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Old 11th October 2010, 06:13 AM   #1
Charles Boden
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Hello from a non-skeptic

Hello all,

I am aware that I will probably be torn to shreds here, but I came upon this forum thanks to a reference made by a member of Dr Carol Bowman's forum in a link I began there about the case of Jacqueline Pool, which has also been debated here on this forum (have tried to add the link to it but as a newcomer here this is still not yet possible).

Firstly, I must say that I too was skeptical of anything paranormal for a number of years until I had my own personal evidences that "there are more mysteries between heaven and earth than supposes our vain philosophy", which I am quite willing to share here just as long as the term "skeptical" might not be used as synonimous of biased, pre-judgemental or pre-conceptual, but as analytical and scientifically based in order to analyse not only a contrary point of view but a rational analysis of phenomenae beyond any current scientific knowledge, which naturally cannot be used as a premise for immediately discarding it. Science, as we know, does not as yet hold all the answers to all the mysteries.

In the case of Jacqueline Pool, a medium claimed to have been contacted by the deceased passing on to her information of her killer which proved to be astoundingly accurate and correct. She informed the police authorities of such an encounter and the information that was passed to her, allegedly by the deceased, including the information of who the assassin was. Such information was eventually proven to be correct thanks to DNA testing, which was not available at the time of the murder (1983).

I personally have also encountered apparently mediumnic occurrences which would go well beyond the possibility of a scam of any kind - to mention just two: my 2nd wife's pregnancy of my daughter when my wife was just two weeks pregnant and neither she nor I even suspected that this could be possible, and the death of Lady Diana just seven days prior to the actual event. Neither of these two incidents could have been a set up or a scam, but of course you may simply claim that I am lying in what I am saying and we can consider this case closed. That's fine... But to me who experienced these occurrences personally, the question as to how this is possible still remains.

My first question is the following: we now know as a fact that the human consciousness, or our intent in observing the reality around us, collapses quantum waves into particles. But if "consciousness" is merely the result of electro-chemical discharges of the human brain, as is understood by modern science, how does this interaction take place? Could "consciousness" not perhaps be that which vibrates the super-strings and causes such a collapse?

Some researchers have been investigating the possible association of the greater or lesser mediumnic capacity of an individual to the pineal gland, a small organ in the brain which could possibly be responsible for converting spiritual messages into stimulus to the brain thanks to a mineral called apatite, which is present in the gland's cells. The greater the number of apatite crystals present in such cells, the greater would be the capacity to maintain contact with the electromagnetic signals from the spiritual entities and realms.

Such intercommunications seem to apparently discard the possibility that such a phenomenon should be "dimensional", for in my limited knowledge I do believe that it is certain that two different dimensions could not possibly interact with each other. So what could we be talking about? Subtle and perhaps yet unknown forms of energy/matter? Indeed, what kind of "energy" is "thought"?

Look forward to reading your views...

Charles

Last edited by Charles Boden; 11th October 2010 at 06:15 AM.
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Old 11th October 2010, 06:28 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Charles Boden View Post
I personally have also encountered apparently mediumnic occurrences which would go well beyond the possibility of a scam of any kind - to mention just two: my 2nd wife's pregnancy of my daughter when my wife was just two weeks pregnant and neither she nor I even suspected that this could be possible, and the death of Lady Diana just seven days prior to the actual event. Neither of these two incidents could have been a set up or a scam, but of course you may simply claim that I am lying in what I am saying and we can consider this case closed. That's fine... But to me who experienced these occurrences personally, the question as to how this is possible still remains
This is a very common route into belief in the paranormal, the assumption that there are just two possible explanations of unusual experiences: that they are either scams/lies or that they are evidence of the paranormal/supernatural. In most cases they are neither, they are simply the inevitable result of the law of large numbers.

http://www.skepdic.com/lawofnumbers.html

If enough mediums make enough intelligent guesses they are bound to make some correct ones occasionally. The question is not whether mediums have occasionally proved to be correct, but whethe they are correct more often than would be expected by chance. Unfortunately the way the human brain works means that we all have some built-in cognitive biases that predispose us to notice 'hits' and ignore 'misses' whilst vastly underestimating the probability of those 'hits' being due to chance.
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Old 11th October 2010, 06:29 AM   #3
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This Jacqueline Pool?

I don't think talking about superstings, collapsing quantum waves and the like helps.

