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Old 7th May 2012, 04:15 PM   #1
Aggelos
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Please help debunk unscientific claims

Hi.

At another member's prompt, I repost here what I originally posted on another JREF forum (General Skepticism and the Paranormal >> Self-proclaimed scientist and messiah!), where you can also see what others have answered, if you so wish. Any help, regarding in particular the scientificity (well, actually lack thereof) of the below mentioned person's claims, will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

---------------------------------------------

Hi. Nice to be with you for the first time.

I'd like to bring to your knowledge the case of a Greek charlatan called George Paschalidis, who claims to have had a divine revelation in 2002. Since then he has gathered around himself a group of deluded people, among whom are some famous Greek actors and singers, who see him as a kind of new messiah. Some friends of mine fell for him too and our friendship has almost been destroyed because of him. This guy also performs healings over the phone and through the Internet, claiming to be able to make diagnoses by just looking at a person or by waving an L-shaped metal rod (much like a divination rod) when on an Internet session. He speaks about love and how it can heal everything, and has written a few books about it and about his other convictions(?). He received the international "Giuseppe Siacca" (a Vatican organization) award for 2010 and was recently also honored with an award by the Greek UNESCO Club of Art, Discource and Science!

G. Paschalides claims to have discovered "the three human skeletal types", which he peddles as a scientific discovery of great importance. Among his other outlandish claims is that fish and frogs that are sometimes rained down from the sky are an instant result of lightning combined with fixed atmospheric pressures and temperatures, and also that humanity has repeatedly fallen back to almost animal levels each time great global climate changes occured!

One of the friends I mentioned above told me that he believed in him when he diagnosed his daughter as having polycystic ovaries by just looking at her. What is one supposed to answer to that? Is there any effective way we could react?

This charlatan is now (May 6, 2012) in the US, in Los Angeles, and will be in Chicago from May 10 to May 13, making himself available to the public.

Do you think you could check him out* and help debunk him?

*As I am not yet allowed to post any website names (15 posts prerequisite), I'll try a detour. So, his site is: "h" tea tea pea, colon, double slash, "georgepashalidis", slash, "en", slash. Or check the first post after my original post at "General Skepticism and the Paranormal >> Self-proclaimed scientist and messiah!" for the full website name.

Thanks in advance for any help.

-------------------------------
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Old 7th May 2012, 04:25 PM   #2
Lord Emsworth
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Originally Posted by Aggelos View Post
So, his site is: "h" tea tea pea, colon, double slash, "georgepashalidis", slash, "en", slash.
I have no real comments on this charlatan, but since I am here I think I can just as well give you a hand with the link:
http://georgepashalidis.com/en/
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Old 7th May 2012, 07:14 PM   #3
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What is the 18th International Conference on Neuroscience and Biological Psychiatry, in New Orleans, and why would it let this wackadoo give a talk there?

He claims to be a researcher but I can find no evidence that he has done any research. If you click on Journals, you get various things this guy has written, not published. If you click on Studies, you get various people who have studied his healing abilities, not research carried about by him.

And here is an example of his wisdom:

Quote:
The only diseases that can be transmitted from parent to child are infectious ones, such as AIDS, which are transferred to the embryo either via the ovum or the sperm cell.
Really? So what kind of infection is cystic fibrosis then?

Ridiculous bunch of woo.
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Old 8th May 2012, 05:38 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by ExMinister View Post
What is the 18th International Conference on Neuroscience and Biological Psychiatry, in New Orleans, and why would it let this wackadoo give a talk there?


As to your first question:

18-th International Conference on Neuroscience and Biological Psychiatry (North America) STRESS AND BEHAVIOR

Quote:
An annual international event gathering scientists and psychiatrists from around the world to share an interest in stress-evoked brain disorders in both humans and animals.

As to your second question, the program still isn't finalized, so it just might be that his submitted talk hasn't been rejected yet. It might also be that he's baboozled them with bafflegab, so they don't really know what it is he's talking about. I've seen that in other cases of woo being presented at conferences.
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Old 8th May 2012, 05:41 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by ExMinister View Post
Really? So what kind of infection is cystic fibrosis then?
It's not - it's a genetic disorder

I looked into the conference, and am somewhat puzzled. It has a website which is very plain and amateurish, and no programme despite more than a month having passed after the deadline. I didn't find many mentions other than the originally posted website except for some event listings which anyone may submit to, but there have been previous events in the series.

Could be vanity publishing, could be legit - I'm ambivalent at this point but leaning towards the latter. Not sure why they would let him in, but perhaps they didn't do enough investigation beforehand.
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Old 8th May 2012, 07:23 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by ArmillarySphere View Post
It's not - it's a genetic disorder

I looked into the conference, and am somewhat puzzled. It has a website which is very plain and amateurish, and no programme despite more than a month having passed after the deadline.


