what they do? They are all fakes?

I think most are deluding themselves to some degree. Recipients do make information fit, so it is possible this effect masks the usually weaker psi effect, and skeptics jump the gun and overstate the cold reading hypothesis …. Close minded skeptics have faith they have the whole explanation, they however lack evidence cold reading is the correct explanation

Open Mind
5th April 2005, 06:20 PM
Garrette writes …..


You have it backwards. The rational, defensible stance is one in which we suspect a reported phenomenon may be real because there is sufficient evidence to support it.


That is not really my question I wanted to know if Larsen had any doubt over claims or he now believed these are all fraud or error beyond doubt. I was asking him to name one case he has some doubt over. Skepticism works both ways you can be skeptical of a claim and also be skeptical of fraud/error theory to explain it

That is the stance of, imo, most skeptics here, including even CFLarsen.

A telepathy claim? :)


Why do you feel you can demand this of CFLarsen when you have not answered my request to support your claim to have shifted positions on this forum and admitted it?

I said to Larsen ‘feel free’ why does that sound a demand to you? What did I shift opinion on? If it was something unproven either way, it is not likely I am going to state a change of position to another position of uncertainty :)


What interests me about you is that you also stereotype the supporters of PSI as demonstrated in the last thread in which you and I debated. You took it upon yourself to determine under what conditions claims should be tested instead of allowing claimants to state their abilities.

I replied to that in the other topic.


Hyman, however, outlines his objections. And of course he is not a parapsychologist; he has, after a lifetime of experience, found the field to be bunkum.

A lifetime of experience? According to ……..
‘Hyman apparently has reported only one foray into empirical psi research and in that, his involvement seems to have been minimal. The work was almost totally conducted by James McClenon ………..
……. That remote-viewing study “fall[s] short of scientific acceptability” under Hyman’s (1989, p. 381) own criteria because it was not published in a refereed journal.
http://www.tricksterbook.com/ArticlesOnline/HymanReview.htm


a professor of psychology who finds the research and experimental methods of parapsychologists to be highly flawed.

True and by not conducting his own long-term parapsychology trials he will never have to explain away anomalous errors in his own trials, just other peoples. Or as much better said by Hansen link above (with regard to CSICOP) ‘When one is able to project the image of “dispassionate scientist” while in reality playing the role of prosecutor, the effectiveness of the prosecution is much enhanced.’




And where, exactly, did he say more than that?

Hyman said he hopes Demkina gives it up at end of trial, so he seems to think he has proven something. He perhaps proved her mother wrong, who claimed she never made a mistake …. He didn’t prove she had no ability. None of us know, partly due to CSICOP


Attitudes only matter when they impinge upon protocol. Do you have evidence of this happening?

How do you know attitude doesn’t affect psi trials?

the evidence suggests that protocols were in favor of the claimant.
What evidence?


1. Claimant makes claim
2. Skeptic offers to test claim under conditions agreeable to claimant
3. Claimant agrees
4. Claimant and skeptic agree to conditions
5. Claimant and skeptic agree on exactly what result will constitute success
6. Agreed-upon success is significantly less than what claimant claims she is capable of
7. Test is conducted in the presence of skeptics and believers
8. Claimant fails to meet agreed upon standard of success
9. Claimant and skeptic agree that claimant failed to demonstrate claimed ability
10. Skeptic publicly says that claimant failed to demonstrate claimed ability


Much of that could be disputed ... read http://geocities.yahoo.com.br/criticandokardec/embarrassing_answers.htm

CFLarsen
6th April 2005, 12:02 AM
Originally posted by Open Mind
But not my question. I didn’t say it has to be real, I asked you to name a case you thought ‘could have been real’ :) This may seem an unimportant difference to you but it is the difference between a close minded skeptic looking for any error or fraud theory to debunk (without much concern for whether it is the correct explanation or not) and a person willing to view claims as meriting consideration whether likely or not.

So you cannot think of a single case which has ‘something to support it’? :)

I haven't seen one single piece of evidence of any paranormal phenomenon. As I understand you, that makes me "close minded"?

Originally posted by Open Mind
Factually wrong on what specifically? Even this sounds close minded. :)

So, if people show that you are wrong, they are close minded?

There has to be evidence in favor of a phenomenon. It's that simple.

Originally posted by Open Mind
A trial of only 7 was never going to lead to a result that could be stated with much confidence over whether Demkina had any ability or not.

How many, then? Be specific. Don't just criticize, come up with practical solutions.

Originally posted by Open Mind
But you cannot believe this is real ;) because you just said above ’ : If we are to think that something is real, there has to be something to support it. ;)

You don't believe anecdotal claims but you trust Hyman's anecdotal claim? Do you have something to support his claim? On the contrary …..

I don't have time for your word games. Stick to Demkina, and stop changing the subject.

Originally posted by Open Mind
I disagree, if someone is testing a weak psi ability such as telepathy, etc. the assumption other attitudes or beliefs of experimenters cannot interfere is again to assume weak psi doesn’t exist or a claim to know how it must operate. The experimenters should be passive (or perhaps willing the person to succeed),

Name one experiment that shows even a weak psi ability.

Originally posted by Open Mind
I don’t know why Andrew Skolnick even said ’ During the test, I just had to bite my tongue and "pray" that we weren’t going to pay dearly for the numerous compromises that were permitted. We came awfully close to paying for those lapses ‘

‘Pray’ is an odd choice of word, it sounds like he subconsciously believes in his own paranormal ability to change an outcome? ;) I assume he means is he was hoping Demkina fails … does this sound ‘impartial’

CSICOP website claims……

Oh, please! It's a figure of speech! :rolleyes:

Originally posted by Open Mind
Politeness prevents me from naming anyone ……. little point doing so if I did of course they would deny it.

It's too late to try and be polite: You are already being very rude by alluding to "close minded skeptics", but never naming them. That is a cheap shot, OM. If you have criticism of someone, let's hear it. But don't think you can win an argument by using these vague accusations.

Originally posted by Open Mind
Feel free to prove that statement.

Finding a paranormal phenomenon would mean that the whole scientific worldview would be wrong. The more evidence in favor of natural laws we find, the weaker the argument for paranormal phenomena gets.

Originally posted by Open Mind
I think most are deluding themselves to some degree. Recipients do make information fit, so it is possible this effect masks the usually weaker psi effect, and skeptics jump the gun and overstate the cold reading hypothesis ….

Can you name one that is not deluding him/herself?

Originally posted by Open Mind
Close minded skeptics have faith they have the whole explanation

You need to tell us who these people are. How else can we address your criticism?

Originally posted by Open Mind
Close minded skeptics have faith they have the whole explanation, they however lack evidence cold reading is the correct explanation

Cold reading is not the only explanation, but it fits with Demkina. Can you point out where it doesn't fit?

Let's recap:


If a person hasn't seen one single piece of evidence of any paranormal phenomenon, does that make him "close minded"?
How many examples should Demkina go through, specifically?
Name one experiment that shows even a weak psi ability.
Can you name one psychic, dowser, healer etc, who is not deluding himself?
Can you point out where cold reading is not an explanation, when it comes to Demkina?
How can we address your criticism of "close minded skeptics" when we don't know who they are?

Garrette
6th April 2005, 11:32 AM
All quotations originally posted by Open Mind except where noted:


That wasn’t really my question. I wanted to know if Larsen had any doubt over claims or he now believed these are all fraud or error beyond doubt.

That’s the point.

Doubt, No Doubt, Complete Ambivalence, Absolute Bias, make no difference whatsoever unless they impinge upon experimental protocols or analysis.

If I stand on the rooftops and shout for all the world to hear ”I swear on my non-existent soul that I have absolute certainty that the paranormal does not exist!” it means nothing at all so long as any experiment/research/analysis I conduct are conducted properly.

I, my dear Open Mind, am a biased individual. At one point in my life I was biased in favor of the existence of the paranormal. Currently, I am biased against it. I became biased against it because I attempted to prove I was right and found, to my chagrin, I was not.

I am biased in many other aspects of my life. I suspect, with something just barely short of absolute certainty, that you are biased, too.

Bias does not define a closed mind, nor does a lack of doubt.

An open mind requires only a willingness to accept evidence contrary to desired outcomes.

you can be skeptical of a claim and also be skeptical of fraud/error theory to explain it

Agreed, but when fraud/error/other-mundane-explanation are at least as likely as a paranormal explanation, it is not closed mindedness to stick with the first.


Garrette:
That is the stance of, imo, most skeptics here, including even CFLarsen.

A telepathy claim?

Not remotely. An opinion, as the quotation says. (“imo” = “in my opinion”)



I said to Larsen ‘feel free’ why does that sound a demand to you?

Okay, it’s not a demand. I retract.

What did I shift opinion on? If it was something unproven either way, it is not likely I am going to state a change of position to another position of uncertainty

Go back and read what I was referencing. You had strongly implied that your state of objectivity is evidenced by the fact that you have changed positions as evidence demands.

I asked you to give an example, suspecting you would be unable to do so.

It appears I was correct.


I replied to that [Garrette’s accusation that OM forces her view of the paranormal on claimants] in the other topic.

No. You avoided it repeatedly. You are doing so again.



A lifetime of experience? According to ……..

‘Hyman apparently has reported only one foray into empirical psi research and in that, his involvement seems to have been minimal. The work was almost totally conducted by James McClenon ………..
……. That remote-viewing study “fall[s] short of scientific acceptability” under Hyman’s (1989, p. 381) own criteria because it was not published in a refereed journal.

I said “experience” not “research.” I stand by that.

In addition, your source carefully ignores Hyman’s (non-para)psychological research.

It is precisely the ignored experiences of Hyman that give him his credentials: Professional magician, professional psychologist.


True and by not conducting his own long-term parapsychology trials he will never have to explain away anomalous errors in his own trials, just other peoples.
How whiney can you get?

The mean psychologist won’t do our work for us. Waah waaah.

Or as much better said by Hansen link above (with regard to CSICOP) ‘When one is able to project the image of “dispassionate scientist” while in reality playing the role of prosecutor, the effectiveness of the prosecution is much enhanced.’

Too true, but not true in Hyman’s case.

Turn it around and say instead and more accurately

When one is able to project the image of “dispassionate scientist” while in reality playing the role of shameless promoter, the effectiveness of the promotion is much enhanced.

I submit Schwartz, Sheldrake, Josephson, and Keen, among others.



Hyman said he hopes Demkina gives it up at end of trial, so he seems to think he has proven something.

He offers an opinion here. In context of the test results he said only that Demkina did not do what she agreed she could do.

He perhaps proved her mother wrong, who claimed she never made a mistake

And her agent, who said the same thing.

Since Demkina herself allowed her mother and her agent to speak for her, why do you have a problem with this?

I speculate that had Hyman et al ignored Demkina’s mother and agent in favor of speaking directly to Demkina (through interpreter, of course) you and others would complain they were brow-beating a child. Speculation which is, btw, supported by your words in this thread about how Demkina was feeling pressured by the scientists.

Demkina was only 17, yes? That makes her legally a minor and not able to make legally binding contracts.

You cling to straws.


He didn’t prove she had no ability. None of us know, partly due to CSICOP

True. Nor did he say he had.

“None of us know” what? Whether Demkina has any ability?

Why do you insist it is CSICOP’s job to prove someone has an ability?

I suggest you read over again what happened. In addition to your own errors, you may find one of my own in which I gave the chronological list of events and said something like “Skeptics invite claimant to prove claim.”

The skeptics didn’t do the inviting: Demkina (probably her mother and her agent, actually) contacted the Discovery Channel with the intent to prove her powers were real.

Discovery Channel contacted CSICOP to design and conduct the experiment.

Couple of points to highlight:

1. The whole thing was initiated by the claimant (or claimant’s representatives)

2. The claimant went in with the intent to prove the claim was real

3. CSICOP did exactly what was requested by the Discovery Channel

And you fault CSICOP for not proving something for you.

Note #2 up there.

The Claimant had an intent. Demkina believed her claim was real. You can bet she had no doubt about her abilities (unless you think she’s fake).

That makes her, according to you, closed minded and incapable of participating in a fair test.

Ditto for her mother, her agent, her interpreter friend, Brian Josephson, and anyone else who thinks she’s real.

Unless, of course, your idea of open mindedness is wrong after all.