Until the effect can be demonstrated there is little point trying to work out what causes it. No medium has ever been able to pass a proper test.
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Old 11th October 2010, 06:33 AM   #4
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Link to a previous thread: http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?t=9518

I haven't read it all yet, but I don't think it's as clear as you claim that the psychic helped the police.
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Old 11th October 2010, 06:34 AM   #5
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No problem discussing the Poole case which was dissected quite thoroughly on this forum some seven years ago, but to do that you will need to be specific about it. Don't say that the descriptions were accurate: post the descriptions and the sources. Don't say the DNA proved something: post specifically what it proved against what was known and what your sources are.

Prior to that, you may wish to consider what you wrote here:

Originally Posted by Charles Bodenwhich
I am quite willing to share here just as long as the term "skeptical" might not be used as synonimous of biased, pre-judgemental or pre-conceptual, but as analytical and scientifically based in order to analyse not only a contrary point of view but a rational analysis of phenomenae beyond any current scientific knowledge, which naturally cannot be used as a premise for immediately discarding it. Science, as we know, does not as yet hold all the answers to all the mysteries.
Would it be fair for me to insist that the term non-skeptic not be used as synonymous with biased, prejudgmental or preconceptual bus as analytical and scientifically based in order to analyse not only a contrary point of view but a rational analysis of phenomena?

What you are demanding of skeptics is what skeptics demand of themselves; experience shows that when it is demanded of those espousing a particular belief, the claims of bias, etc., come in, not because they are accurate, but because they are not.

Further, your statement: "...a rational analysis of phenomenae beyond any current scientific knowledge..." begs the question. The point of the analysis is to determine if it is beyond current knowledge; what you have done is assume it.

Finally, it is scientists and skeptics who admit a lack of knowledge while -- frequently -- it is the believers who cry "GHOST!" who assume completeness of knowledge when in fact there is none.
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Last edited by Lisa Simpson; 11th October 2010 at 06:37 AM. Reason: fix quote tags
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Old 11th October 2010, 06:35 AM   #6
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Welcome to JREF. You can post links if you just remove http:// and someone will be happy to convert them for you.
Also, you are welcome to post proof of your claims of predictions. The only "former skeptics" that have trouble on JREF are those who come here with an agenda for convincing the uninformed of their particular paranormal fetish.
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Old 11th October 2010, 06:51 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Charles Boden View Post
Firstly, I must say that I too was skeptical of anything paranormal for a number of years until I had my own personal evidences that "there are more mysteries between heaven and earth than supposes our vain philosophy", which I am quite willing to share here...<snip>
Hello and welcome!

It sounds to me like you have personal experiences not personal evidence. I must warn you that personal experiences will not fly very far here. Evidence isn't personal. It's something which can be tested by anyone.

It's tricky stuff to get hold of but if you do have evidence of psychic activity then I'd be fascinated to see it.
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Old 11th October 2010, 06:59 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Charles Boden View Post
My first question is the following: we now know as a fact that the human consciousness, or our intent in observing the reality around us, collapses quantum waves into particles.
No, not at all. That is not what we know for a fact.

1) duality wave / particle describe that the same particle can be depending on the observation described as particle or as wave. You can interpret it as a limitation of the observation, or as an underlying physical attribute. But both are present in every particle.
2) Observation is not something which involve a human. That is a physical interaction. Can be a simple photon.
3) corollary : collapse occurs when an interaction happens, human do not need to be involved.
4) human consciousness has never been demonstrated to have any influence at distance whatsoever on the physical world. And trust me, however I wished it, when my experiment failed, I could not accuse my brain of having a part in it, except by having made the wrong setup.
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Old 11th October 2010, 07:14 AM   #9
Charles Boden
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Hi all, and thanks for your promt replies...

Yes, I agree that certain terminology should be used more accurately here, but in the case of what was said concerning my wife's pregnancy I could not refer to the "personal experience" as anything else but "personal evidence", for when she got pregnant of my daughter my youngest son (I am the father of four) was just three months old, and I even asked if there was not a confusion being made betwen the two. There wasn't, as we later found out...

A lucky guess? Maybe. Maybe not.

I didn't go into any further details concerning the case of Jacqueline Pool because I saw that the topic was amply debated previously in the thread that has been shared above.

But still my questions remains: there is still an obvious interconnection between the act of observation influencing the result, so how could this interconnection occur?

