Interesting Article about skepticism

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Sciborg_S_Patel

#2
Not a bad article, though you can see the bias. For example, there's good reason to conclude Randi isn't to be trusted and the $ 1 million challenge stinks of propaganda.

What I think they should have brought up were the issues with accepted conclusions, such as the variety of issues with Libet's readiness potential as proof there's no free will or all the questionable research - or just disregard for research - done to conclude psychedelics have no beneficial effect. They might also mention some of the questionable research done by Big Pharma.

Sometimes it seems to me the real problems with corporate pseudoscience get ignored so that parapsychology can be a bogeyman that doesn't upset potential funders.

Additionally, they might talk about parapsychological research that had good controls and protocols, even if this research could be further improved.

All that said, I did like how they were against the outright dismissal of parapsychological phenomenon and unwilling to jump to the shaming tactics some materialist evangelicals promote.
 
#4
Not a bad article, though you can see the bias. For example, there's good reason to conclude Randi isn't to be trusted and the $ 1 million challenge stinks of propaganda.

What I think they should have brought up were the issues with accepted conclusions, such as the variety of issues with Libet's readiness potential as proof there's no free will or all the questionable research - or just disregard for research - done to conclude psychedelics have no beneficial effect. They might also mention some of the questionable research done by Big Pharma.

Sometimes it seems to me the real problems with corporate pseudoscience get ignored so that parapsychology can be a bogeyman that doesn't upset potential funders.

Additionally, they might talk about parapsychological research that had good controls and protocols, even if this research could be further improved.

All that said, I did like how they were against the outright dismissal of parapsychological phenomenon and unwilling to jump to the shaming tactics some materialist evangelicals promote.
Agreed, in addition I thought the comments about Deepak Chopra and Geller were absolutely warranted, and their desire to see that people were not hoodwinked as good too, especially the Sylvia Brown malarkey
 
#5
It is interesting, but it is very far from the most serious psychic research, such as the work of Alan Gould, Hornett Hart and David Lorimer.
 
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chuck.drake

#7
As if it were somehow scientific to dismiss all UFO studies by stating definitively that Hopkinsville was owls. It is the worst kind of rubbish thought.
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

#8
It's not a perfect article but it at least trains students to think about evidence that could convince them that parapsychology is real rather than trying to get them into the folds of materialist evangelism using derision and condescension.

Have to start somewhere, and it's a step in the right direction.
 
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chuck.drake

#9
It's not a perfect article but it at least trains students to think about evidence that could convince them that parapsychology is real rather than trying to get them into the folds of materialist evangelism using derision and condescension.

Have to start somewhere, and it's a step in the right direction.
Maybe I didn't read it carefully enough. It seemed to me more like a primer in debunking.
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

#10
Maybe I didn't read it carefully enough. It seemed to me more like a primer in debunking.
Oh the article has issues and biases, but at least it offers the possibility that research into the paranormal can yield positive results.

It's a start toward decoupling science from materialist faith and shifting it into a position of agnosticism on these matters.
 
#11
This paper makes some good points about the prevalence of "pseudoscience" in popular culture and the need for better education.

But it is also a scientistic pseudoskeptical account of how all paranormal phenomena are bunk and have been disproved by great crusaders like Randi and his million dollar challenge and great periodicals like Skeptical Enquirer. It uses one of the usual ploys, to equate all of the paranormal and psychical phenomena in general with genuine fringe items like The Secret (claim that thoughts and intentions attract what you want from the ethers), and popular TV reality shows "investigating" hauntings. Of course not just these, but most all areas not accepted by mainstream materialism are lumped into the class of pseudoscience nonsense, including all popular new age thinkers like Chopra (plus by implication all spiritual movements and philosophies) and all of alternative medicine not just homeopathy.
 
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chuck.drake

#12
Oh the article has issues and biases, but at least it offers the possibility that research into the paranormal can yield positive results.

It's a start toward decoupling science from materialist faith and shifting it into a position of agnosticism on these matters.
I guess we will have to differ on that. Look how the section on UFOs is concluded:

The Hopkinsville entities have a decidedly earthly explanation. The “aliens” were in fact, Great Horned Owls, and the eyewitnesses were probably intoxicated during the “alien attack” (Davis and Bloecher, 1978). Students usually find the true story of the events amusing; and this example can lead naturally into a discussion on Area 51, the Greys, or other otherworldly interests (Nickell, 2012;Leman and Cinnirella, 2013).
That is not science. That is debunking. Even a rudimentary understanding of UFO studies requires an enormous amount of study. The same with "psychics" and mediumship. These are complex subjects that require nuanced and careful study in depth. This article suggests that one debunked case stands for the rest. It's garbage.
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

#13
Oh, I'm not disagreeing with you, the article is deeply problematic. But my experience with racism, anti-paganism, and homophobia makes me feel like taking a sliver of good will, like the article offers, is at least leaving the door slightly ajar.

People have been conditioned in Western society to avoid being "taken advantage of" or "made to be fools" to the point that any expression of hope that there's more to existence than clockwork with indeterminate quantum flux is seen as worthy of derision.