How do you know attitude doesn’t affect psi trials?

If you are asking how I know an attitude can be indicative of how well or how poorly an experiment will be designed or conducted, then I say I know it by reading the research.

You need go no further than:

1. The Schwartz Afterlife Experiments for an example of bad effect

2. Emily Rosa’s Therapeutic Touch science project for an example of good effect

But if, as I suspect, you are asking about the Experimenter Effect,
I will happily discuss it with you when you finish our discussion in the other thread.

You will recall, but probably deny, that you brought up the Experiment Effect in defense of your position then feebly said you were just tossing out trivial points when I showed the flaws in your logic.

I will not fall into the common believer tactic of bringing up old and refuted points in new and renamed threads so that old ground can be covered again.


What evidence [that the flaws in the protocol were actually in Demkina’s favor]?

Check the link you provided in your last post (quoted below).

It has its own links to rebuttals about accusations of poor design and execution.

Of course, the author of your link interprets them differently, but I think it’s pretty obvious to any one with an open mind.



Much of that could be disputed ... read http://geocities.yahoo.com.br/criti...ing_answers.htm


That’s actually an interesting site; thanks for linking it.

Julio Siqueira (the author) seems to be honest in his review and is kind enough to link directly to rebuttals.

I disagree with much of what he said but agree with some.

If I get the time, I’ll comment on the whole page, but don’t hold your breath; it will mostly be repeats of what I have said to you.

I will, however, agree with him on one major point and bring up one major point of disagreement.

---

First, the agreement:

Siquiera repeatedly accuses Hyman, Wiseman and Skolnick of not ”doing their homework,” i.e., they tested for a claim that Demkina never made because they never asked Demkina specifically what she could do and under what circumstances.

I don’t think it’s as egregious as Siquiera makes it out to be because Hyman, etc., did talk to Demkina’s representatives (agent and mother) whom they had every reason to trust spoke knowledgeably about Demkina herself.

But I do not think they pressed her representatives hard enough for specifics.

By itself, this could be an experiment killer.

On the flip side, the experiment was designed to allow success at a standard lower than Demkina’s representatives claimed.

So, Bad Work on specifically defining the claim before designing the experiment and

Good Work on being more lenient than necessary.

By the way, Open Mind, in the other thread you repeatedly advocated exactly what Hyman, Wiseman and Skolnick reportedly did. You repeatedly said that the experiment should be designed without first finding out what the claimants claimed.

Do you now admit that that position is a wrong one?

---
---

Second, the disagreement. This applies to Siquiera, to Josephson (as expressed in links on Siquiera’s site) and to Open Mind:

Siquiera, Josephson and Open Mind repeatedly criticize CSICOP for not using the Demkina experiment as a stepping off point for further study of Demkina.

But CSICOP was responding only to Discovery Channel’s request to test one claimant’s claim.

The test was not one designed to see if “some paranormal power might exist” but to see if the claimed paranormal power existed.
More accurately, to see if there was reason to believe that the claimed paranormal power existed, the discovery of such a reason being the starting point for someone to conduct further testing.

Specifically, the critics say that the 4 of 7 results merit further experimentation.

If you think so, then fine. Arrange further experiments.

But this experiment was not about that. This was an experiment, requested by the claimant, to test her ability (claimed to be 100% infallible by her representatives).

The claimant, according to the Discovery Channel, went in with the idea to prove her claim.

CSICOP designed an experiment to determine if further study of this claim were indicated.

The experiment did not indicate further study for this claim.

It now seems that the sour grapes are squarely in the mouths of Siquiera, Josephson, and Open Mind.

No one is preventing any one else from conducting identical or similar experiments with Demkina or anyone else. Go do it.

Then publish your protocols and results for everyone to see.

---



Open Mind from an earlier post:

Actually my criticism of Hyman and Wiseman attitude could be very unfair .... perhaps they were reluctant to test further due to external influence?

Garrette, in response:

Perhaps my criticism of you could be very unfair…..perhaps you make these accusations because you have actual evidence to back them up?

Do you have any of that evidence?


Edited for format

CFLarsen
11th April 2005, 04:55 AM
Bump for Open Mind.

The Mighty Thor
11th April 2005, 05:52 AM
While we wait for Open Mind ... does Prof. Wiseman consult with Mr Randi before getting into these very public tests? I think tests that leave any "wiggle room" for the claimants and their supporters can have a negative effect on skeptical inquiry. As can be seen by OM's defense of this Russian fraud, it is not worth it for scientists to conduct tests that can appear (to believers) to be in any way ambiguous. Remember, to many of these folks Crookes and Lodge are their "positive" reference points. We have come a long way from those faulty methodologies, surely?

I'm sure that the JREF would do much better -- if only Demkina would apply. (Has she said why not?)

Is she still "performing"?

I bet she is.

Open Mind
11th April 2005, 09:39 AM
Originally posted by CFLarsen
Bump for Open Mind.

If you insist we must continue a rather pointless debate :)

Originally posted by CFLarsen
I haven't seen one single piece of evidence of any paranormal phenomenon. As I understand you, that makes me "close minded"?


Only if your explanations from an armchair continually rely upon unproven fraud … or unproven error.


So, if people show that you are wrong, they are close minded?

Of course not but you have not proven me wrong …. ;)


There has to be evidence in favor of a phenomenon. It's that simple.

Fine. Who decides what is evidence? CSICOP? :rolleyes:


How many, then? Be specific. Don't just criticize, come up with practical solutions.

As already quoted by JZS above …. ’ There should have been at least 21 subjects to ensure a 90% probability/power of detecting a true diagnosis rate of 50% (using a 0.01 significance level test). ’


I don't have time for your word games. Stick to Demkina, and stop changing the subject.

Not my word games, true skeptics should be skeptical of the claims of professional skeptics too. As for changing the subject, you mentioned Hyman’s palmistry claim, not me. I was merely showing there are 3 good reasons to doubt Hyman’s claim he once believed in palmistry.


Name one experiment that shows even a weak psi ability.

http://www.psy.gu.se/EJP/EJP%20ULT%20AP%20GB.pdf



Oh, please! It's a figure of speech! :rolleyes:

I don’t think so, Skolnick was very concerned Demkina might pass trial.


Finding a paranormal phenomenon would mean that the whole scientific worldview would be wrong. The more evidence in favor of natural laws we find, the weaker the argument for paranormal phenomena gets.

I disagree. Finding paranormal phenomena would modify physics, elsewhere little would change much, a new branch of science might evolve though


Can you name one that is not deluding him/herself?

What I said is that for most claiming to be psychic picking up sensory clues is probably a stronger effect masking the weaker psi effect, therefore it appears like cold reading

I have come across psychics beating the odds of cold reading (address, surname, etc.) so they certainly were not deluding themselves. Of course you will dismiss this as hot reading and that to me is an outside possibility since I can be fooled by elaborate pre planning, although not easily fooled. Name one? My own grandmother, correctly told me she could see my other ‘dead’ grandmother and said she was very worried about her son Robert still on earth (my fit healthy uncle) telling us to get in contact with him as soon as possible … we phoned very shortly afterwards… he had been rushed to hospital shortly earlier and had just had completely unexpected heart attack, no one in family knew, I know with certainty my Grandmother didn't know ….. now you will dismiss this as anecdotal or very lucky event (that so easily could have exposed her vision as completely wrong but it was correct)


Cold reading is not the only explanation, but it fits with Demkina. Can you point out where it doesn't fit?

It was CSICOP's job in my opinion to find out, they didn't.

CFLarsen
11th April 2005, 10:28 AM
Originally posted by Open Mind
If you insist we must continue a rather pointless debate :)

It's not pointless at all.

Originally posted by Open Mind
Only if your explanations from an armchair continually rely upon unproven fraud … or unproven error.

It doesn't. So, am I close minded, yes or no?

Originally posted by Open Mind
Of course not but you have not proven me wrong …. ;)

You are not making sense.

Originally posted by Open Mind
Fine. Who decides what is evidence? CSICOP? :rolleyes:

Spare the misplaced scorn. You know that we are talking about scientific evidence. What evidence are you talking about?

Originally posted by Open Mind
As already quoted by JZS above …. ’ There should have been at least 21 subjects to ensure a 90% probability/power of detecting a true diagnosis rate of 50% (using a 0.01 significance level test). ’

Please explain why. In your own words. Don't rely on others.

Originally posted by Open Mind
Not my word games, true skeptics should be skeptical of the claims of professional skeptics too. As for changing the subject, you mentioned Hyman’s palmistry claim, not me. I was merely showing there are 3 good reasons to doubt Hyman’s claim he once believed in palmistry.

You are free to ask him yourself. (http://www.csicop.org/about/contact.html) Let me know what he said.

Originally posted by Open Mind
http://www.psy.gu.se/EJP/EJP%20ULT%20AP%20GB.pdf

Give me a break! This is a rehash of old experiments that do not show weak evidence of psi. Nothing new here.

Why do you think this is evidence of psi? Be specific.

Originally posted by Open Mind
I don’t think so, Skolnick was very concerned Demkina might pass trial.

You are free to ask him yourself. (askolnick@centerforinquiry.net) Let me know what he said.

Originally posted by Open Mind
I disagree. Finding paranormal phenomena would modify physics, elsewhere little would change much, a new branch of science might evolve though

It's not a question of disagreeing, it's a fact. If we can influence matter via our minds, then we cannot rely on e.g. a single reading on a thermometer. It could be the experimenters who wished for a specific result, it could be other people influencing the results, or it could be a "global consciousness". Or the planets. Or ghosts.

All experimental data we have ever accumulated are worthless. Do you understand this?

Originally posted by Open Mind
What I said is that for most claiming to be psychic picking up sensory clues is probably a stronger effect masking the weaker psi effect, therefore it appears like cold reading

I have come across psychics beating the odds of cold reading (address, surname, etc.) so they certainly were not deluding themselves. Of course you will dismiss this as hot reading and that to me is an outside possibility since I can be fooled by elaborate pre planning, although not easily fooled. Name one? My own grandmother, correctly told me she could see my other ‘dead’ grandmother and said she was very worried about her son Robert still on earth (my fit healthy uncle) telling us to get in contact with him as soon as possible … we phoned very shortly afterwards… he had been rushed to hospital shortly earlier and had just had completely unexpected heart attack, no one in family knew, I know with certainty my Grandmother didn't know ….. now you will dismiss this as anecdotal or very lucky event (that so easily could have exposed her vision as completely wrong but it was correct)

You are correct, I am dismissing it, simply because it is an unverifiable anecdote. Can you name one whose claims we can check?

Originally posted by Open Mind
It was CSICOP's job in my opinion to find out, they didn't.

Why not? What did Demkina do that is not cold reading? Be specific.

You forgot this: How can we address your criticism of "close minded skeptics" when we don't know who they are?

jj
11th April 2005, 10:49 AM
jzs

What do you want Wiseman's IP for, anyhow?

Why not just mail him yourself?

Garrette
12th April 2005, 04:03 AM
Open Mind,

As I have taken the time to respond to your question and to study the link you posted (and post my comments on it), I request that you do me the same courtesy.

Will you please respond to my comments and questions?

T'ai Chi
12th April 2005, 09:54 AM
Originally posted by jj

What do you want Wiseman's IP for, anyhow?


Yawn.

jj you're a parrot. Unfortunately, you're parrotting an idiot, who lied, since I never asked for Wiseman's IP address, but evidence in any form (I suggested the full email, meaning the body- I could care less about routing information) he'd like to.

OR, jj, feel free, as usual, to point out where I specifically said (not where you or idiot presume I said) that I wanted his IP address. But you can't.

Please, quit spreading your dung about.

CFLarsen
12th April 2005, 10:03 AM
Originally posted by jzs
since I never asked for Wiseman's IP address, but evidence in any form (I suggested the full email, meaning the body- I could care less about routing information) he'd like to.

Now you are flat-out lying.

I did present his response, but you demanded that I posted the "full" email. That includes Wiseman's IP address.

Open Mind
13th April 2005, 04:50 AM
Originally posted by Garrette
Open Mind,

As I have taken the time to respond to your question and to study the link you posted (and post my comments on it), I request that you do me the same courtesy.


For future note, when I post a reply or link I do not insist someone reads it, the choice is their own. :)


Will you please respond to my comments and questions?
Since you insist …… :) but I cannot promise I will do so again, your posts are time consuming to correct ;).