Last edited by Charles Boden; 11th October 2010 at 07:17 AM.
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Old 11th October 2010, 07:19 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Charles Boden View Post
My first question is the following: we now know as a fact that the human consciousness, or our intent in observing the reality around us, collapses quantum waves into particles. But if "consciousness" is merely the result of electro-chemical discharges of the human brain, as is understood by modern science, how does this interaction take place? Could "consciousness" not perhaps be that which vibrates the super-strings and causes such a collapse?

Some researchers have been investigating the possible association of the greater or lesser mediumnic capacity of an individual to the pineal gland, a small organ in the brain which could possibly be responsible for converting spiritual messages into stimulus to the brain thanks to a mineral called apatite, which is present in the gland's cells. The greater the number of apatite crystals present in such cells, the greater would be the capacity to maintain contact with the electromagnetic signals from the spiritual entities and realms.
Hi welcome to the forum. You're going to need to do a lot better than this if you're going to say "we now know as fact". We know no such thing. I'd like to see a repeatable experiment of this.

"Some researchers"??? Who are they? Where are they published? In which discipline do they work? "Spiritual messages to the brain"???? Provide some evidence that there is such a thing as a spiritual message to begin with and then show me how it can interact with the brain.

You need a primer on String Theory and quantum physics. Pick up a copy of "Elegant Universe", that's a good starting point.

Welcome again.
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Old 11th October 2010, 07:25 AM   #11
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Hello and welcome.

Its not a question of "tearing you to shreds", at least for me.

It is a possiblity for us to question you and to learn and for you to question us and to learn.
Quote:
Some researchers have been investigating the possible association of the greater or lesser mediumnic capacity of an individual to the pineal gland, a small organ in the brain which could possibly be responsible for converting spiritual messages into stimulus to the brain thanks to a mineral called apatite, which is present in the gland's cells. The greater the number of apatite crystals present in such cells, the greater would be the capacity to maintain contact with the electromagnetic signals from the spiritual entities and realms.

Hhmm... Is there a way to measure the amount of apatite in different people? Perhaps Penn Jillette and my Aunt Carol (who is the opposite of PJ and once claimed that it was the love of Jesus that made me discover that my car battery was dead before I left Baltimore to head back home to Raleigh*)?



Quote:
4) human consciousness has never been demonstrated to have any influence at distance whatsoever on the physical world. And trust me, however I wished it, when my experiment failed, I could not accuse my brain of having a part in it, except by having made the wrong setup.
Did you try the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy thing and try to make a woman's shirt move 6 feet to the left?


*Yes, I know I wouldn't have gone anywhere with a dead battery, since the car wouldn't start. But, my Aunt Carol didn't know that.
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Old 11th October 2010, 07:26 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Charles Boden View Post
I personally have also encountered apparently mediumnic occurrences which would go well beyond the possibility of a scam of any kind - to mention just two: my 2nd wife's pregnancy of my daughter when my wife was just two weeks pregnant and neither she nor I even suspected that this could be possible, and the death of Lady Diana just seven days prior to the actual event.
Can you provide more details?

You may get flak for mediumnic, but I personally like neologisms.
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Old 11th October 2010, 07:26 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Charles Boden View Post
But still my questions remains: there is still an obvious interconnection between the act of observation influencing the result, so how could this interconnection occur?
If you're speaking of anything beyond the quantum level then you need to be more specific in the question and describe the interconnection you are talking about.

If you are referring to the quantum level then you are voicing a question that physicists are looking at but which does not serve as an explanation for phenomena on the macro level, particularly not for phenomena which have not even been demonstrated to actually exist. Of course, actual physicists on this forum will chime in with the equations if you like.

What you have done is take a characteristic of quantum physics and--without understanding what it says--posit that it explains what has not been shown to exist. This is what I referred to in my earlier post: you accuse skeptics and science of assuming they have the answers when in fact it is the promoters of woo who take a little mistaken knowledge and turn it into a claim of knowledge.
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Old 11th October 2010, 07:29 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Charles Boden View Post
But still my questions remains: there is still an obvious interconnection between the act of observation influencing the result, so how could this interconnection occur?

Observation involves probing something and sending back information to an observer. A tree may exist, but it cannot be observed until it is hit with photons from the sun, and those photons bounce back to an observing instrument.

You must be careful here because there are two separate phenomena: 1) being probed and 2) observing the results. It is important to note that the observer need not be a person. It can be a dog, or a chicken, or a camera, or a particularly reflective lake. The observer is irrelevant.