There's a note on the site that the deadline was extended until April 30th - which is itself not a good sign. They're only about a month and a half from the date of the actual conference, and they still don't have a full program?
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Old 8th May 2012, 08:35 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Horatius View Post
There's a note on the site that the deadline was extended until April 30th - which is itself not a good sign. They're only about a month and a half from the date of the actual conference, and they still don't have a full program?
More odd things in the website. An 18th annual international conference that only takes Pay Pal? And the 17th "annual" conference is... NEXT WEEK: http://stressandbehavior.com/

They could take program and conference planning lessons from Sci Fi or even UFO conferences.
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Old 8th May 2012, 10:19 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Horatius View Post
As to your second question, the program still isn't finalized, so it just might be that his submitted talk hasn't been rejected yet. It might also be that he's baboozled them with bafflegab, so they don't really know what it is he's talking about. I've seen that in other cases of woo being presented at conferences.
That made me laugh. Bamboozled by bafflegab?

Bamboozled by bafflegab by a wackadoo. The story of my life! My former life anyway. Maybe I need that in my sig line.

And yeah that could be it.

Originally Posted by ArmillarySphere View Post
It's not - it's a genetic disorder
Exactly my point, ha.

I looked at what I could find on the conference too and there was just a web site without even a list of lecturers yet. Seemed legit to me too but hard to tell.

Looks to me like a bad case of a woo attempting to look scientific to anyone who is not scientific enough to know he isn't. Sad.
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Old 12th May 2012, 05:09 AM   #9
Aggelos
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This is an email I sent this morning to the Secretary of the Giuseppe Siacca Foundation, which awarded G. Paschalidis for Literature in 2010.

[Note: This post also appears in General Skepticism and the Paranormal >> Self-proclaimed scientist and messiah]

---------------------------------------------------------

Dear Secretary of the Giuseppe Siacca Foundation,

In 2010 Premio Siacca honoured Mr Georgios Pashalidis of Greece with the
Literature Award on the grounds that:

"Georgios PASHALIDIS (Grecia)
Autore di testi di grande successo e di profondo spessore culturale
finalizzati alla riscoperta di valori esistenziali imprescindibili per il
bene dell’umanità, ha dato un importante contributo all’approfondimento di
tematiche scientifiche, prodigandosi tra l’altro personalmente in molteplici
attività di volontariato." [link]

I believe that this award was a mistake and that the Giuseppe Siacca
Foundation was unaware of this person’s writings and alleged scientific
merit. Firstly, it is not true that this is an “Autore di testi di grande
successo”. Despite efforts to find his name mentioned in newspapers,
periodicals, the Internet etc., he seems to be completely unknown outside a
narrow circle of followers and a few minor local papers.

Secondly, his “contribution” to science (“ha dato un importante contributo
all’approfondimento di tematiche scientifiche”) is at least doubtful, if not
altogether unscientific, given that he claims to have acquired his knowledge
more or less supernaturally, as is implied in his CV:

“George Paschalidis is not just one more teacher introducing one more
theory. He is an eye- witness of the beyond. He loves Man and he has chosen
to transfer to us everything that he insightfully has come to know- and he
continues enhancing this knowledge. He used his clairvoyance constructively
for humanity as a whole[...]” [link]

As regards how scientific his contribution is, the following should serve as
an example:

“In this way, one can explain the “strange” phenomenon of frogs or fish
falling out of the sky, which science attributes to some sort of
hydro-whirlwind or hurricane that carries away these life forms from a
nearby lake or ocean. What happens in reality is that some sort of
atmospheric layer, where the temperature is -17oC, creates lightening at a
particular distance, we have the rise in temperature and pressure to 3oC and
3.5 bar respectively and the result is the creation of a life form (small
frogs). According to the high level of atmospheric pressure, one form of
life or the other is created at different time intervals. For instance fish
are created under pressure conditions of 0.8 bar while, for superior mammals
temperatures required range from -2oC till/and 1oC and atmospheric pressure
ranging from 1-7 bar. Because pressure changes occur momentarily and
strongly, the creation of the organism occurs instantaneously, resulting in
its complete development, literally, in one moment. This is also the reason
why the organisms “falling from the heavens” are equal in size.”(!)
[link]

In general, this person has neither ever provided any proof of his
scientific claims, nor published anything in any scientific journals, nor
collaborated with any remotely respectable scientists. The only references
to any sort of research or collaborations are to his own books or to a very
limited number of practically unknown medical doctors or other researchers.
You can get the full picture by visiting his website: [link]

In light of all the above, you would more than oblige if you could provide
answers to the following questions:

-Who read his books published before the award and how did he/she/they
present this information to the nomination/awarding committee?

-On what grounds was the great success and profound cultural insight of his
texts (“testi di grande successo e di profondo spessore culturale ”) based?

-How was his scientific competence evaluated?

I think that Premio Siacca did not render good service to the memory of
Giuseppe Siacca by honouring this person with the Literature award and I
believe that some form of rectification should be sought.

Thank you for your time and attention.

--------------------------------------------

How did you like the part about instant frog and fish creation? Has anyone seen the same claims appear anywhere else (where he might have picked them from)?
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