Originally posted by Garrette

I, my dear Open Mind, am a biased individual. At one point in my life I was biased in favor of the existence of the paranormal. Currently, I am biased against it. I became biased against it because I attempted to prove I was right and found, to my chagrin, I was not.

I am biased in many other aspects of my life. I suspect, with something just barely short of absolute certainty, that you are biased, too.

Yes everyone is biased to varying degrees on varying topics, including me.


Bias does not define a closed mind, nor does a lack of doubt.

Yes I don’t think bias means a close mind or lack of doubt …… however, lack of doubt over phenomena not conclusively proven either way = close mind.


Agreed, but when fraud/error/other-mundane-explanation are at least as likely as a paranormal explanation, it is not closed mindedness to stick with the first.

People have different ideas on what is likely. Does relativity sound likely? Does non locality sound likely? I don’t think judging paranormal claims by whether it sounds likely or not is particularly wise. Science evolves, it discovers the easy to measure first …. I think science has a long way to go.


Go back and read what I was referencing. You had strongly implied that your state of objectivity is evidenced by the fact that you have changed positions as evidence demands.

I asked you to give an example, suspecting you would be unable to do so.

I don’t think that is a coherent criticism, why would I have stated a change of position from one position to another position of doubt without sufficient proof? In which topic was evidence given that required a change of position?

If you are asking me for a willingness to consider another persons argument, I will do so but I don’t see how that necessitates adopting their viewpoint too.



I said “experience” not “research.” I stand by that.

In addition, your source carefully ignores Hyman’s (non-para)psychological research.

It is precisely the ignored experiences of Hyman that give him his credentials: Professional magician, professional psychologist.


There is a saying that goes ……….. ‘when the only tool in ones toolbag is a hammer, soon everything begins to resemble a nail’ :D


Yes a magician will offer conjuring explanation, a psychologist will search for psychological explanations ... Of course the same criticism could be aimed at naive psychical researchers seeing paranormal siginificance in nothing much .... the only way to find out is to conduct parapsychology, a Hyman critique possibly reviewing to fit his preferred paradigm is not beyond questioning.


When one is able to project the image of “dispassionate scientist” while in reality playing the role of shameless promoter, the effectiveness of the promotion is much enhanced.

I submit Schwartz, Sheldrake, Josephson, and Keen, among others.

I don’t think it is fair to call any of them ‘shameless promoters’, to me it seems they sincerely believe their viewpoints.


The skeptics didn’t do the inviting: Demkina (probably her mother and her agent, actually) contacted the Discovery Channel with the intent to prove her powers were real.

Discovery Channel contacted CSICOP to design and conduct the experiment.

Couple of points to highlight:

1. The whole thing was initiated by the claimant (or claimant’s representatives)


Indirectly, Demkina didn’t contact CSICOP. Nor is she likely to have known ‘Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal’ is an organization specializing in opposing paranormal belief. If the CSICOP had been called ‘Society for the protection of humanity from paranormal belief’ .. would she have gone ahead?


2. The claimant went in with the intent to prove the claim was real

And left inconclusive trial beating 1 in 50 odds or failure according to CSICOP …


3. CSICOP did exactly what was requested by the Discovery Channel

Exactly? I hope not. Surely CSICOP were contacted to test if she had any genuine ability? The only thing CSICOP proved was Demkina makes mistakes and isn’t anywhere near 100% accurate, nothing more can be deduced from their involvement, the viewers are left with uncertainty, CSICOP remains confident, as usual. No parapsychologist or psychical proponent I have ever come across has claimed any psi ability was anywhere near perfect. However CSICOP tested her mother’s claim of never making a mistake. Demkina said later she never claimed not to make mistakes.


And you fault CSICOP for not proving something for you.

Yes! ;)


Note #2 up there.

The Claimant had an intent. Demkina believed her claim was real. You can bet she had no doubt about her abilities (unless you think she’s fake).

That makes her, according to you, closed minded and incapable of participating in a fair test.

Ditto for her mother, her agent, her interpreter friend, Brian Josephson, and anyone else who thinks she’s real.

I think you are misrepresenting Professor Brian Josephson position, he has not expressed the opinion Demkina is real, he merely found fault with CSICOP’s trial and attitude.


If you are asking how I know an attitude can be indicative of how well or how poorly an experiment will be designed or conducted, then I say I know it by reading the research.

Try doing your own research, as Nobel Prize winning Professor Josephson would probably say ‘take nobody’s word for it’


1. The Schwartz Afterlife Experiments for an example of bad effect

Weaknesses in Schwartz’s trials doesn’t prove the effect he claims is not real, it merely casts some doubt over it.


You will recall, but probably deny, that you brought up the Experiment Effect in defense of your position then feebly said you were just tossing out trivial points when I showed the flaws in your logic.

Yes I brought up the experimenter effect, I do not recall saying it was trivial, nor do I recall you showing a flaw in my logic although I vaguely remember you claim to have done so. :)


On the flip side, the experiment was designed to allow success at a standard lower than Demkina’s representatives claimed.

Fine for a competition or challenge like Randi does ….. however CSICOP with their grand sounded, self appointed title implying to be the opinion of science needs to do proper science or be exposed for what it really is …… As mentioned by Keith Rennolls, Professor of Applied Statistics, University of Greenwich: ’"I have reviewed Professor Josephson’s arguments, published on his web page, and find them to be scientifically and statistically correct. In contrast, the statement of Professor Wiseman, of CSICOP, “I don’t see how you could argue there’s anything wrong with having to get five out of seven when she agrees with the target in advance”, demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of how experimental data should be interpreted statistically’


By the way, Open Mind, in the other thread you repeatedly advocated exactly what Hyman, Wiseman and Skolnick reportedly did. You repeatedly said that the experiment should be designed without first finding out what the claimants claimed.

Do you now admit that that position is a wrong one?

No, and I never claimed it was the correct approach for other trials, I claimed it was my preference for that other trial and it still my preference for that particular trial comparing (spiritualist) mediums with magician cold readers. Whereas Demkina was claiming something individual, novel and a bit different, the claims and preferences of spiritualist mediums are already known to me (and anyone else who has investigated it in the past). If I recall correctly you wanted to hot read (i.e.cheat) and wished to do so in circumstances psychics normally perform under. My suggested trial was to test the cold reading hypothesis, not to see who could cheat better in different experiment designs. My preference for that trial stands, for Demkina, it was not entirely clear what she was claiming .. it wasn’t ‘x-ray’ eyes or she would have claimed she could look inside sealed boxes …. Under these circumstances more questions must be asked.

---
---

Second, the disagreement. This applies to Siquiera, to Josephson (as expressed in links on Siquiera’s site) and to Open Mind:

Siquiera, Josephson and Open Mind repeatedly criticize CSICOP for not using the Demkina experiment as a stepping off point for further study of Demkina.

Yes, one would have thought the ‘committee for scientific investigation of claims of the paranormal’ would actually do properly what their self appointed title claims. Instead they found a claimant not living up to their idea of what is a pass or failure and making some very confident statements from an inconclusive result. …. a result 1 in 50 in favour of Demkina.
Of course that doesn’t prove Demkina has any genuine ability


No one is preventing any one else from conducting identical or similar experiments with Demkina or anyone else. Go do it.

True, someone should go do it properly, show CSICOP how to conduct an experiment to a more meaningful conclusion.

Garrette
13th April 2005, 05:36 AM
Originally posted by Open Mind:

For future note, when I post a reply or link I do not insist someone reads it, the choice is their own

Agreed. I've never suggested otherwise.


Originally posted by Open Mind:

Since you insist

Actually, I requested. Perhaps we have here an indication of your apparent inability to comprehend my posts.

Usually, when I insist upon something I actually use the word "insist.

More commonly, when I request something I actually use the word "request."

Let's see what I actually said, shall we?


Originally posted by Garrette:

I request that you do me the same courtesy.


Funny how you missed this important distinction since you quoted it.

But thanks for obliging me anyway.


Originally posted by Open Mind:

but I cannot promise I will do so again, your posts are time consuming to correct

Oh. So that's why you've failed to correct me on anything at all.

Got it.

Open Mind
13th April 2005, 05:46 AM
Originally posted by The Mighty Thor
[B]While we wait for Open Mind ...


.......... As can be seen by OM's defense of this Russian fraud,

My criticism is of CSICOP, whether Demkina is a fraud or not, has any genuine ability or not, I have no idea.

Garrette
13th April 2005, 07:45 AM
All quotations originally posted by Open Mind unless otherwise noted:

Yes everyone is biased to varying degrees on varying topics, including me.

Good of you to finally admit it. Nothing wrong with this condition; it’s human.

Now if you would be so kind as to stop implying that bias on the parts of Hyman and crew invalidates by itself their experiment, we’ll be making real progress.


Yes I don’t think bias means a close mind or lack of doubt ……

Good. Good.


however, lack of doubt over phenomena not conclusively proven either way = close mind.

This is where we part ways. I am not closed-minded simply because I doubt that my neighbor has a griffon in his basement. Until he actually demonstrates that he has a griffon in his basement, I can say “Doubt doubt doubt doubt doubt” and still have an open mind.

Giving you the benefit of the doubt, I suspect you will agree with me on this. (If I’m wrong, our differences are far greater than I imagined.)

I suspect you will say that the commonly claimed paranormal subjects exceed Griffon-in-Basement status because:

a. The claims have been made for so long

b. The claims have been and are being made in all parts of the world

c. The claims have mountains of anecdotal evidence to support them

d. The tests which seem to disprove specific claims often do not rule out Experimenter Effect


To these, I pre-emptively respond that:

a. Yes, it’s true but given the demonstrated unreliability of argument-by-age, has no value

b. Yes, it’s true but given the demonstrated unreliability of argument-by-popularity, has no value

c. Yes, it’s true but given the demonstrated unreliability of anecdotal evidence, has no value

d. Yes, it’s true but given the circularity of arguing proof of one undemonstrated phenomenon with the possibility of another undemonstrated phenomenon, has no validity or bearing


If I am mis-stating your objections, I apologize in advance. This is simply the argument I am expecting. Happy to be wrong on this one, though.


People have different ideas on what is likely.

Yes, when we don’t use math or science to support our ideas.
I am not arguing Experimentation-by-Gut-Feeling.
It appears that you are.


Does relativity sound likely?

I am unable to demonstrate it mathematically, but after informing myself on the subject with good laymen’s books, I can honestly say that yes, it does.

It’s irrelevant, though.

Relativity is accurate or not accurate regardless of my feelings toward it.

Why is this so difficult to understand?


Does non locality sound likely?

“Spooky action at a distance?”

Nope, it doesn’t.

Still, it’s true, isn’t it? Regardless of my feelings on it.

You’ll note (if you are honest) that it remained a hypothesis until experimentally demonstrated.

You’ll also note that the scientific community accepts the truth of it (even if disagreeing on its mechanism and/or implications) regardless of arguments against it by really really smart people like, oh, say, Albert Einstein.

Science at its best. Thanks for bringing it up.

Do you have any equivalencies in the field of the paranormal?


I don’t think judging paranormal claims by whether it sounds likely or not is particularly wise.

Blatant strawman.

Who is doing this?

I can only assume you mean Hyman and Wiseman and Skolnick.
If so, then you are being intentionally deceptive.

Hyman, Wiseman and Skolnick were biased against the idea that Demkina’s claim was valid.

But they judged her claim on her inability to pass a test to which she agreed.

If you honestly cannot see the difference, then you need to study more.

If you can see the difference, then I have serious doubts about your integrity.

{Yep. Doubts. That’s me being skeptical. Interestingly, the doubts have arisen based on the evidence}


Science evolves

Are you using “science” in the sense of a process or a body of knowledge?

In either case, I think I agree with the sentiment, but the two should not be confused, and their “evolution” differs.

Parapsychology, on the other hand, never seems to evolve at all.
The same unsupported claims with no valid experimental evidence are trotted out repeatedly.

Why is that, I wonder?


, it discovers the easy to measure first

Always?

Interesting.

So you’re saying measuring Demkina’s success rate is too difficult?

Scientists have measured the distance to far galaxies, the speed of light in a vacuum, the size of particles one cannot see, and the rate neurons fire in the brain in response to specific stimuli, and yet the reason no one can demonstrate the ability to predict a coin flip at better than chance odds is because it’s too difficult?