The only relevant thing is the probe - usually a photon. That hits the object and bounces away. It is this act that collapses the waveform - not the actual observation of it by any person, animal or machine.

So, your concept that consciousness somehow radiates some sort of energy that collapses waveforms is misguided. The waveform has been collapsed and the decision has been made before the observer even gets the information.

This is not a possible method by which clairvoyance or fortune telling could be accomplished.
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Old 11th October 2010, 07:46 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Charles Boden View Post
Yes, I agree that certain terminology should be used more accurately here, but in the case of what was said concerning my wife's pregnancy I could not refer to the "personal experience" as anything else but "personal evidence", for when she got pregnant of my daughter my youngest son (I am the father of four) was just three months old, and I even asked if there was not a confusion being made betwen the two. There wasn't, as we later found out...
I hope you understand that this is an example of anecdotal evidence, and that anecdotal evidence, on its own, is not sufficient to reach any firm conclusions about anything (read up on confirmation bias if you doubt this). That doesn't mean anecdotal evidence is worthless, it's usually the first indication that there is something going on that may be worthy of further study, but we have learned the hard way that that further study needs to be done carefully and methodically if we are not to risk convincing ourselves of something that later turns out not to be true. It's why the scientific method was invented.

Quote:
A lucky guess? Maybe. Maybe not.
Do you know how to find out which? It can be done, and every time it has been done the results have been clear: no medium or psychic has ever done significantly better than chance. So there is no reason to speculate about possible mechanisms to explain a phenomenon which has not been demonstrated to exist.
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Old 11th October 2010, 07:48 AM   #16
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Apologies for abrubtness, but I believe what our friend is saying so far is "Here's some stuff that's never been shown to exist. Does quantum mechanics explain how it works?" Does this seem accurate?
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Old 11th October 2010, 07:48 AM   #17
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The experiment has been conducted in various laboratories with the same result (please correct me if I am mistaken): electrons bombarded one at a time upon a plate with two openings and a sensor placed behind it. Initially the indications on the sensor gave the results expected for a "wave", but when another sensor was placed to observe what might be happening the sensor began to give the results expected for a particle.

Does the explanation of fotons truly account for this?

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Old 11th October 2010, 07:50 AM   #18
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Quote:
I hope you understand that this is an example of anecdotal evidence, and that anecdotal evidence, on its own, is not sufficient to reach any firm conclusions about anything (read up on confirmation bias if you doubt this).
I am not questioning this. Contrarily to what has been said here, I believe we are more prone to disbelieving than believing. It took a heck of a lot before I came to believe in the possibility that there might be more than just what meets the eye...

Last edited by Charles Boden; 11th October 2010 at 07:55 AM.
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Old 11th October 2010, 07:51 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Charles Boden View Post
...

I personally have also encountered apparently mediumnic occurrences which would go well beyond the possibility of a scam of any kind - to mention just two: my 2nd wife's pregnancy of my daughter when my wife was just two weeks pregnant and neither she nor I even suspected that this could be possible, and the death of Lady Diana just seven days prior to the actual event. Neither of these two incidents could have been a set up or a scam, but of course you may simply claim that I am lying in what I am saying and we can consider this case closed. That's fine... But to me who experienced these occurrences personally, the question as to how this is possible still remains.

...

Charles
I'm not quite following this anecdote: You're saying that you knew your wife was pregnant when she was 2 weeks along? I knew I was pregnant both times i conceived, because we were actively trying for a baby. And I might also mention that I "knew" I was pregnant every month leading up to my actual pregnancies, because I was in such a hopeful state of expectation.

Also, is the second part of your anecdote that you "knew" Princess Diana would get killed in a car crash 1 week before she actually died? Your wording is difficult to follow.
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Old 11th October 2010, 07:54 AM   #20
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Unless "foton" is something so new I can't find anything relevant with a quick Google, you've just misspelled "photon." I suspect you may not have a sufficient background in science to understand the answers to your questions, or even the questions themselves.
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Old 11th October 2010, 08:01 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Charles Boden View Post
The experiment has been conducted in various laboratories with the same result (please correct me if I am mistaken): electrons bombarded one at a time upon a plate with two openings and a sensor placed behind it. Initially the indications on the sensor gave the results expected for a "wave", but when another sensor was placed to observe what might be happening the sensor began to give the results expected for a particle.

