Mod+ Psychic medium tested under tightest labratory conditions. Proven accurate. What will debunkers say

Discussion in 'Skeptiko Shows' started by Alex, Sep 21, 2015.

  1. Alex

    Alex New

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    Psychic medium tested under tightest labratory conditions. Proven accurate. What will debunkers say now? |287|
    by Alex Tsakiris | Sep 22 | Consciousness Science, Parapsychology

    Dr. Julie Beischel’s newly published research on assisted after-death communication sets a new standard of proof, but don’t expect science to change its stance on psychic mediums.
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    Photo by Craig Sunter

    Before becoming the preeminent researcher of medium communication, or as she likes to call it, “assisted after-death communication”, Dr. Julie Beischel was a newly-minted PhD in pharmacology and toxicology who was trying to come to grips with the loss of her mother. Grief had led Dr. Beischel to the door of Dr. Gary Schwartz whose controversial research into medium communication had drawn national attention. After several years of collaboration during which Dr. Beischel designed and implemented experiments which have become widely recognized as setting the gold standard in such research, Julie left the University of Arizona to found the Windbridge Institute. Her research into medium communication and its effect on the bereaved continues to shed light on a phenomena that flies in the face of what science is telling us about life and death, and has the potential to redefine who we are.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2015
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  2. http://www.whatsyourgrief.com/continuing-bonds-shifting-the-grief-paradigm/
    "when a loved one dies you slowly find ways to adjust and redefine your relationship with that person, allowing for a continued bond with that person that will endure, in different ways and to varying degrees, throughout your life. This relationship is not unhealthy, nor does it mean you are not grieving in a normal way. Instead, the continuing bonds theory suggests that this is not only normal and healthy, but that an important part of grief is continuing ties to loved ones in this way. Rather than assuming detachment as a normal grief response, continuing bonds considers natural human attachment even in death."

    I don't think this will change the way people think about consciousness. Those who believe in the afterlife will continue to do so. Materialists will continue to believe that consciousness is produced by a brain that is the result of natural evolution and which has evolved in ways that make it susceptible to superstition (while they contine to ignore the possibility that materialism is a superstition) and they may accept this as a practical method that takes into account the "realities" of how they assume the brain works.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2015
  3. Michael Larkin

    Michael Larkin Member

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    Alex's question at the end of the podcast:

    What do you make of the "continuing bonds*" idea? Alex sees it as a demonstration of how science is retreating from materialism without explicitly saying so.


    *Just as a reminder, there comes a point at which babies don't cry because the mother has left the room, knowing that she's nearby in another room, something known as the realisation of a "continuing bond". The current model used for grieving by the clinical community is that the deceased, similarly, may not be present in the flesh, but is still present in some sense (psychologically? spiritually?) in one's life. Despite the usual scientific scepticism about life after death, pragmatically, its an approach that's used to help grievers.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2015
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  4. Michael Larkin

    Michael Larkin Member

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    What do you make of the "continuing bonds*" idea? Alex sees it as a demonstration of how science is retreating from materialism without explicitly saying so.

    I know Julie used the word "spiritual" in reference to the continuing bonds theory of grieving, but it can be maintained that in a psychological sense, our deceased loved ones persist in our psyches. And that isn't a retreat from materialism at all. Actually, the psychological reality of a deceased (but still present) other really does exist in a purely psychological sense. For example, I often imagine what my father would have said about something happening today--were he alive--and I don't think that's dependent on his actual presence in spirit. I can't claim to have ever heard from him in a mediumistic sense.

    Now, one can argue that personal psychology--an aspect of consciousness--is as yet unexplained by contemporary science, but we all know that the brain generates consciousness model roots that in an acceptable materialistic paradigm. I don't think the continuing bonds theory is in any way a concession to the possibility of life after death: retreat from materialism doesn't even come into it.
     
  5. Alex

    Alex New

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    thx for this... and while I agree that alone does not represent an about-face re materialism, it is quite a shift.
     
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  6. Alex

    Alex New

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    thx for adding this def.
     
  7. Alex

    Alex New

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    IDK: http://www.awesomescreenshot.com/image/596179/22a8834d182bf1ee6e9c059c1dce4db0
    http://www.amazon.com/Continuing-Bonds-Understandings-Education-Health/dp/1560323396
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2015
  8. lighter_than_air

    lighter_than_air New

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  9. Alex

    Alex New

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  10. Psiclops

    Psiclops Member

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    I note that I have to buy that paper which I would be happy to do if I could be certain I could understand it!
    But as a lay person I find it hard to analyse P values etc and to be convinced how 'statistically significant' they are.
    I would have liked to have heard in Alex's interview, Julie's interpretation of this or that being 'one in a thousand' or whatever beyond chance. Or surely somebody can write a non-specialised report on this study for lay folk?
    I would also have liked to have heard some examples from the study of 'dazzle shots' of the mediums - "Jimmy died on a ski slope and he had a cat called Toby"...if there were any cases like this which always seem satisfyingly persuasive.

    As to the 'continuing bonds' statements, it's pretty obvious that grief will be relieved or shortened with evidence of survival but it must be pointed out that this would also happen to some extent with non-evidence based superstition or dogma based religious teachings.
    For instance, you could relieve the trauma of an attack victim if you could persuade him, that it hadn't really happened....a lie to aid recovery.
    Which is probably exactly what the sceptics will think about talk 'therapy' of life after death - a fairy tale to make the grief stricken feel better.