Where ever do you get these ideas, OM?


…. I think science has a long way to go.

Of course you do.

And CFLarsen, I, and all the other mean skeptics here are convinced that science has discovered everything there is to know.

Nope. Don’t explain string theory or quantum fluctuations to me, honey. If we don’t know it, it ain’t there to know. I have read my last science book and advised Simon and Schuster to stop seeking new texts as there is no longer a point.


I don’t think that is a coherent criticism, why would I have stated a change of position from one position to another position of doubt without sufficient proof? In which topic was evidence given that required a change of position?

So you didn’t go back to read the referenced posts.

Further, you are now saying that:

a. You have not changed your position on anything in this forum, contrary to the post that brought this up

b. There is more than one “position of doubt.” In conjunction with your comments on Hyman, Skolnick, and Wiseman, this statement means that only your position of doubt is the open minded one. Any other position of doubt is, by default, closed minded.

Very nice. Very nice indeed.


If you are asking me for a willingness to consider another persons argument, I will do so

Great.


but I don’t see how that necessitates adopting their viewpoint too.

I never said it did.

But when the other person’s argument has evidence to support it and your either has none or less compelling evidence, then switching viewpoints becomes the only intellectually honest thing to do.

Well, actually, you could maintain the same (unsupported) position and retain intellectual honesty if you openly state that you are not changing position even though the evidence suggests you should. Paul Kurtz is in a position similar to this in regard to his belief in a deity.


There is a saying that goes ……….. ‘when the only tool in ones toolbag is a hammer, soon everything begins to resemble a nail’

Let’s see the practical implications of this:

1. Schwartz’s experiments are by default invalidated. He only
has a degree in psychology.

2. Sheldrake’s experiments are by default invalidated.

3. Keen’s experiments are by default invalidated. (No psychology degree, but some experience as a magician, iirc)

4. Hyman’s experiment is by default invalidated.

Interesting, isn’t it? By this standard we end up with exactly the same position as we have without this standard:

No valid experiments demonstrating the existence of psi.


Yes a magician will offer conjuring explanation, a psychologist will search for psychological explanations

A competent magician and psychologist will offer possible explanations.

An incompetent supporter of the paranormal will dismiss these explanations.

I see wonderful parallels with the Demkina test. Thank you for bringing this up, too.


Of course the same criticism could be aimed at naive psychical researchers seeing paranormal siginificance in nothing much

Yes. And at fraudulent researchers and deluded researchers and deluded sitters.


the only way to find out is to conduct parapsychology

Which has been happening for quite some time. How many valid demonstrations of psi has it resulted in, again?


a Hyman critique possibly reviewing to fit his preferred paradigm is not beyond questioning.

The Demkina experiment was not a “critique,” it was an experiment.

If you have some other product of Hyman’s in mind, please post it with your specific comments regarding the flaws.

Until then, you are simply complaining.


I don’t think it is fair to call any of them ‘shameless promoters’, to me it seems they sincerely believe their viewpoints.

And Hyman does not? Be careful of the standards you set; they cut both ways.

Frankly, I don’t know if they believe or not. I tend to think that Keen honestly believed what he claimed.
I’m on the line about Sheldrake and Josephson.

As I’ve studied Schwartz’s stuff quite a bit and I know his educational credentials, I find it inconceivable that he actually believes his experiments are valid. The flaws are too fundamental, too basic, and too obvious to escape the notice of a Harvard-degreed psychologist. It is my opinion (supported but not proven by evidence) that Schwartz has crossed the line into intentional fraud.


Indirectly, Demkina didn’t contact CSICOP.

Which is why I said that Demkina contacted the Discovery Channel who subsequently contacted CSICOP.


Nor is she likely to have known ‘Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal’ is an organization specializing in opposing paranormal belief.

Funny, I thought they were initially an organization specializing in the investigation of specific paranormal claims which morphed into an educational organization that sometimes conducts investigation (this is my own observation, not an official position; then again, your statement is blatant opinion, yes?)


If the CSICOP had been called ‘Society for the protection of humanity from paranormal belief’ ..

But they aren’t, are they? Nor is it their mission.

I think it is quite telling that you can only argue against caricatures and not against reality.


would she have gone ahead?

I should hope so, as long as the organization proposed and conducted a valid experiment.

I imagine you would complain about CSICOP if the situation in your wildly-distorted view were reversed.

What if CSICOP were exactly as it is today and were requested to conduct an experiment of someone calling themselves “The Long Awaited And Irrefutable Demonstrator Of All Things Paranormal Who Will Save Believers From The Scourge Of CSICOP And Skeptics?”

Should CSICOP refuse to conduct the test?

By your implication they should.

Unless, of course, you are engaging in another double standard.

From my point of view, I’d tell CSICOP to go for it.

After all, it’s not our viewpoints at the outset which determine the validity of an experiment. It is the experiment itself.

You claim to understand this but undermine your claim with nearly all your comments.


And left inconclusive trial beating 1 in 50 odds or failure according to CSICOP …

And again you ignore the two points being made:

1. The claimant did not meet the standard she said she could meet

2. You criticize Wiseman for being biased but will not criticize Demkina, her mother, or her agent for being biased. More of your double standards.


Exactly? I hope not. Surely CSICOP were contacted to test if she had any genuine ability?

You persist in obfuscating on this point.

CSICOP was contacted to conduct an experiment to see if Demkina’s claimed ability were real.

They were most definitely not contacted to test if she had any genuine ability.


The only thing CSICOP proved was Demkina makes mistakes and isn’t anywhere near 100% accurate

Yep. And that’s all they said.


, nothing more can be deduced from their involvement, the viewers are left with uncertainty,

No. There is absolutely no uncertainty.

Demkina did not perform to the standard she claimed she could and would.


CSICOP remains confident, as usual.

And here’s the crux of it.

You just don’t like CSICOP.

Anything that demonstrates their intellectual honesty irks you.

The facts simply don’t matter, do they?

If CSICOP is shown in a positive light then you will disagree.

You are not just biased, Open Mind. You have an agenda.


No parapsychologist or psychical proponent I have ever come across has claimed any psi ability was anywhere near perfect.

Wrong. Demkina did.


However CSICOP tested her mother’s claim of never making a mistake.

Wrong. And I can only think you do this intentionally because we’ve covered it extensively.

Despite the mother’s claim of 100% accuracy, CSICOP did not ask Demkina to be 100% accurate. She still failed the lesser standard.


Demkina said later she never claimed not to make mistakes.

1. Then she should not let her mother and agent speak for her

2. It is irrelevant. She wasn’t tested for 100% accuracy.

Your continued misrepresentation of this point does not speak well of you, OM.


Originally posted by Garrette:

And you fault CSICOP for not proving something for you.

Open Mind:

Yes!

Get over it.


I think you are misrepresenting Professor Brian Josephson position, he has not expressed the opinion Demkina is real, he merely found fault with CSICOP’s trial and attitude.

From Josephson's Web Site: (http://www.tcm.phy.cam.ac.uk/~bdj10/propaganda/index.html)

Josephson says:

A fairly straightforward calculation shows that the odds of getting 4 hits or more out of 7 by chance are more than 50 to 1 against. Surely a case for celebrating Natasha's success?

There is no doubt expressed here, for which sin you excoriate
Hyman and Wiseman.

Josephson says it is a success.

It’s getting very hard to keep track of your double standards.


Try doing your own research, as Nobel Prize winning Professor Josephson would probably say ‘take nobody’s word for it’

And yet you have said quite plainly that you are angry at CSICOP for not doing your research for you.

Double standards galore.

You, of course, do not really believe that the value of pi is as the mathematicians say, do you? You have, of course, performed the exact measurements of a perfect circle that you yourself have created and conducted the straightforward math yourself?

No?

One wonders why not.


Weaknesses in Schwartz’s trials doesn’t prove the effect he claims is not real, it merely casts some doubt over it.

No, they cast no doubt that was not already there.

The removal of doubt is a responsibility of the claimant.

You are almost frighteningly obtuse.


Yes I brought up the experimenter effect, I do not recall saying it was trivial,

Interesting, since when you abandoned that thread you said I had chosen only to address trivial points of yours.

And since Experimenter Effect was a point I addressed, it is reasonable to conclude that you consider it trivial.

Please keep track of what you say.

It is tiresome for me to have to do it for you.


nor do I recall you showing a flaw in my logic although I vaguely remember you claim to have done so.

Yes, I did claim it.

Because I did do it.

You simply abandoned the topic then tried to resurrect it here as if it had not already been addressed.

That won’t wash. If you want to discuss a point, then discuss it to the end. Then refrain from bringing it up later as if the previous discussion had not occurred.


however CSICOP with their grand sounded, self appointed title implying to be the opinion of science

Your attacks are misplaced. Demonize all you like, it does not make your criticisms true.

needs to do proper science or be exposed for what it really is

Goodie. Let’s apply this to all parapsychologists shall we?

Which shall we toss out first?

I suppose it doesn’t really matter as they will all need to be tossed out.

But back on point: You are mad at CSICOP because they didn’t do what you wanted them to do. Fortunately, their agreement was not with you, it was with the Discovery Channel and Demkina.


As mentioned by Keith Rennolls, Professor of Applied Statistics, University of Greenwich: ’"I have reviewed Professor Josephson’s arguments, published on his web page, and find them to be scientifically and statistically correct. In contrast, the statement of Professor Wiseman, of CSICOP, “I don’t see how you could argue there’s anything wrong with having to get five out of seven when she agrees with the target in advance”, demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of how experimental data should be interpreted statistically’

And this shows a complete misrepresentation of the experiment which was designed and intended only to demonstrate the success or failure of a specific claim.

If Josephson or Rennolls or you want to use it as a jumping off point for further trials of Demkina then by all means do so.

Since absolutely no one is doing that, then I can only assume that you have no confidence that further trials would actually demonstrate what you fervently hope they will.

This is more whining.

No, and I never claimed it [designing trials before
defining claims] was the correct approach for other trials, I claimed it was my preference for that other trial

Perhaps it is just me but this seems contradictory.


and it still my preference for that particular trial comparing (spiritualist) mediums with magician cold readers.

I understand your preference. You have failed to reasonably argue it as a legitimate tactic.


Whereas Demkina was claiming something individual,

Who on the paranormal side isn’t?


novel and a bit different, the claims and preferences of spiritualist mediums are already known to me (and anyone else who has investigated it in the past).

Unless you admit the myriad and obvious differences then I doubt that they are already known to you.


If I recall correctly you wanted to hot read (i.e.cheat) and wished to do so in circumstances psychics normally perform under.

You recall correctly but incompletely.

I offered and still offer to be tested under conditions identical to those conditions under which alleged mediums/psychics are tested.


My suggested trial was to test the cold reading hypothesis, not to see who could cheat better in different experiment designs.

Yes, I understand this, better than you think.

The reason you limit your comments to cold reading is that it will still allow holes in the protocol, thereby giving the advantage to the alleged mediums/psychics.

I will harp on this point with you as I have in the past with others.

Cold Reading is one technique in the toolbox (to use your quoted analogy) of the alleged mediums/psychics.

It is not the only one.

To fixate on it to the exclusion of the others is disingenuous.


for Demkina, it was not entirely clear what she was claiming .. it wasn’t ‘x-ray’ eyes or she would have claimed she could look inside sealed boxes ….

You’re being disingenuous still.

Either that or you haven’t actually read the protocols.

“X-Ray eyes” is a euphemism and not intended scientifically.

I don’t know where it originated, but it was her common nickname in Russia long before she was tested by CSICOP (check Siquiera’s site for this information).

In addition, Demkina did say she could see through human tissue and the clothes they were wearing.

The trial was constructed to allow that.


Under these circumstances more questions must be asked.

As I said in my response, I think Hyman should have asked more questions, too.


Yes, one would have thought the ‘committee for scientific investigation of claims of the paranormal’ would actually do properly what their self appointed title claims.

More to the point, again, one would think that an organization contacted by another for one specific purpose would apply their efforts to accomplishing that specific purpose.

Strangely enough, that’s what CSICOP did.


Instead they found a claimant not living up to their idea of what is a pass or failure

Wrong.

A claimant found them, through the Discovery Channel.