Does the explanation of fotons truly account for this?
Did you read the blurb I posted above ? Did you try to enter , say, duality wave particle in wiki as a research start ? Do you also understand that anyway, this would have nothing to do with human consciousness (no experimental link) or even dead and mediumship (no experimental link, not even experimental evidence of existence) ?

It is about as if you were saying that the Chupacabra exists, then says something about hematocrite count in case of sickle anemia, without ever providing evidence to link both.

In the context of evidence, until you prove that human consciousness has any effect on particle or wave, speaking of the duality of wave particle is a NON SEQUITUR.
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Old 11th October 2010, 08:05 AM   #22
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Surely, someone who was skeptical of the paranormal for "a number of years" had studied and understood the technique of "cold reading", and would not pay good money to visit a medium to find out the fate of Diana and the status of his wife with whom birth control was not an option.
I have trouble imagining this scenario for some reason. Without a full transcript of the actual words used by the medium, it is impossible to even comment on such a claim. I suggest Charles look into some of the cold readings done by the top "psychics" (not Sylvia, very bad at what she does), and how it works.

ETA: Oh, and Hamlet actually said:
Quote:
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy
And it was followed by:
Quote:
Or by pronouncing of some doubtful phrase,
As 'Well, well, we know,' or 'We could, an if we would,'
Or 'If we list to speak,' or 'There be, an if they might,'
Or such ambiguous giving out, to note
That you know aught of me: this not to do,
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Old 11th October 2010, 08:11 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Charles Boden View Post
Contrarily to what has been said here, I believe we are more prone to disbelieving than believing. It took a heck of a lot before I came to believe in the possibility that there might be more than just what meets the eye...
We all have inbuilt cognitive biases which cause us to see signals in the noise even where there is in fact only noise. It's this that can (and often has) led the most disbelieving of self-proclaimed sceptics to become a believer because of a few personal experiences which they cannot explain. Indeed the more prone to disbelieving someone is the more likely they are to be convinced by such personal experiences - if they have never taken the time to find out about how our perceptions work, and how easily they can be deceived.

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Old 11th October 2010, 08:25 AM   #24
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Charles, if your two anecdotes are evidence of the paranormal than I am SonOfLaertes the Magnificent. I can recall countless times in my life that I thought of something which turned out to happen/be true at a later date. I would be more impressed by this feat of mental power if I never sat down and thought about all the times that I thought about things which never came to pass.

Really, it would be shocking if you didn't occasionally experience this sort of thing. The fact that you notice your "hits" and forget the countless misses makes you human.
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Old 11th October 2010, 08:36 AM   #25
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On June 25, 2009, Ed McMahon and Farrah Fawcett had just died. I, along with some friends of mine, enjoy the "celebrities always die in threes" superstition, so we (as usual) emailed our guesses as to who would be next.

I SO wanted to say Michael Jackson. He was my very first thought. Not because of anything "psychic" (I've had stuff happen that at least felt "psychic", but this didn't); it was just a thought because he was one of the most famous and strangest celebrities. I wound up guessing B. B. King, just because he was old and stuff.

A few hours later, Michael Jackson was dead.

I'm an honest guy, so I wouldn't go around claiming I was psychic for the prediction or anything, but man, I really really wish I had guessed that in a time-stamped email a few hours before his death. Then I'd actually have proof of my amazing guess instead of just my word about it :/

Anyway, that's just my own story as far as lucky guesses and stuff...
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Old 11th October 2010, 08:40 AM   #26
Robert Oz
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Originally Posted by Charles Boden View Post
I personally have also encountered apparently mediumnic occurrences

Yes, I'm sure you, and many others, have encountered "apparently mediumnic occurences". The key words being "apparently mediumnic". However, the fact that nobody is perfect and everyone is fallible means that personal experience is not enough. You, like all human beings, are heavily prone to confirmation bias.


Originally Posted by Charles Boden View Post
which would go well beyond the possibility of a scam of any kind

Firstly, how do you know that? You have a remarkable skill if you are able to tell how all cons, magic and mentalist tricks are performed. Banachek was able to convice an entire team of parapsychologists that he had paranormal powers. Derren Brown has performed tricks that some would swear up and down are impossible. James Randi has been accused of being a psychic who only pretends to be performing conjuring tricks.

The whole point of a scam is to fool you into thinking it's real.