    I was fascinated by the findings about the health issues of mediums - suggesting their unique abilities may be related to abuse trauma in their lives...and that mediumship, for all its advantages, is some kind of disability not unlike autistic children or savants who have outstanding psychic abilities.

    Edit...perhaps 'disability' is the wrong word but maybe the early trauma removes a filter blocking higher consciousness and savants are born with this filter removed?
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2015
  11. fls

    fls Member

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  12. Psiclops

    Psiclops Member

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  13. Vault313

    Vault313 New

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    I was too. My aunt is a practicing medium. She started out with Reiki and moved on from there. She has suffered migraines most of her life and was just diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis (an auto-immune disease). My cousin (her daughter) grew up seeing "entities" and also suffers from migraines. My mom also is a sort of medium, but doesn't practice professionally, and same thing, migraines. Me? No psychic ability and no migraines. Go figure....
     
  14. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    I think it is interesting that medium communication - an area that I would have not have expected to be easily testable - seems to be producing interesting results - even to the extent that it is possible to explore related issues, such as the relationship between certain health issues and these abilities.

    Once again, I seem to be at the other extreme, but fit the pattern - fingers crossed, my health has always been very good, except for one serious illness as a child. I was not ill-treated as a kid, and I don't seem to have any psychic abilities.

    I wonder if there might be another, simpler way to explore this phenomenon. Suppose someone with an interest in this area, who knew they were close to death, created an account somewhere on the internet. If the medium could recover the password, that would be powerful evidence for the validity of this process even without all the blinding (which may make it less easy for the medium to work. Done several times, it would be an amazing result.

    David
     
  15. Larry

    Larry Member

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    It would be worth a try but I've often heard that communication from the "other world" if you will, is made through images and metaphors powered by strong emotions and doesn't communicate left brain linear data very well
     
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  16. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    Right - but the password might be chosen with that in mind - a favourite place, or whatever.

    David
     
  17. Skepter

    Skepter New

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    I really enjoy listening to Skeptiko interviews with Dr. Julie Beischel, and the latest Skeptiko offering was no exception.

    Though I don't have a lot to offer in critical thought right now, I'll add a few anecdotal observations. My wife recently lost her father (just outside of a year) and though she has handled it reasonably well, her sister has been having quite a difficult time with it. There have been several potential ADC's between the two of them and their father (mostly with my wife's sister, but a single and most interesting and significant event was experienced by my wife).

    Notably no ADC's between their mom and dad have been present that I am aware of and the absence has caused some concern with the mom (a very close wife with the dad, they were best friends and married a very long time). The mom would have been the first one in line to communicate with him, if she could choose to do so in a materialistic, mechanistic way. She is very much a product of 1950's America however - heavily religious, conservative and rigid with little time for any non specific, rule-based speak, if you will. This, combined with a deep scar from her childhood where she lost her mom prematurely at a young age. Notably, grief counseling has apparently helped the mom significantly (at times) during this transition where it has not helped my wife's sister much, if at all.

    This also dovetails into the previous episode with talk of "thick and thin" veils of emotional connectivity to some potential types of psychic phenomena. There is a lot in these two episodes that are applicable to this situation.

    The last two episodes have been quite interesting to me in many ways. Thank you Alex for continuing your "personal journey" in this most complex discovery that begs to ask as many, if not more questions, than it apparently answers. It is an extremely interesting and important process none the less, a viscerally important one for me to engage in too. People like me are often silent observers and participants in this most interesting thought exercise of yours, with little fanfare to offer except a silent thanks. Many of us are deeply appreciative of your effort to include us in the experience, however long it lasts.
     
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  18. Judith

    Judith New

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    This doesn't relate to the topic, but came across this video regarding the nature of consciousness....would be good to interview this guy, since he specializes in OBE's...and since I've had a few, I like to learn more about what others have discovered.

     
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  19. Chronicler

    Chronicler New

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    Hello,

    I have been listening to these podcasts on and off for many years now and I find these shows around people's research one of the more interesting subjects.

    There are a few comments at the end of this show where some of the methodology is questioned by a few people. Is there any way that Dr. Julie Beischel can be given a fair chance to respond to these observations?

    I admit that I am just a layman and do not understand fully the reservations the commentators have and if their skepticism of the subject has bias too.

    Alex or anyone can you other some thoughts?

    Many thanks for the great content!
     
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  20. David Eire

    David Eire New

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    This is a great interview Alex. I really like Julie. Her enthusiasm is palpable.

    One issue I have with your take on science Alex (and this is something I have mentioned before in other contexts) is this:

    It seems to me you conflate science per se, which is a methodology, with present-day scientific ideology or dogma.
    They are not the same thing; and conflating them does a profound disservice to science itself.

    I have argued on other threads that science properly understood is not a philosophy or an ideology or a dogma; science is a methodology and a tool which may be applied to anything whatsoever. There are many things which are not accessible to our normal senses which science has already given us access to; for instance radio waves, or electrons etc. There is no reason science cannot eventually penetrate the other realms. All that is preventing this work is ideology and dogma. There is no reason that the scientific method may not be successfully applied to near death experience and other paranormal phenomena.
     
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