The claimant failed to meet the standard agreed upon by the claimant which was, at the urging of CSICOP at a lower level than the claimant claimed.

Your repetition of the lies does not make them true.


and making some very confident statements from an inconclusive result.

You mean statements like:

Skolnick: "Unfortunately, the results of the test provide little justification for further study. We found no evidence that Ms. Demkina can see inside of people's bodies on a cellular or any other level.”

Skolnick: “Despite the ease of this test, she matched only four correctly, which all parties had agreed prior to the test would be a failing score.”

Skolnick: “She spent some four hours looking at the seven subjects and she still couldn't see the metal plate that anyone can find by simply touching the subject's forehead. That's utterly inconsistent with the claim that she can see abnormalities down to the cellular level and that she never ever misses."

Where in these statements or in any other does it say that Demkina has no paranormal abilities at all?

Answer: Nowhere.

Where in these statements is there a factual error?

Answer: Nowhere.

You think CSICOP sounds “confident?” Big deal. Get over it.

a result 1 in 50 in favour of Demkina.

Wrong.

A result that would happen by chance 1 in 50 times.

A result that was less than the agreed upon standard for success which was itself less than the actual claimed standard of success.


Of course that doesn’t prove Demkina has any genuine ability

Absolutely.


True, someone should go do it properly, show CSICOP how to conduct an experiment to a more meaningful conclusion.

By all means, go for it.

But what in heaven’s name do you mean by “someone?”

In this very post you referenced Josephson in an effort to chide me for not doing my own research.

Will you not get out there and do this yourself?

Of course not. You are the king of double standards.

Edited for format

Bronze Dog
13th April 2005, 08:52 AM
This has got to be one of the best posts I've seen on this forum.

Garrette
13th April 2005, 01:04 PM
Thanks.

I wonder if Open Mind agrees.

Open Mind
15th April 2005, 05:52 AM
Garrette, I will correct your continual misrepresentation of my words once more


Good of you to finally admit it.

Error: ‘Finally’? I made the same point about everyone being biased in previous posts, do you require a link? :)

Now if you would be so kind as to stop implying that bias on the parts of Hyman and crew invalidates by itself their experiment, we’ll be making real progress.

Not true: Regardless of their bias, their experiment was still practically useless ;) It measured she made mistakes, that was the result of their effort :rolleyes:

If I am mis-stating your objections, I apologize in advance.

Not true: I doubt your apology is sincere since you have been misrepresenting my words on many posts. When I have pointed this out you have merely done it again and again …..

Parapsychology, on the other hand, never seems to evolve at all.

I don’t think so: it is just evolving slowly. How much has psychology evolved during the same period, what great truth, beyond common sense, has been revealed by psychology that has been easily demonstrated, replicated and accepted by all psychologists and can be given no alternative explanation?.


Scientists have measured the distance to far galaxies, the speed of light in a vacuum, the size of particles one cannot see, and the rate neurons fire in the brain in response to specific stimuli, and yet the reason no one can demonstrate the ability to predict a coin flip at better than chance odds is because it’s too difficult?
Where ever do you get these ideas, OM?

Misrepresentation. Not my ideas.

Putting to one side trials showing small effect with dice/coin that could be real psi effects ...... if you read my other posts you will find I have expressed doubt over precognition or human ability to predict with any consistency any future event with much accuracy (and have said so in at least one post). If you are talking about macro psychokinesis to influence coin, then I have expressed doubt over macro psychokinesis effects when under human mind control (and have said so in at least one post)

What I have more confidence exists, is weak (mental effects) ESP, sporadic, therefore weak on average… by ‘confidence’ I do not mean fixed opinion or certainty… my doubt is much due to parapsychologist finding the effect weaker than my personal investigations (over a decade ago) coming across psychic phenomena that required an explanation far better than cold reading can offer ……. I do not think warm reading or hot reading occurred ... … in some cases extraordinary lucky guessing would be required to explain it.

With regard to macro psychokinesis effect if these do genuinely exist (I don’t know) I don’t think such phenomena is under individual human mind/will power/brain control etc. … it would require an external paranormal cause…. I think if anyone had macro psychokinesis powers under their individual personal control these would have been found and accepted by now …..however it is still possible these claims could be due to an external cause .e.g poltergeist or whatever and therefore would require cooperation to win $1,000,000 prizes, etc. .. such cooperation isn’t likely either, the reported nature of claimed strong psi phenomena even by investigators who claim it is real is usually ambiguous even to such an extent any outside observer can always assume it is fraudulent .. ..why? Perhaps a book called ‘The Trickster and the Paranormal’ by magician George Hansen offers an explanation. PSI appearing irrational doesn't mean it canot be real . http://www.tricksterbook.com/Intro.htm


Nope. Don’t explain string theory or quantum fluctuations to me, honey.

Do you normally call males ‘honey’? :D I did already tell you I was male, when you previously made this error (Didn’t you claim to be a cold reader? ;) This is not even good warm reading! ) It seems as well as misrepresenting my words you insist I become female too?

(Yes I am aware you probably didn't me perosnally ... but I can also play your game of deliberately taking the wrong meaning ...)


a. You have not changed your position on anything in this forum, contrary to the post that brought this up

b. There is more than one “position of doubt.” In conjunction with your comments on Hyman, Skolnick, and Wiseman, this statement means that only your position of doubt is the open minded one. Any other position of doubt is, by default, closed minded.

Very nice. Very nice indeed.

Not true: I am complaining about the lack of doubt in skepticism, not over other positions of doubt. Naturally I will discuss/debate other positions of doubt since I have some opinions but I do not object to doubt, doubt is fine ……. I am objecting to lack of doubt over what isn’t clear cut i.e. pseudo-skepticism

If CSICOP had shown more doubt, perhaps they would have conducted a more meaningful trial, instead of giving opinion on a meaningless one. Your defense of CSICOP seems based on them obeying the wishes of the Discovery Channel .... what sort of trial would the viewers have preferred? (a) Test to see if Demkina makes mistakes (b) Test to see if Denkina has any paranormal ability ... CSICOP did (a)



But when the other person’s argument has evidence to support it and your either has none or less compelling evidence, then switching viewpoints becomes the only intellectually honest thing to do.

Not true: Even when you put words in my mouth and tag on ‘honest’, dishonestly it istill doesn’t make it true. Whereas you think a lack of evidence (i.e. you reject evidence because it can be given another fraudulent or deceptive or error explanation) is proof of no psi to you ….. I have come across personal evidence to the contrary, information beyond cold reading occurs, yes I have doubts over it because these things do not normally occur ….. but these happened…… Now if you are asking me why this is difficult to prove to others, I honestly don’t know …. But again I think the book ‘The Trickster and the Paranormal’ will say it better than I can.

Well, actually, you could maintain the same (unsupported) position and retain intellectual honesty if you openly state that you are not changing position even though the evidence suggests you should.

What evidence? You mean lack of conclusive evidence either way?
Paul Kurtz is in a position similar to this in regard to his belief in a deity.

Mr Secular Humanism believes in a deity? :) Without knowing specifically what he means by that …. There could well be an intelligent purpose behind life, call that God if you like it doesn't have to be a man or an individualized being making arbitrary decisions. I do not think the materialist viewpoint that eternally true laws formed a fraction of a second after the big bang is a great explanation of life or consciousness or why evolution should occur . I have always accepted evolution and don’t see how it rules out an intelligence or purpose behind life (nor am I religious) …. …. . What proof do you have there is no intelligent design or purpose behind life?


No valid experiments demonstrating the existence of psi.

You just mean no experiments you consider are valid.


A competent magician and psychologist will offer possible explanations.

An incompetent supporter of the paranormal will dismiss these explanations.

I don’t dismiss them, I am saying a possible explanation require proof it actually occurred. An alternate explanation is not proof it actually occurred.



If you have some other product of Hyman’s in mind, please post it with your specific comments regarding the flaws.

Not really interested but if you think Hyman is beyond questioning (no one should be) ……
http://www.tricksterbook.com/ArticlesOnline/HymanReview.htm


I’m on the line about Sheldrake and Josephson.

I am satisfied Sheldrake believes what he says. Brian Josephson is defending the rights of alternative claims in science to be heard and independently investigated, I see nothing wrong with that at all.

As I’ve studied Schwartz’s stuff quite a bit and I know his educational credentials, I find it inconceivable that he actually believes his experiments are valid. The flaws are too fundamental, too basic, and too obvious to escape the notice of a Harvard-degreed psychologist. It is my opinion (supported but not proven by evidence) that Schwartz has crossed the line into intentional fraud.

And what is the motive behind intentional fraud? What has he to gain , what has he to lose or risk?

Funny, I thought they were initially an organization specializing in the investigation of specific paranormal claims which morphed into an educational organization that sometimes conducts investigation

CSICOP morphed but they didn't change their name.

What if CSICOP were exactly as it is today and were requested to conduct an experiment of someone calling themselves “The Long Awaited And Irrefutable Demonstrator Of All Things Paranormal Who Will Save Believers From The Scourge Of CSICOP And Skeptics?”

Should CSICOP refuse to conduct the test?

I doubt it would make any difference, CSICOP is unlikely to ever acknowledge anything paranormal, any other alternate explanation, whether contrived or lacking proof seems to satisfy them

After all, it’s not our viewpoints at the outset which determine the validity of an experiment. It is the experiment itself.

You are overlooking possible experimenter effects. You dismiss the possibility with ‘arguing proof of one undemonstrated phenomenon with the possibility of another undemonstrated phenomenon, has no validity or bearing’ You merely choose to dismiss the Schiltz/Wiseman experiments as not valid to defend your paradigm.


Yep. And that’s all they said.

Not true: The CSMMH site even says mockingly ‘the girl with the very ordinary eyes’ …..otherwise they would need to say ' the girl with probably very ordinary eyes' ...they imply more than they can possibly know from such a trial, it seems an a-priori belief...


No. There is absolutely no uncertainty.

Watch the program with other unbiased members of the general public …. You will see uncertainty..


Despite the mother’s claim of 100% accuracy, CSICOP did not ask Demkina to be 100% accurate. She still failed the lesser standard.

Do you support such an attitude being applied to other scientific investigations?


‘Demkina said later she never claimed not to make mistakes. ‘

1. Then she should not let her mother and agent speak for her

2. It is irrelevant. She wasn’t tested for 100% accuracy.

Your continued misrepresentation of this point does not speak well of you, OM.

I’m interested in the truth of what was occurring, whether she has any paranormal ability or not, whether it was sensory clues or not. I’m not interested in setting up an arbitrary pass or fail level challenge in a non significant trial, I'm not interested in the opinions of Wiseman and Hyman, I could easily have guessed that before watching the program .....




Josephson says:
quote:

A fairly straightforward calculation shows that the odds of getting 4 hits or more out of 7 by chance are more than 50 to 1 against. Surely a case for celebrating Natasha's success?



There is no doubt expressed here, for which sin you excoriate
Hyman and Wiseman.

Josephson says it is a success.

Unfair. When did ‘success’ mean evidence. You claim there is no doubt expressed yet Josephson uses ‘?’


It’s getting very hard to keep track of your double standards.

Another empty claim.




Try doing your own research, as Nobel Prize winning Professor Josephson would probably say ‘take nobody’s word for it’



And yet you have said quite plainly that you are angry at CSICOP for not doing your research for you.

I have done my own personal investigations, I do not claim my opinion should be evidence for anyone else. CSICOP is implying with their self appointed title to the media ‘we are the scientists, we are the experts, you should trust our opinion yet CSICOP do not conduct longterm parapsychology trials ....



Yes, I did claim it.

Because I did do it.

You simply abandoned the topic then tried to resurrect it here as if it had not already been addressed.

The other topic had little or nothing to do with Demkina. Also Larsen requested I replyed again (and again) in this topic, it is old, it predates the other topic.


That won’t wash. If you want to discuss a point, then discuss it to the end.

Your debating technique does not have an end, you will take every possible alternative meaning from my words .... it would never end..... this is probably my last post in this topic, no doubt you will have the last misrepresentation of my words.



Your attacks are misplaced. Demonize all you like, it does not make your criticisms true.

Are you a member of CSICOP?



I understand your preference. You have failed to reasonably argue it as a legitimate tactic.

