Mod+ 257. DR. DIANE POWELL FINDS TELEPATHY AMONG AUTISTIC SAVANT CHILDREN

Discussion in 'Skeptiko Shows' started by alex.tsakiris, Oct 28, 2014.

  1. Alex

    Alex New

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    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 19, 2015
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  2. fire

    fire Guest

    Good interview. I have a bunch of thoughts. First a disclaimer. I have no doubt that telepathy exists. I accept it as fact. And I think this work from Diane sounds really exciting.

    Here are the thoughts I had:

    1. Once telepathy is 100% accepted by science, what does that mean? Where to go from there?

    2. Diane talks about having $1 million dollars optimally to do the research, write a book and make a documentary. (And presumably publish a scientific paper.) At least I think that is what she said. But wouldn't it be better to first work with legitimate skeptical parties to correct any control flaws in the footage she has now. And then visit two or three of these kids who are telepathic and film using these controls. And then dump the whole thing onto the internet so that everyone can see every minute of every angle from every camera? Like open source science? Like NASA feeds for example. Or Google Earth images. Put the raw data out there and let people go through it. That is the only way the skeptics are ever going to accept it. Otherwise they will claim you are cherry picking and only showing a limited set of data, which would basically be true in some regard. If you are creating a subset of data, then you have made choices for some reason about what to show and what not to show. Just gather the data and put it out there. I don't think $1 million dollars would be required to do that.
     
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  3. Michael Larkin

    Michael Larkin Member

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    Alex's questions at the end of the show:

    What do you make of Diane's study with the autistic savants? Can you see any potential flaws? How would you rate it?
     
  4. Michael Larkin

    Michael Larkin Member

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    What do you make of Diane's study with the autistic savants? Can you see any potential flaws? How would you rate it?

    The study is very interesting. I had never thought about autism being a possible means of proving telepathy. As to potential flaws and rating it, it's a little difficult to pass judgement without having access to the complete methodology and data; I guess for general consumption, a video would be useful.

    I did wonder whether it's necessary to spend a lot of money on a professional video documentary. One could imagine Diane putting together a presentation including video evidence for her peers at a convention and filming that; included could be a Q&A session. I'd like to see the bulk of the money spent on doing actual experiments and recording the data.

    I think one of the biggest hurdles will be convincing people that there is no unconscious cueing going on. It's a sad fact that with autistic people one may never be able to exclude all possibility of cueing. Even if the therapist doesn't touch the subject, some bright spark is going to suggest that they are subliminally mouthing the answers, which the savant can hear: one would have to control for all conceivable modes of communication.

    The best thing about it is that savant abilities are already accepted as real amongst the neurophysiology and psychologist/psychiatry community. That really does seem to offer the chance of her work being taken notice of.
     
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  5. fire

    fire Guest

    I think with adequate physical blocking between the two and enough cameras with specific angles, cueing should be easily eliminated as a possible explanation. Plus if you have 3 subjects with similar abilities, then each would have needed to develop a sophisticated cueing system independent of each other. That seems very unlikely.
     
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  6. Stephen Wright

    Stephen Wright New

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    factual as Joe Friday......... love it. Just the right kind of personality who may get traction with good data behind her presentation.
     
  7. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    I have long thought that autistics savants were telling us something important. This case isn't exactly a savant, but obviously related, and maybe some autistic savants are actually telepathic - because most researchers would not test for this possibility.

    I think this work is really exciting. I wonder if it wouldn't be possible to screen some autistic people - maybe less severely affected - to see if they are also telepathic.

    Now for a really wild suggestion. Could it be that the real problem with some autistics is that telepathy is not suppressed - the world might seem mighty confusing with always on telepathy. Maybe to be 'normal' you need telepathy to be more or less suppressed.

    Bill Bryson worked for a short time in a home for severely autistic people, and in one of his books (I think it is "Notes from a small island"), he reports a remarkable case of precognition in a highly autistic person.

    David
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2014
  8. fire

    fire Guest

    Dr. Powell talks about a model she is developing to account for telepathy among this population. If I had to make a guess I would say two key components of a working model for those who exhibit this specific ability would include:

    1. A relatively thin ego definition and less self identification than would be found in the non-autistic population of that age. I have little understanding of autism and understand that the autistic model refers to a rather wide range of behaviors. I'm not sure how much work has been done in the field of self-identity and ego development among the autistic population.
    2. A more fully developed stream of concentration or attentional focus.

    Basically I think this population would have inherited the same characteristics that are developed by people who work toward development of the siddhis. But instead of intentional development, their specific flavor of autism would have endowed them as it were.

    That's why "proving" telepathy is not likely to have any radical practical applications. We already have the cookbooks required to develop these abilities and few people have the required intention or fortitude to make it work.
     
  9. fire

    fire Guest

  10. Kickstarter requires you deliver a product. I would suggest looking at other crowdfunding options.

    With respect to the interview, I guess we'll have to wait & see if her data is up to snuff. That said I agree with Alex, I don't think the explanation for telepathy - or consciousness - will be found under a materialist model.
     
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  11. Alex

    Alex New

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    I understand where you're coming from... but establishment science just doesn't work this way... not that it works at all, but that's another issue :)
     
  12. malf

    malf Member

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    Last edited: Oct 28, 2014
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  13. Super Sexy

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  14. bishop

    bishop Member

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    Hey Alex and others. Don't you find these types of figures rather alarming? I think this is a good case for reserving judgement until more is understood about what is happening.

    Otherwise, if these numbers are true, and the girl is able to perform repeatedly in the way Powell is describing, then this isn't just another every-day case of psi in action. This could be the single most important breakthrough in parapsychology in decades. I don't think a kick starter campaign is quite going to cover it. That's a bit like trying to take a snapshot of the big bang with a disposable kodak camera. The entirety of the professional parapsychology world should be moving into action, coming together for an effort to work with this girl and get the results. If they don't move on it and this thing disappears into obscurity it will be on them.
     
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  15. I'm curious about Dr. Powell's model. I'm a bit confused about keeping such a thing private until publication in a scientific paper. Wouldn't it make sense to present this model openly?
     
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  16. fire

    fire Guest

    I found her stance a little odd as well. I guess I don't fully understand the balance between "owning" something and putting something out there to try to advance scientific understanding.
     
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  17. K9!

    K9! New

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    When you submit a paper for publication, you have to state that it has not been previously published elsewhere. So you have to remain quiet about the main content until publication. That's standard.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2014
  18. Steve

    Steve Member

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    Forgive me for asking what may be a stupid question.

    Was the child waiting until the other person in the room worked out the answer on a calculator or other device, then reading the mind of the 'helper' ?
     
  19. fire

    fire Guest

    I don't think it is a stupid question at all. Aside from showing the video at the conference and to a select few she has been withholding about any real details. It is difficult to get an understanding of what was actually done without seeing the footage.

    I trust Dr. Powell as she seems very bright and well trained. But the trickle of information is baffling. I think it could have been made clearer during the interview exactly how the numbers were transferred from Dr. Powell to the assistant and then to the child. It was clear as mud.
     
  20. Typoz

    Typoz Member

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    I thought the description Dr. Powell gave was reasonably clear:

    "I wrote them down on pieces of paper after generating them and then I put them in the stack, face down, and handed them to the therapist. And she picked them up one by one,"
    ... there's more, but no need for me to paste it here. If you want the rest, listen to the podcast or read the transcript.
     

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