Secondly, it doesn't necessarily have to be a scam to have fooled both you and the 'medium' in question. One can inadvertently learn to cold read without realising what he or she is doing. Ray Hyman wrote an article on this very thing. Hyman once convinced himself that he was actually reading fortunes on the palms of strangers.


Originally Posted by Charles Boden View Post
my 2nd wife's pregnancy of my daughter when my wife was just two weeks pregnant and neither she nor I even suspected that this could be possible,

This is one I've heard a few times (predicting a pregnancy). Without a recording of the reading, it is impossible to tell exactly how this 'prediction' may have worked. There are several possible explanations. For example:

- A lucky guess. The law of large numbers means even wild guesses result in hits from time to time. You happened to be one of the people who the 'medium' scored on.

- The 'medium' deliberately makes the pregnancy guess with a lot of couples. If he or she gets it wrong, the prediction is forgotten or another correct prediction takes its place in the sitter's memory (confirmation bias). If he or she gets it right, the story is spread and his or her reputation grows.

- The 'medium' deliberately makes the pregnancy guess with the intention of shifting the target based on feedback from the sitter (cold reading technique). The best result is if the couple is actually pregnant. If they are not, but they have a daughter, the 'medium' can shift the hit to be describing the previous pregnancy. If the couple aren't pregnant and don't have a daughter, the 'medium' shifts the prediction to the future (and then he or she technically can't be proven wrong until the woman hits menopause).

This is cold reading and the 'medium' can honestly believe he or she actually has paranormal powers or it may have been a scam. To say that the experience was "well beyond the possibility of a scam of any kind" is, with all due respect, naive. Scam artists use all three of the above techniques all the time (see Ian Rowland's The Full Facts Book of Cold Reading).


Originally Posted by Charles Boden View Post
and the death of Lady Diana just seven days prior to the actual event.

Again, the law of large numbers. Psychics all over the world make many, many wild predictions in many forms of media. From time to time some of them may get some predictions right. Fantastic! Forget or delete the long list of wrong predictions and focus and sell the right ones (confirmation bias).

Say I make 100 wild predictions about celebrities and tell each prediction to 100 different people. If one of those predictions turns out to be true, I guarantee you the 99 wrong ones will never be mentioned by 99 people (except maybe in passing). But the one correct guess is discussed on forums and conversations with family and friends. And so the reputation of the 'medium' and the unfounded belief in paranormal powers spreads.


Originally Posted by Charles Boden View Post
Neither of these two incidents could have been a set up or a scam, but of course you may simply claim that I am lying in what I am saying and we can consider this case closed. That's fine...

Of course it's possible you are lying, but I generally give people the benefit of the doubt when they come to these forums. As mentioned above, the statement that "Neither of these two incidents could have been a set up or a scam" obviously comes from someone who does not know much about cold reading.


Originally Posted by Charles Boden View Post
But to me who experienced these occurrences personally, the question as to how this is possible still remains.

I can't, for the life of me, figure out how David Copperfield changes a motorcycle into two women in a matter of seconds, but it doesn't mean we should accept that he has special powers.

If the only way I can tell the difference between performances by Banachek, James Randi, Derren Brown, John Edward and James Van Praagh is by trusting their explanations, I would be naive to accept that Edward and Van Praagh are talking to dead people, while Banachek, Randi and Brown are getting the same results using age-old mentalist techniques.

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Old 11th October 2010, 08:43 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Charles Boden View Post
The experiment has been conducted in various laboratories with the same result (please correct me if I am mistaken): electrons bombarded one at a time upon a plate with two openings and a sensor placed behind it. Initially the indications on the sensor gave the results expected for a "wave", but when another sensor was placed to observe what might be happening the sensor began to give the results expected for a particle.
Yes, that's the classic "two-slit experiment," but nothing about it is dependent on human consciousness, or any other consciousness for that matter.

I don't yet know anything about Jacqueline Pool, but I know enough about quantum mechanics to know that your impression of it is way wrong.
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Old 11th October 2010, 08:59 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Charles Boden View Post
Some researchers have been investigating the possible association of the greater or lesser mediumnic capacity of an individual to the pineal gland, a small organ in the brain which could possibly be responsible for converting spiritual messages into stimulus to the brain thanks to a mineral called apatite, which is present in the gland's cells. The greater the number of apatite crystals present in such cells, the greater would be the capacity to maintain contact with the electromagnetic signals from the spiritual entities and realms.
If you are interested in whether such research is valid, as opposed to pseudo-science designed to confuse the ley person using sciency sounding words ask for a link to the research and someone here will be happy to evaluate it for you.