Only in your mind. You wanted to cheat and not test cold reading at all :rolleyes:


Who on the paranormal side isn’t?
Unless you admit the myriad and obvious differences then I doubt that they are already known to you.

Claims of astrologers are similar, claims of mediums are very similar, claims of dowsers are very similar, claims of remote viewers are similar and so on …... haven’t you noticed? Demkina however was claiming to see only organs inside people’s bodies, that seems far less common to me.…
I chose spiritualist mediums simply because they all much agree and all do something skeptics claim is ‘cold reading’ … if I chose dowsers, astrologers, remote viewers … cold reading hypothesis is harder to test..... another test for these would be fine.




You recall correctly but incompletely.

I offered and still offer to be tested under conditions identical to those conditions under which alleged mediums/psychics are tested.

Fine, warm and hot reading should be ruled out as best as practically possible to test cold reading hypothesis.


Yes, I understand this, better than you think.

The reason you limit your comments to cold reading is that it will still allow holes in the protocol, thereby giving the advantage to the alleged mediums/psychics.

Are you suggesting psychics can cold read better than maigicians? I think it is possible to prevent the holes, as long as the psychics and magicians don't know the exact protocol and precautions until the days of trial



Cold Reading is one technique in the toolbox (to use your quoted analogy) of the alleged mediums/psychics.

It is not the only one.

To fixate on it to the exclusion of the others is disingenuous.

Nonsense. You seem to just wish to imply all psychic are cheating and show magicians are better at cheating ….. I already believe magicians can cheat better ……so lets test only cold reading claim . ……



You’re being disingenuous still.

Either that or you haven’t actually read the protocols.

“X-Ray eyes” is a euphemism and not intended scientifically.

Not disingenuous. I made the point several pages ago in this topic.


The claimant failed to meet the standard agreed upon by the claimant which was, at the urging of CSICOP at a lower level than the claimant claimed.

[./quote]
Who claimed that?

[quote]
Skolnick: "Unfortunately, the results of the test provide little justification for further study. We found no evidence that Ms. Demkina can see inside of people's bodies on a cellular or any other level.”

Yes there trial was not going to find anything conclusively

Skolnick: “Despite the ease of this test, she matched only four correctly

Why didn’t Skolnick demonstrate how easy this is?

Skolnick: “She spent some four hours looking at the seven subjects and she still couldn't see the metal plate that anyone can find by simply touching the subject's forehead
[/quote}
Skolnick wanted to test for X-Ray vision????? … what difference does it make if it is metal or not otherwise? Didn’t Demkina claim she told them detecting metal in body could be difficult?
[quote]. That's utterly inconsistent with the claim that she can see abnormalities down to the cellular level and that she never ever misses."

So Skolnick claims to understand how what he doesn’t believe must operate?

Where in these statements or in any other does it say that Demkina has no paranormal abilities at all?
Answer: Nowhere.

Skolnick title ‘the girl with the very ordinary eyes’ ?




Where in these statements is there a factual error?
Answer: Nowhere.
[quote]
I don’t know, it is CSICOPs word against Demkina’s side of the story

[quote]
In this very post you referenced Josephson in an effort to chide me for not doing my own research.

I thought you tried to prove the paranormal was real and found out otherwise?

I will let you have the last word ….. I do not desire to continually have to correct your misrepresentation of my words

CFLarsen
15th April 2005, 06:30 AM
Open Mind,


Am I close minded, yes or no?

What evidence are you talking about, if not scientific evidence?

Please explain why there should have been at least 21 subjects, in your own words.

What did Ray Hyman say, when you asked him if he ever believed in palmistry?

Why do you think the www.psy.gu.se-paper is evidence of psi? Be specific.

What did Skolnick say, when you asked him what he thought of Demkina?

Do you understand that, if we were to discover that mind can influence matter, then all experimental data we have ever accumulated are worthless?

Can you name one psychic whose claims we can check?

What did Demkina do that is not cold reading? Be specific.

How can we address your criticism of "close minded skeptics" when we don't know who they are?

Garrette
15th April 2005, 11:32 AM
To any readers of this post, I apologize for it's length. I thought it important, as Open Mind says he will not return to the thread, to address all the points. I will keep future posts shorter in this and in other threads

All quotations originally posted by Open Mind:

Garrette, I will correct your continual misrepresentation of my words once more

When you actually demonstrate that I have misrepresented you, I will admit it and apologize.

‘Finally’? I made the same point about everyone being biased in previous posts, do you require a link?

Yes, please.

Regardless of their bias, their experiment was still practically useless It measured she made mistakes, that was the result of their effort

I think the “continual misrepresentation” is most obviously yours and most obviously shown here.

Regardless of their bias, the experiment was clear and the result unambiguous: Demkina did not meet the agreed upon standard for success.

Not true: I doubt your apology is sincere since you have been misrepresenting my words on many posts. When I have pointed this out you have merely done it again and again …..

Okey doke.

I don’t think so: it [Parapsychology] is just evolving slowly.

So slowly there’s no evidence of it?

How much has psychology evolved during the same period, what great truth, beyond common sense, has been revealed by psychology that has been easily demonstrated, replicated and accepted by all psychologists and can be given no alternative explanation?.

I’m far from being anywhere close to an expert on psychology, but I’ll take a stab:

Freud and psychoanalysis: Accepted then ultimately (and recently) mostly debunked

Jung: Archetypes

Skinner: Studies on memory, I think?

Pavlov: Need I say more?

As far as practical applications go, I’ll use learning theory. Hardly “common sense” (else it would have been employed all along) and quite useful in designing instructional modules geared to different developmental levels.

Psychology also has the almost newly found attribute of admitting that much of which it held dear had little in the way of real evidentiary support. It is striving to remedy that.

If this response is insufficient, I will avail myself of some of the actual psychology experts on this board like Mercutio.


Garrette:

Scientists have measured the distance to far galaxies, the speed of light in a vacuum, the size of particles one cannot see, and the rate neurons fire in the brain in response to specific stimuli, and yet the reason no one can demonstrate the ability to predict a coin flip at better than chance odds is because it’s too difficult?

Where ever do you get these ideas, OM?

Misrepresentation. Not my ideas.

So when you said this (which is what I was responding to):

it[Science] discovers the easy to measure first

You didn’t mean it?

Putting to one side trials showing small effect with dice/coin that could be real psi effects

Could be but never been shown to be despite the ridiculously easy protocols required.

...... if you read my other posts you will find I have expressed doubt over precognition or human ability to predict with any consistency any future event with much accuracy (and have said so in at least one post).

Yes, I recall this. You have failed, however, to explain the demarcation between what you doubt and what you don’t.

If you are talking about macro psychokinesis to influence coin, then I have expressed doubt over macro psychokinesis effects when under human mind control (and have said so in at least one post)

See above.

What I have more confidence exists, is weak (mental effects) ESP, sporadic, therefore weak on average…

See above.

by ‘confidence’ I do not mean fixed opinion or certainty…

I can accept your meaning here.

my doubt is much due to parapsychologist finding the effect weaker than my personal investigations (over a decade ago) coming across psychic phenomena that required an explanation far better than cold reading can offer …….

This seems to be contradictory.

You personally experienced psychic phenomena unexplainable with cold reading.

Parapsychologists have been unable to demonstrate phenomena as strong as those you experienced.

Therefore you doubt your experience.

Yet you don’t doubt it because cold reading can’t explain it.

Am I correct?

I do not think warm reading or hot reading occurred ... …

And you may be correct.

On the other hand, you may simply not know of the many and devious methods of fooling people, even intelligent people.

in some cases extraordinary lucky guessing would be required to explain it.

First: Extraordinarily lucky guessing occurs quite a lot

Second: That which seems to require extraordinary luck often
turns out, upon examination, not to require anything beyond ordinary luck

With regard to macro psychokinesis effect if these do genuinely exist (I don’t know) I don’t think such phenomena is under individual human mind/will power/brain control etc.

Why not?

… it would require an external paranormal cause….

Why?

You seem to be indicating that you have a firm definition of the paranormal and how it can operate.

Will you share it, please?

I think if anyone had macro psychokinesis powers under their individual personal control these would have been found and accepted by now

I think so, too.

Does that make me confident in a good way or a bad way?

…..however it is still possible these claims could be due to an external cause .e.g poltergeist

Here is the circularity again:

I don’t know how an undemonstrated paranormal mechanism could be just in the brain so I think it has to be caused by an undemonstrated paranormal mechanism outside the brain

or whatever and therefore would require cooperation to win $1,000,000 prizes, etc. .. such cooperation isn’t likely either,

Cooperation from the poltergeist, you mean?

I admit that demonstrating the factuality of a poltergeist would be difficult.

Yet, if this power is true and is based on an outside entity like a poltergeist, why is cooperation frequent enough and controllable enough to allow claimants to demonstrate it for clients and believers on a regular basis?

the reported nature of claimed strong psi phenomena even by investigators who claim it is real is usually ambiguous even to such an extent any outside observer can always assume it is fraudulent .. ..why?

Indeed. Why?

Perhaps a book called ‘The Trickster and the Paranormal’ by magician George Hansen offers an explanation. PSI appearing irrational doesn't mean it canot be real . http://www.tricksterbook.com/Intro.htm

A book I have intended to purchase. Perhaps I will soon.

Do you normally call males ‘honey’?

I have, intentionally, on more than one occasion.
Does it offend your sensibilities?

I did already tell you I was male, when you previously made this error

Then I missed it or forgot it. I apologize.

(Didn’t you claim to be a cold reader? This is not even good warm reading! )

Then you need have no fear of my performance when I’m actually tested against people who claim to be legitimate.

It seems as well as misrepresenting my words you insist I become female too?

Actually, I rarely take notice of people’s genders on here.

(Yes I am aware you probably didn't me perosnally ... but I can also play your game of deliberately taking the wrong meaning ...)

You still haven’t shown that I’ve done that.

Not true: I am complaining about the lack of doubt in skepticism, not over other positions of doubt.

Then you misunderstand skepticism.

Naturally I will discuss/debate other positions of doubt since I have some opinions but I do not object to doubt, doubt is fine

Agreed.

I am objecting to lack of doubt over what isn’t clear cut i.e. pseudo-skepticism

Yes, this has become more and more clear. This is especially true as you totally ignore my “Griffon in the Basement” scenario except to say you don’t think my apology-in-advance is sincere.

Your position is nearly identical to Victor Zammit’s, though you are neither rabid nor incoherent.

Your position is that all claims must be held to be as likely true as false regardless until proven either true or false.

But the Open Mind Codicil is that some claims can be held to be more likely false than true based on an arbitrary and undefined demarcation applied by Open Mind.

If CSICOP had shown more doubt, perhaps they would have conducted a more meaningful trial, instead of giving opinion on a meaningless one.

Meaningless?

So now you agree that Demkina’s 4-out-of-7 result means nothing?

Your defense of CSICOP

I’m not defending CSICOP. I’m defending, mostly, the test of Demkina under the conditions Demkina arranged through her mother, agent, and Discovery Channel.

seems based on them obeying the wishes of the Discovery Channel

Yes. If the Discovery Channel had requested something that would invalidate the test and CSICOP had agreed, I would then criticize them for it. That did not happen.

what sort of trial would the viewers have preferred? (a) Test to see if Demkina makes mistakes (b) Test to see if Denkina has any paranormal ability ... CSICOP did (a)

So now you attack CSICOP for not worrying about marketing strategy?

Garrette:

But when the other person’s argument has evidence to support it and your either has none or less compelling evidence, then switching viewpoints becomes the only intellectually honest thing to do.

Not true: Even when you put words in my mouth and tag on ‘honest’, dishonestly it istill doesn’t make it true.

Oh, my stars and garters.

Failing to switch viewpoints when the evidence demands it is not intellectually dishonest?

Whereas you think a lack of evidence (i.e. you reject evidence because it can be given another fraudulent or deceptive or error explanation) is proof of no psi to you

Where have I said such a thing? Talk about twisting words…

Let’s look at your parenthetical:

“i.e. you reject evidence because it can be given another fraudulent or deceptive or error explanation”

What better reason(s) could there possibly be?

Let’s tell Pons and Fleischman we’re sorry. Let’s tell them we were wrong to doubt that they had achieved cold fusion simply because deception and error became apparent.

You really should consider what you wrote here. It lies at the heart of our disagreement.