Expecting huge change is, IMO, like expecting bigotry to vanish.

In the same way a bigot can be talk to me and say I'm okay for a Hindu darkie, we can take the article as at least putting a single step in the right direction.
 
#14
Oh, I'm not disagreeing with you, the article is deeply problematic. But my experience with racism, anti-paganism, and homophobia makes me feel like taking a sliver of good will, like the article offers, is at least leaving the door slightly ajar.

People have been conditioned in Western society to avoid being "taken advantage of" or "made to be fools" to the point that any expression of hope that there's more to existence than clockwork with indeterminate quantum flux is seen as worthy of derision.

Expecting huge change is, IMO, like expecting bigotry to vanish.

In the same way a bigot can be talk to me and say I'm okay for a Hindu darkie, we can take the article as at least putting a single step in the right direction.
That post was well thought out for a hindu darkie. :p
 
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Frank Matera

#15
Just read the article. First thing I got from it was that it is your typical debunking exercise but cleverly written in a way that makes it sound like they are impartial and well versed in both aspects of PSI and Science... but it ain't. It's just what I call "Beginners Guide to Skepticism". Read a blog or two and become an expert without actually investigating it for yourself.

Problem is as usual they attack all the standard low hanging fruit... Deepak Chopra, Sylvia Browne, Uri Geller, Derek Acorah, John Edward. Although I noticed he pronounced it as "John Edwards"... which to me is always a big sign that the person knows nothing about or only has a fleeting knowledge of who he is and what he does. If you can't spell or pronounce his name correctly then you can't know too much about him. You are just a parrot repeating what you've heard from others who also have no idea.

They also use James Randi and his MDC. LOL. Whenever a Skeptic brings up Randi's name or the MDC... you know they are either new to taking a skeptical look at PSI... or as above.... just a parrot repeating what they've heard from others... without actually investigating it for themselves.

The person writing the article then promotes some of the biggest morons to ever have an opinion when he writes "Carl Sagan, Michael Shermer, Phil Plaitt, and Richard Wiseman all have many resources available online, and are well worth exploring."

Really?

Carl Sagan was an idiot who admitted to J Allen Hynek that he knew UFO's were real but would never talk publically about it because he would be ridiculed and lose all his funding (Sounds like most scientists huh).

Michael Shermer as we well know makes things up.

Phil Plaitt is another skeptic that spends all his time pushing anything to do with NASA... and ridiculing photos of objects on the moon and moon landing... yet when grainy fuzzy photos of the lunar site were released by NASA that showed a couple of dots which they said were the lunar lander and flag.... he proclaimed it as "Absolute evidence that we landed on the moon".... even though you could not actually make anything out from the photos. Talk about confirmation bias. I guess he doesn't apply his own rigorous standards to his own beliefs.

Richard Wiseman... well everyone knows about him.
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

#16
The person writing the article then promotes some of the biggest morons to ever have an opinion when he writes "Carl Sagan, Michael Shermer, Phil Plaitt, and Richard Wiseman all have many resources available online, and are well worth exploring."

Really?
I would agree that these figures are controversial to those of us who question the (pseudo?) skeptical position, but how would you suggest getting people to understand the issues with materialist evangelism?
 
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Frank Matera

#17
I would agree that these figures are controversial to those of us who question the (pseudo?) skeptical position, but how would you suggest getting people to understand the issues with materialist evangelism?
I read through it again just so I didn't misinterpret the original intention of the article... but to me the intention of the article by the author was the exact opposite of pointing out issues with materialist envangelism.... but trying to point out issues with PSI.

To me the article reads more like an Evangelistic Skeptic who is petrified at the thought that PSI and Parapsychology is slowly starting to get a foot hold within the Science community.. and maybe even being taught in Universities as something to look at.

The article reads like a "You know.... you may start to hear about studies in regards to Mediumship and PSI... but don't bother because it's just Pseudoscience and there is nothing to see there.... and you can be easily confused into believing that Homeopathy and Psychics are real... but here is why it's not... and whilst you are at it listen to Randi, Sagan, Shermer, Plaitt and Wiseman"
 
#18
I read through it again just so I didn't misinterpret the original intention of the article... but to me the intention of the article by the author was the exact opposite of pointing out issues with materialist envangelism.... but trying to point out issues with PSI.

To me the article reads more like an Evangelistic Skeptic who is petrified at the thought that PSI and Parapsychology is slowly starting to get a foot hold within the Science community.. and maybe even being taught in Universities as something to look at.

The article reads like a "You know.... you may start to hear about studies in regards to Mediumship and PSI... but don't bother because it's just Pseudoscience and there is nothing to see there.... and you can be easily confused into believing that Homeopathy and Psychics are real... but here is why it's not... and whilst you are at it listen to Randi, Sagan, Shermer, Plaitt and Wiseman"
I've thought much the same, it feels like they're saying "fuck, several psi articles are popping up here, we need to address it." What also annoys me is how a lot of the skeptics aren't scientists, and that the article seems to have written like a casual guide. The use of YouTube videos as sources is pretty outrageous to be honest.
 
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