My money is that you won't find such a paper or the paper is to do with the pineal gland but nothing to do with converting spiritual messages. Either way I suspect someone is trying to con you.

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Old 11th October 2010, 09:05 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Sledge View Post
Unless "foton" is something so new I can't find anything relevant with a quick Google, you've just misspelled "photon." I suspect you may not have a sufficient background in science to understand the answers to your questions, or even the questions themselves.
Sledge, he meant futon. If you bombard many futons with an electron, the best thing to do it sleep on it, but your in-built quantum sensors will soon tell you that a bed is more comfortable.
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Old 11th October 2010, 09:11 AM   #30
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Yes, that's the classic "two-slit experiment," but nothing about it is dependent on human consciousness, or any other consciousness for that matter.
On what basis do you claim so as a fact?

I gave two personal examples merely to explain a little as to how I came to believe that there is phenomenae beyond our current knowledge, as I also did with the case of Jacqueline Pool as an example of a case that was not personal.

I refer to the "two-slit experiment" as an example of the fact that perhaps human consiousness might be something more than merely the result of electro-chemical discharges of the human brain.

The problem I find here is an immediate tendency to attack before taking the issue into an unbiased consideration. Not good science, surely. The fact that I may have spelled "foton" instead of "photon" derives from the fact that I have lived in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, since the age of three. I am certainly not a quantum physicist, which was why I posed the question. I did once, however, see an interview with a quantum physicist in which he claimed that "scientists would not bring consciousness into the equation simply because it would make the equation too complex..."

How many times have you found yourself thinking of something and someone else comes right out and talks about what you were thinking? How often have you had a "premonition" such as in the case of Michael Jackson's death that has just been mentioned? I saw a video once taken of a guitarrist of a band here in Brazil saying he had had a dream in which he "saw" himself inside a plain on fire. That night when he was returning from a show he and all the other members of his band were killed in a plain crash.

The "biased approach" I mentioned in my first post is precisely what I meant: the discarding of a possibility solely due to pre-conceptual thinking, and not a more careful verification of the "truth".

In the case of Lady Di's death, what was said to me by a "medium" on the previous Saturday (not in a "paid consultation") was that "a member of the Royal Family would die that week". At first I thought it would probably be the Queen Mother, given her age at the time, but upon running through the channels of Cable TV on the following Saturday I crossed CNN at the moment in which they were broadcasting the news of the accident. Even before the official confirmation of her death, I knew what had been said to me had to refer to her.

In any given circumstance, shouldn't all possibilities be considered rather than instantly discarded?

Charles

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Old 11th October 2010, 09:13 AM   #31
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And btw, attacking me or attempting to ridicule me is by no means an "unbiased" approach... So can we try something different?
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Old 11th October 2010, 09:24 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Charles Boden View Post
In the case of Lady Di's death, what was said to me by a "medium" on the previous Saturday (not in a "paid consultation") was that "a member of the Royal Family" would die that week. At first I thought it would probably be the Queen Mother, given her age at the time, but upon running through the channels of Cable TV on the following Saturday I crossed CNN at the moment in which they were broadcasting the news of the accident. Even before the official confirmation of her death, I knew what had been said to me had to refer to her.
So not specifying which royal family, or which member. And it happened over a week later.

Charles. This could get rapidly out of hand. I suggest you stick to one topic at a time. Start again and give us one thing you think there is good scientific evidence for and we can look at it.

However I suggest you pick something you understand. Don't go for quantum physics if your knowledge is limited to seeing someone on a TV show talk about it.

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Old 11th October 2010, 09:24 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Charles Boden View Post
And btw, attacking me or attempting to ridicule me is by no means an "unbiased" approach... So can we try something different?

Yes, evidence would be a start. Who is attacking you?
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Old 11th October 2010, 09:28 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by Charles Boden View Post
How many times have you found yourself thinking of something and someone else comes right out and talks about what you were thinking?

Confirmation bias. How many times have you found yourself thinking of something and someone else doesn't come right out and talk about what you were thinking?


Originally Posted by Charles Boden View Post
How often have you had a "premonition" such as in the case of Michael Jackson's death that has just been mentioned?