I have come across personal evidence to the contrary, information beyond cold reading occurs,

1. Personal evidence is anecdotal and unreliable, even while personally compelling.

If you want a non-common-sense discovery in psychology then use this as a starting point for your own research: http://www.psych.ufl.edu/~Fischler/HM/HM03F_HornikP2.doc

2. Cold reading is one tool, not all of them. I’m harping and harping and harping.

yes I have doubts over it because these things do not normally occur

That is a very strange reason to doubt something.

It is extremely rare that we put astronauts on the moon, yet I do not doubt it.

Brand new cars do not normally break down immediately after driving off the lot, yet I do not doubt it happens.

I doubt the paranormal explanations of these events because:

1. They are contradictory

2. They are inconsistent with demonstrated knowledge

3. They are conveniently non-replicable for skeptics and conveniently replicable for believers

4. They can be mundanely explained

And other reasons


but these happened

I don’t doubt that you experienced something.

I doubt your explanations of them. At least, I think that I would if you offered them here, based on your oblique references to them.

Now if you are asking me why this is difficult to prove to others, I honestly don’t know

Any individual event, paranormal or not, can be difficult to prove to others. That by itself does not argue against the paranormal.

What argues against it is that the entire field of parapsychology has proven impossible to prove to others.

…. But again I think the book ‘The Trickster and the Paranormal’ will say it better than I can.

No promises on when, but I’ll try to get it.

What evidence? You mean lack of conclusive evidence either way?

Which gets back to the burden of proof and the Griffon in the Basement.

Mr Secular Humanism believes in a deity?

As I recall, yes, he does, but it is a sort of naturalistic deism. He states openly that he chooses to believe because he finds it comforting (that’s my probably badly worded paraphrase, not his formal position).

Without knowing specifically what he means by that …. There could well be an intelligent purpose behind life, call that God if you like it doesn't have to be a man or an individualized being making arbitrary decisions. I do not think the materialist viewpoint that eternally true laws formed a fraction of a second after the big bang is a great explanation of life or consciousness or why evolution should occur . I have always accepted evolution and don’t see how it rules out an intelligence or purpose behind life (nor am I religious) …. …. . What proof do you have there is no intelligent design or purpose behind life?

Where have I ever even hinted that I have proof that there is no intelligent design or purpose?

I am, for the record, an atheist after growing well into adulthood as a Roman Catholic, but I have never claimed to have proof that there is no god or designer or creator or purpose.

That does not mean I hold the likelihood of a god equivalent to the likelihood of no-god.

“God” is a claim. There is no valid evidence to support it.

If you want to discuss this, we can jump to the Religion and Philosophy Forum, where I will probably defer to the many posters on this board better versed than I on the subject.

You just mean no experiments you consider are valid.

Yes, I do.

Fortunately, my standards for considering experiments valid are those that science and logic dictate. While there is no sacred tome outlining them in black and white, the system is quite reliable.

I don’t dismiss them, I am saying a possible explanation require proof it actually occurred. An alternate explanation is not proof it actually occurred.

I agree with your second sentence, but this again gets back to your similarity to Zammit.

The burden is upon the claimant to validly demonstrate the claim.

Skeptics, scientists, believers, or anyone have no responsibility to prove that a claim is wrong.

Suppose I tell you that I have the ability to melt ice with the power of my mind and I offer to demonstrate this power to you.
I get an ice cube and set it on the table and stand a good ten feet away, concentrating mightily.

Sure enough, in about five minutes, the ice cube has melted into a small puddle.

“But,” you object, “the warm temperature is what melted it! Not you!”

“Wrong,” say I. “The temperature might be quite capable of melting ice cubes, but this one melted because I willed it. Prove otherwise or admit that I indeed have magical powers.”

That is what you’re saying, Open Mind.

And before you object that temperatures are known to melt ice but cold readers are not known to perform as well as psychics, let me refer you here:

http://www.randi.org/pdf/swift2-34.pdf

You should also search for information on Ian Rowland and his appearance on television as well as Derren Brown’s recent “Messiah” tour in the US.

Garrette:
If you have some other product of Hyman’s in mind, please post it with your specific comments regarding the flaws.

Not really interested but if you think Hyman is beyond questioning (no one should be) ……
http://www.tricksterbook.com/Articl...HymanReview.html

So, you toss out a claim about Hyman but are not interested in backing it up.

And, no, I don’t think Hyman or anyone is beyond questioning. I have offered my criticism of the Demkina trial, remember?

Regarding your linked article, I’ll start out with this tidbit.

The author (Hansen) quotes Richard Feynman as having said the following in his unpublished 1984 Banquet Address to the Parapsychological Association:

The field has good internal critics and does not need outsiders to do that job.”

Which is very interesting and prompted me to check out the
Parapsychological Association.

Their website lists all the Banquet Speakers in their history. The listed speakers for 1984 are Steve M. Rosen and Mark D. Jordan.

Richard Feynman appears nowhere on the list at all.

Just what are we to make of that? And why should I now trust the contents of the article?

Not to fear. I have e-mailed the PA about this issue. No doubt I will receive a response soon. I’ll let you know.

Setting that aside for the moment, the article is well written, though not without problems.

Hansen says:

1. Hyman is a technical critic of parapsychology and is generally very good at it but not as good as parapsychologists. He usually admits his errors when pointed out but not always.

2. Hyman is also a rhetorical critic (or “prosecutor”) of parapsychology and betrays his agenda when his audience is fellow skeptics.

3. Hyman “admits that there has been no satisfactory explanation of the best psi research results.”

4. And “psi effects have been consistently found in long-term research programs but have not yet been explained.”

Regarding #1: What is the complaint? Hansen says Hyman is technically qualified and gives examples when he admits his errors.

Regarding #2: Hansen may be correct here, though I think it’s a matter of interpretation. Hyman is biased. I admit that as has Hyman. I do not think Hansen demonstrates an agenda, though.

Regarding #3: How can this possibly be derogatory toward Hyman? (Separate, I mean, from the out of context paraphrasing of Hyman and the implied “ghost of the gaps” argument)

Regarding #4: Other than Ganzfeld and “RNG experiments” Hansen quite plainly does not state what these are. Since Hyman’s early critique of Ganzfeld, other problems have come to light. It is not considered demonstrative of the paranormal.

By “RNG experiments” I can only assume he means the PEAR experiments which have been quite conclusively shown to be faulty on more than one occasion. More to the point, the PEAR researchers themselves say that the experiment cannot be used to conclude the existence of psi.

I am satisfied Sheldrake believes what he says.

It’s possible. The validity of his experiments, however, is separate from his belief or lack of it.

Brian Josephson is defending the rights of alternative claims in science to be heard and independently investigated, I see nothing wrong with that at all.

Insofar as that is what he is doing, I see nothing wrong either.

Pray tell me who has denied parapsychologists the right to investigate claims or to be heard?

It is easier to find examples where parapsychologists and people claiming paranormal powers refuse to speak, refuse to fully reveal protocols and refuse to release full data (a la Schwartz) than it is to find examples where they have been oppressed. Perhaps you can point me to some examples?

But this isn’t all that Josephson is doing. He vouches for the validity of spurious claims like Demkina and homeopathy then retreats when the claims are shown to be invalid all the while crying foul.

And what is the motive behind intentional fraud? What has he to gain , what has he to lose or risk?

Don’t know. Don’t care. How is it relevant?

CSICOP morphed but they didn't change their name.

True.

I doubt it would make any difference, CSICOP is unlikely to ever acknowledge anything paranormal, any other alternate explanation, whether contrived or lacking proof seems to satisfy them

Once again ignoring the point which was your double standard, i.e., according to you:

1. CSICOP is biased and therefore can’t be trusted (you’ve said this)

2. It doesn’t matter if claimants or parapsychologists are biased (you haven’t said this but it is clear from your posts)

You are overlooking possible experimenter effects. You dismiss the possibility with ‘arguing proof of one undemonstrated phenomenon with the possibility of another undemonstrated phenomenon, has no validity or bearing’

Yes.

You merely choose to dismiss the Schiltz/Wiseman experiments as not valid to defend your paradigm.

“Choose to dismiss” them?

Heavens, no, I read the darned things and studied them.

Something it appears you have not done.

I will now quote myself from the first thread in which you and I debated:

Garrette said in another thread:

Let me summarize for you from it (EDA =electrodermal activity):

Primary Analysis

1. Compared EDA during the stare periods to the EDA during the non-stare periods.

-----Results for Wiseman: No deviation from chance
-----Results for Schlitz: Significant effect


2. Calculated a “detect score” by subtracting the total EDA during the stare periods from the toal EDA during the non-stare periods.

-----Results: “Detect scores” of Schlitz’s subjects did not differ significantly from those of Wiseman’s subjects.


Secondary Analysis

Correlated “Belief-in-psi” questionnaire scores with the “detect scores.”

-----Results: No significance for either Schlitz or Wiseman

----------
----------

Wow. They looked for an experimenter effect three separate ways and possibly found it in one of them.

But here’s the interesting part: They did not find any experimenter effect related to subjects actually sensing whether or not they had been stared at!

The only deviation from chance comes in when measuring EDA, not in measuring the tested effect.

----------
----------

Shall I go on?

I shall.

In the “Discussion” section, Schlitz and Wiseman consider possible causes for the significant finding regarding EDA and Schlitz’s subjects.

1. They discard experimental artifact. I tend to agree.

2. They discard cheating by the subjects. I tend to agree.

3. They discard experimenter fraud. I agree but not as strongly as for the previous two

4. They discard Schlitz having more psychically gifted subjects. I agree.

5. They do not discard the possibility that it is:
a reflection of the different ways in which R.W. and M.S. oriented receivers at the start of the experiment. It seems quite possible that the experimenters’ own level of belief/disbelief in the existence of psi caused receivers to express different levels of belief/disbelief in psi and to have different expectations about the success of the forthcoming experimental session.

They go on to say:

Videotapes of R.W.’s and M.S.’s induction procedures are currently being analyzed to identify differences in interaction and content.

It will be interesting to see that analysis.


6. They also do not discard the possibility:

that both R.W. and M.S. used their own psi abilities to
create the results they desired.

Interesting, circular, and unsupported.

If they both used their own psi powers, then why does it only show up in one of the three analyses?

I don’t think I’ll go on any more.

See? You’re doing it again. You bring up a point in one thread, stop discussing it when your position is shown to be invalid, jump to another thread where you bring it up again as if it hasn’t been discussed at all.

Not true: The CSMMH site even says mockingly ‘the girl with the very ordinary eyes’ …..otherwise they would need to say ' the girl with probably very ordinary eyes' ...they imply more than they can possibly know from such a trial, it seems an a-priori belief...

So now you’re upset with CSMMH? (That’s Skolnick’s organization, btw, not Hyman’s)

CSMMH is not CSICOP. Which one shall we attack?

Watch the program with other unbiased members of the general public …. You will see uncertainty..

And I have uncertainty regarding whether the Boston Red Sox were actually the best team in baseball last year.

That doesn’t remove the absolute certainty that they won the World Series.

People may have all the uncertainty and opinions they like; they may think Demkina has some paranormal ability if they wish; it will not remove the certainty that Demkina did not pass the test.

Do you support such an attitude being applied to other scientific investigations?

So you’re implying now that the test should have required 100% accuracy for a successful result?

Your positions are dizzying to follow.

What I support is an unambiguous protocol with a clear null hypothesis. This had it.

I’m interested in the truth of what was occurring, whether she has any paranormal ability or not, whether it was sensory clues or not.

Then conduct some tests.

Or have Schwartz do it.

Or have the SPR do it.

I’m not interested in setting up an arbitrary pass or fail level challenge in a non significant trial,

Arbitrary? Only if the claim of 100% accuracy was also arbitrary.

I'm not interested in the opinions of Wiseman and Hyman, I could easily have guessed that before watching the program .....

Then don’t read them. Fortunately, the test results have nothing to do with their opinions.

Unfair. When did ‘success’ mean evidence.

Where did I say it did?

You claimed Josephson did not say Demkina has paranormal ability.

I showed you his own words from his own web site to prove you wrong.

You claim there is no doubt expressed yet Josephson uses ‘?’

Is there no end to your obtuseness?

Read the quotation. Better yet, here it is, in context:

From Brian Josephson’s web site:

Despite the difficulties associated with the rigorous and unfamiliar conditions imposed by the experimenters, she identified four of the seven correctly. A fairly straightforward calculation shows that the odds of getting 4 hits or more out of 7 by chance are more than 50 to 1 against. Surely a case for celebrating Natasha's success?


Another empty claim.

Demonstrated again and again, I fear.

I have done my own personal investigations, I do not claim my opinion should be evidence for anyone else.

And again missing the point, intentionally I think.

This was in response to my call for you to do what you insist I and CSICOP do, namely, test Demkina to see if she has any abilities at all. My call, by the way, was based on your quoting of Josephson urging us all to do our own research.

It does not escape me that you back off his entreaty when it entails you doing some work.

CSICOP is implying with their self appointed title to the media ‘we are the scientists, we are the experts, you should trust our opinion yet CSICOP do not conduct longterm parapsychology trials ....

This is the second time you have said something along these lines.

Where, pray tell, does CSICOP portray itself as the spokesperson or clearing house for all things scientific?

I assume you take umbrage at SPR for their inexplicable audacity in naming themselves the Society for Parapsychological Research?

Or is this another of the double standards that you claim you don’t have?


The other topic had little or nothing to do with Demkina. Also Larsen requested I replyed again (and again) in this topic, it is old, it predates the other topic.

Will you please maintain some consistency in your positions?

The quotation here is in response to my complaint about you abandoning the discussion of the Experimenter Effect in the other thread then attempting to raise it here.

Now you’ve raised it here.

And I never mentioned Demkina in the other thread.

Your debating technique does not have an end

I imagine you wish it did.

, you will take every possible alternative meaning from my words

No. I will take the meanings you supply. Do not fault me for pointing out your inconsistencies and double standards.

this is probably my last post in this topic, no doubt you will have the last misrepresentation of my words.

And again, you abandon the topic when you cannot defend your position.

Are you a member of CSICOP?

No. Nor do I subscribe to their magazine, though I occasionally buy it at the book store.

Only in your mind. You wanted to cheat and not test cold reading at all

I want to be tested under the same conditions as alleged psychics and mediums. That apparently is not acceptable to you.

Claims of astrologers are similar, claims of mediums are very similar, claims of dowsers are very similar, claims of remote viewers are similar and so on …... haven’t you noticed?

Claims about pills to treat tuberculosis are similar to claims about pills to treat sinus infections. Are you suggesting their clinical trials should be identical?

In the other threads when you brought up pharmaceuticals and their possible side effects it became clear that you have no understanding of statistical significance. It is now becoming clear that you have no understanding of stringent protocols.

Demkina however was claiming to see only organs inside people’s bodies, that seems far less common to me.…
Common or uncommon, tests must be designed to test the claim.

I chose spiritualist mediums simply because they all much agree

Poppycock. Allison Dubois’ claims are vastly different from Sylvia Browne’s which are in turn different from John Edward’s.

This is like debating fundamentalists; they seem never to have actually read the bible.

You seem not to know about parapsychology and the paranormal.

and all do something skeptics claim is ‘cold reading’

More poppycock.

This is me harping as I promised I would:

Cold reading is only one tool of the fraud, the charlatan, and the deluded. Only one.

if I chose dowsers, astrologers, remote viewers … cold reading hypothesis is harder to test..... another test for these would be fine.

Okay now. So you’re not interested in demonstrating a paranormal claim at all.

You’re only interested in disproving the cold reading hypothesis.

Nothing wrong with that so long as the test is valid.

I’ll be one of your cold readers as soon as you’ve got it properly set up.


Are you suggesting psychics can cold read better than maigicians?

It’s not what I was suggesting, but I can believe that most professional (alleged) psychics/mediums can do it better than magicians simply because they get lots more practice at it.

I will not, however, use that as an excuse in the experiment you set up.

I think it is possible to prevent the holes, as long as the psychics and magicians don't know the exact protocol and precautions until the days of trial

I don’t think you can do it without them knowing the protocols.

You should do it without them knowing the subjects.

Nonsense. You seem to just wish to imply all psychic are cheating

No. I openly state that no alleged psychic/medium has demonstrated anything unexplainable by some form of cheating (to include Sitter Bias and the like).

and show magicians are better at cheating

No. Able to perform to the same standard under identical conditions.

Not disingenuous. I made the point several pages ago in this topic.

If you made the point (that Demkina had the nickname “Girl With the X-Ray Eyes” in Russia long before meeting up with CSICOP) then why on earth did you criticize CSICOP for calling her the “Girl With the X-Ray Eyes?”

Who claimed that?

It is unclear what you are referring to with “that?”


Yes there trial was not going to find anything conclusively

Would you be saying this if she had gotten all 7 correct?

Somehow I doubt it.

Why didn’t Skolnick demonstrate how easy this is?[QUOTE]

He wasn’t being tested; Demkina was.

[QUOTE]Skolnick wanted to test for X-Ray vision?????

No. He wanted to test her for what she claimed.

Didn’t Demkina claim she told them detecting metal in body could be difficult?

No. Her only comments were about the appendix and the esophageal surgery.

Then again, she didn’t say it would be easy, either.

But she did say she could see tissue/bone. As the metal plate represented a significant absence of bone in one (and only one) person’s skull where bone normally would be, then there is no reason she could not have picked this person.

So Skolnick claims to understand how what he doesn’t believe must operate?

No. He claims to understand what she claimed she could do.

Skolnick title ‘the girl with the very ordinary eyes’ ?

How is this factually wrong?

I don’t know, it is CSICOPs word against Demkina’s side of the story

Now you’re simply lying.

The test protocols were in writing. The test was filmed.

Nothing about it is a he-said-she-said scenario.

I thought you tried to prove the paranormal was real and found out otherwise?

I did. Which makes it even more confusing why you would trot out the Josephson quotation in the first place.

I will let you have the last word

Very kind of you.

I do not desire to continually have to correct your misrepresentation of my words

Somehow, honey, I doubt that is the real reason.

Edited for format and one wrong word

CFLarsen
15th April 2005, 11:40 AM
Garrette,

Impressive.

Now is the time to clarify by making a list of unanswered questions and ignored points.

Garrette
18th April 2005, 03:35 AM
In the interest of fairness, I am posting the body of the e-mail response I received from the Parapsychological Association.

It appears that George Hansen was correct in stating that Richard Feynman addressed their body in 1984, but erred in suggested he was the featured banquet speaker. A minor error. I retract my implied criticism.

E-mail from Stephan Schwartz of the Parapsychological Association:

Thank you for writing the Parapsychological Association. You email has
been passed on to me and, as the spokesperson, I am happy to respond.

Richard Feynman addressed the PA at the convention held at Southern
Methodist University in Dallas. I think it was 1984, but would have to
dig that out to be asbolutely sure; it's a long time ago. I am
certain about the talk, both because I knew Feynman slightly, and
because I was present when the talk was given.

I hope this helps.

Garrette
18th April 2005, 03:37 AM
Originally posted by CFLarsen:

Now is the time to clarify by making a list of unanswered questions and ignored points.


Holy mackerel!

You want me to actually re-read what I've written?!

Ack.

I will add it to the list of my number one priorities.

CFLarsen
18th April 2005, 05:38 AM
Originally posted by Garrette
Holy mackerel!

Smoked, too!

Originally posted by Garrette
You want me to actually re-read what I've written?!

Ack.

I will add it to the list of my number one priorities.

You can only have one number one priority... ;)

Garrette
18th April 2005, 05:47 AM
Originally posted by CFLarsen:

You can only have one number one priority...

Maybe in Denmark.

That's why you'll never be a successful imperialistic country.

Oh, wait. There is your recent conquest of Australia...

Hawk one
18th April 2005, 10:19 AM
Originally posted by Garrette
Maybe in Denmark.

That's why you'll never be a successful imperialistic country.

Oh, wait. There is your recent conquest of Australia...

But that left them wide open for us to conquest. :D

CFLarsen
18th April 2005, 10:23 AM
Originally posted by Garrette
That's why you'll never be a successful imperialistic country.

I got one word for you, yankee: Vinland.

Originally posted by Garrette
Oh, wait. There is your recent conquest of Australia...

Conquest by stealth, but a conquest nevertheless... ;)

CFLarsen
18th April 2005, 10:26 AM
Originally posted by Hawk one
But that left them wide open for us to conquest. :D

If you didn't have Denmark, where would you go to get drunk?

Sweden?? :D

Hawk one
18th April 2005, 10:51 AM
Originally posted by CFLarsen
I got one word for you, yankee: Vinland.

Typical you, taking the honour for what a Norwegian did. WE and our Leiv Erikson discovered Vinland, because we were looking for new places to get drunk in.

Originally posted by CFLarsen
If you didn't have Denmark, where would you go to get drunk?

Sweden??

Sales of Absolut Vodka has increased around here the later years.

But frankly, I couldn't care, as I don't get drunk at all. I just go ahead and have a good party nonetheless.

CFLarsen
18th April 2005, 11:00 AM
Originally posted by Hawk one
Typical you, taking the honour for what a Norwegian did. WE and our Leiv Erikson discovered Vinland, because we were looking for new places to get drunk in.

What "Norwegian"? I got one thing to say to you, you fjeld-abe: "1905". :p

Originally posted by Hawk one
Sales of Absolut Vodka has increased around here the later years.

What happened to the local stills?

Originally posted by Hawk one
But frankly, I couldn't care, as I don't get drunk at all. I just go ahead and have a good party nonetheless.

Tsk, tsk....

walthrup48
20th April 2005, 12:36 PM
From today's The Anomalist (http://www.anomalist.com/) update:
"Russian X-Ray Girl Thrills Japanese Scientists (http://english.pravda.ru/main/18/90/360/15323_Demkina.html) Pravda
According to Pravda, both British and Japanese doctors have endorsed Natasha Demkina's abilities, which might surprise you."

Garrette
20th April 2005, 12:42 PM
Sigh...

When the publish the protocols I'll consider taking it seriously.

Interesting how the article says that Demkina "diagnosed" 4 out of 7 patients in Hyman's trial. She did nothing of the sort. She matched 4 out of 7 patients with the provided conditions. Very different.

Also in the article it says she diagnosed a dog. Note, though, that she was only able to point to a leg after five minutes and after being told to "look at its paws."

She also reportedly diagnosed someone from a photograph of them.

That's interesting and should make further trials much simpler.

jambo372
24th April 2005, 02:24 PM
Even if Natasha D is cold reading and as I've already mentioned i don't think she is, why don't doctors try it ?

TheBoyPaj
24th April 2005, 02:38 PM
For the same reason airline pilots don't turn off the engines and start flapping their arms.

songstress
26th April 2005, 08:30 AM
I didn't see this programme but I have seen this girl (and her pushy mother) on telly in the past. I loved reading everyone's comments.

From what I have seen of Natasha, I don't think that she has any real gift, certainly not one that would stand up to any sort of real scrutiny. I felt more sorry for her being hawked around Europe and the United States by a mum who seems to want her daughter to have a 'special gift' so that she (Natasha) could earn plenty of money and keep her mother in luxurious style. This is the reason why, I think, that her entourage pressure her to get diagnoses correct. Their livelihoods depend upon it.

As for Natasha, she is a bright girl who could do a lot more good and go far in conventional medicine (if her mum would let her, as someone said.) It might seem odd to us that someone would say that 'appendixes grow back in Russia.' Natasha believes that because ignorant people have told her so. She regards that as 'gospel' and wouldn't think twice about saying it.

If she did indeed have a mobile 'phone during these experiments, they should be deemed null and void. The programme is a fraud, not Natasha. When I saw her, her mother was making the claims that Natasha has a special gift, not Natasha herself. If that's changed, I haven't heard anything about it.

No wonder her mother didn't want her to speak to any sceptics. She wasn't confident of her daughter's gift at all, and moreover didn't want the source of her income foiled.

Diagnosing illness like this is dangerous.

This isn't the only example of pushy people hawking youngsters around so that they can reap the rewards. India has plenty of examples of so-called gurus being exploited by older relatives.

Patsy.

songstress
26th April 2005, 08:35 AM
I would agree with Garrette. Natasha could only match the illnesses to the patients, she couldn't diagnose the illnesses themselves. Only a fully qualified doctor can diagnose illness.

Patsy.