Confirmation bias. Stereolab said "I, along with some friends of mine, enjoy the 'celebrities always die in threes' superstition, so we (as usual) emailed our guesses as to who would be next". How many people might play this game? How many make predictions like these that are wrong?


Originally Posted by Charles Boden View Post
I saw a video once taken of a guitarrist of a band here in Brazil saying he had had a dream in which he "saw" himself inside a plane on fire. That night when he was returning from a show he and all the other members of his band were killed in a plain crash.

Law of large numbers. The entire population of the world dreams regularly. The number of dreams that come true is statistically insignificant. How many dreams don't come true?


Originally Posted by Charles Boden View Post
The "biased approach" I mentioned in my first post is precisely what I meant: the discarding of a possibility solely due to pre-conceptual thinking, and not a more careful verification of the "truth".

When we have a mundane explanation and an explanation that contradicts everything we know about reality and has no evidence, surely the default choice should be the mundane explanation. By all means, investigate if there is anything more to the extraordinary explanation, but don't accept it in the absence of evidence.

Gravity could be holding the Earth in its orbit around the sun, or it could be sitting on the back of an invisible turtle swimming through the ether. How does one decide?


Originally Posted by Charles Boden View Post
In the case of Lady Di's death, what was said to me by a "medium" on the previous Saturday (not in a "paid consultation") was that "a member of the Royal Family" would die that week. At first I thought it would probably be the Queen Mother, given her age at the time, but upon running through the channels of Cable TV on the following Saturday I crossed CNN at the moment in which they were broadcasting the new of the accident. Even before the official confirmation of her death, I knew what had been said to me had to refer to her.

So the 'medium' didn't predict Lady Di's death. The 'medium' predicted the death of 'a member of the Royal Family'. Isn't it possible that, due to age, the 'medium' also had the Queen Mother in mind? I'm sure many mediums all over the world were making regular 'death of a member of the Royal Family' predictions with baited breath, eagerly anticipating the keeling over of the old bat.


Originally Posted by Charles Boden View Post
In any given circumstance, shouldn't all possibilities be considered rather than instantly discarded?

Not all possibilities are created equal (see above).
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Old 11th October 2010, 09:34 AM   #35
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Who is attacking you?
The reference to my spelling, for a start... "Photon" is spelled "Fóton" in Portuguese. "Futon" is not attacking and attempting to ridicule?

The "one issue at a time" I wish to debate is the asociation between the act of observation influencing experimental results. My own personal cases can easily be discarded. I gave them merely as examples.

I don't have to be a quantum physicist to pose a question based on what has already been verified, so I'll ask the question again:

How can the act of observation have an effect on quantum physics experiments? How does this interaction take place?

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Old 11th October 2010, 09:36 AM   #36
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So not specifying which royal family, or which member. And it happened over a week later.
Does this discard the fact in itself of what I was told and what happened seven days later?

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Old 11th October 2010, 09:39 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by Charles Boden View Post
The reference to my spelling, for a start... "Photon" is pelled "Fóton" in Portuguese. "Futon" is not attacking and attempting to reidicule?
Generally, no one here points out spelling errors, since we all make them, but once in a great while an error is just humorous, and it is turned into a joke. This was no attack, it was just poking fun at the whole idea of photons having something to do with mediums.

Many psychics or believers have come and gone at JREF, and none has ever produced any evidence of their claims. We have all been through this many times. Lighten up.
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Old 11th October 2010, 09:43 AM   #38
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it was just poking fun at the whole idea of photons having something to do with mediums.
Not my words... What I am getting at is the possibility that "consciousness" might be something more than just the result of electro-chemical discharges of the human brain.
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Old 11th October 2010, 09:54 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by Charles Boden View Post
The "one issue at a time" I wish to debate is the asociation between the act of observation influencing experimental results.
Then you're posting in the wrong subforum. You want the Science subforum (next one down).
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Old 11th October 2010, 09:55 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by Charles Boden View Post
What I am getting at is the possibility that "consciousness" might be something more than just the result of electro-chemical discharges of the human brain.
Ah, the hard problem. Decent topic, but also discussed and re-discussed innumerable times at the JREF. Not my area of expertise, but others will, I'm sure, jump in. The issue, though, is that you ask this reasonable question but then jump immediately in with quantum physics without the requisite understanding of it. It has already been posted in this thread how observation in this sense does not equate to human observation, so I'd recommend leaving that bit out for now.

ETA: What Pixel said. Wrong forum.
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