What Happened at the 2017 IONS Conference |361|

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  1. Alex

    Alex New

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    What Happened at the 2017 IONS Conference |361|
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    Johnny Verive reports on the 2017 IONS conference. [​IMG]
    photo by: Skeptiko
    …And that is why the Institute of Noetic Sciences is so focused on bringing together science, observations, hypothesis, measurements…

    I have a lot of respect for the Institute of Noetic Sciences. That’s Cassandra Vieten, the current president of IONS, talking at their annual conference. You’ll hear a lot more about the conference coming up on Skeptiko.

    …All of them have something to do with consciousness…

    That’s Dr. Dean Radin, chief scientist at IONS. I’ve run across his work many times over the years, it’s always been rock solid. He’s someone who’s kept the consciousness research lamp lit for a long time. I trust Radin, therefore I trust IONS.

    …And we were orientated such that we were rotating to keep thermal balance on the spacecraft…

    That’s Apollo 14 astronaut Dr. Edgar Mitchell, talking about his full on spiritually transformative experience in space that led him to found IONS.

    …It was of this real knowing, accompanied by an ecstasy…

    …If you’re going to press me on this, I’m not going to talk to you anymore because I won’t pursue this…

    Here’s Dr. Edgar Mitchell again. This time he’s in the process of literally kicking the ass of a skeptic who happens to be this Christian guy who’s gone around and asked all these astronauts to swear on the Bible that they really walked on the moon.

    So, if you watch the video, and I’ll link it up…

    …Put your left hand on the Bible, raise your right hand and say, “I, Edgar Mitchell…”

    He literally, at some point, kicks this guy in the ass and puts him out of his house and the guy is clearly a wingnut. But at the same time…

    …and eternal damnation…

    That I walked on the moon on the moon on Apollo 14.

    That I walked on the moon on Apollo 14.

    Well you know, you’re the first astronaut to do that.

    We did kind of want to know if he would swear on that Bible and we sure as heck know that there’s a lot more to Apollo than anyone tells us.

    You’ve been so vocal about UFOs in…

    Anyone that is except Dr. Edgar Mitchell.

    Why is it so important to you?

    Well, it’s important because it’s real and since I happen to be one of the earliest of our particular civilization to go to another planet, I naturally have interest in space travel.

    So anything you haven’t told people about your inner-beliefs about UFOs?

    My deeper belief is starting to emerge, the evidence that they’ve been coming here for a long, long time and have been influential in the evolution of our civilization.

    But you know what, that’s not really relevant to this show, unless it is, but you’re going to have to help me figure that out after the show is over. For now, let’s just hear about what went on at the 2017 IONS conference in Oakland.
     
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  2. "What do you think of IONS what do you think of its stature in the conscious research community and its overall trustworthiness?"

    I think it is better to evaluate each researcher and each research project on their own merits and not make assumptions based on affiliations.

    Many parapsychologists try to explain psi as an extension of physics, for example via quantum entanglement. My opinion is that psi is a phenomena deriving from consciousness and consciousness is non-physical and not even analogies to physical phenomena will help in understanding it.

    Perceptual bias is a problem for all scientists including parapsychologists who do not wish to "see" evidence for disembodied consciousness.

    http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2014/04/perceptual-bias-in-parapsychology.html
    In this excerpt from The Conscious Universe, Dean Radin discusses this phenomenon:

    All this leads us to predict that a person's level of commitment to the current scientific worldview will determine his or her beliefs about psi. Because perception is linked so closely to one's adopted view of reality, people who do not wish to "see" psi will in fact not see it. Nor will they view any evidence for psi, scientific or otherwise, as valid. This effect should be strongest in people who are committed to a particular view, motivated to maintain it, and clever enough to create good rationalizations for ignoring conflicting evidence.

    ...

    [T]he expectations of the scientific elite actually put them more at risk for being swayed by perceptual biases than the general public. After all, the scientific elite have lifelong careers and their credibility is on the line. They are strongly motivated to maintain certain belief systems. By contrast, most members of the general public do not know or care about the expectations of science. So if Joe Sixpack and Dr. Scientist both witness a remarkable feat of clairvoyance, we can predict that later, when we ask Joe what he saw, he will describe the incident in matter-of-fact terms. In contrast when we ask Dr. Scientist what he saw he may become angry or confused, or deny having seen anything unusual at all.​

    http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2014/04/near-death-experiences-and-afterlife.html#facts_alternative
    Dr. Alvarado said:

    For many workers in the field, survival research is not a main interest. To some extent this is academics as usual. People specialize in some areas and develop interests due to personality traits, life experiences, training, and employment opportunities, and parapsychology is no exception. Then there are concerns such as getting tenure and the belief that the area has many methodological difficulties. However, I believe that in some cases there is more than this. In some circles it is more “respectable” to conduct ESP experiments than working with survival-related phenomena such as apparitions or mediumship. I still remember how the director of a parapsychology unit within an university, wanting to keep a conservative image, discouraged students from pursuing topics such as apparitions for dissertation research.​
    Because of this prejudice, one may be justifiably suspicious of the views of those parapsychologists who may deny the genuineness of afterlife phenomena and claim they may be caused by ESP.​

    "ESP is not produced by the brain."
    http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2014/04/near-death-experiences-and-afterlife.html#facts_esp

    "Super-psi does not Explain the Evidence for the Afterlife"
    http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2009/06/survival-and-super-psi.html
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2017
  3. K9!

    K9! New

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    It's nice to hear that IONS has managed to find that balance between experiencers and scientists in their conference. It's quite a contrast to groups like IANDS (International Association for Near-Death Studies) which has pushed the science needed for the organization to have credibility - but that doesn't bring in the audience that supports the organization financially - to an essentially separate conference (for academics only) away from the "real" IANDS conference where people go to hear NDE stories. MUFON is another example of a organization that abandoned it's scientific roots to follow the money (and a lot of silliness). And there are lots of new organizations popping up all over the place to showcase things like afterlife research, some of which is good and some of which is very shoddy. For instance, There is the upcoming Afterlife Research and Education Symposium which showcases at least one very dubious researcher along with a number of mediums who have been scientifically "validated" by what turns out to be sloppy science.

    I think the reason that IONS has managed to find the balance is due to the strength of it's scientists. Dean Radin is not only a careful researcher, but he is also an entertaining speaker. I don't think IONS would be where it is without Dr Radin. I hope the next generation of scientists will be able to keep up such standards.

    I agree with Jim in that you really have to judge each study on it's own merits rather than lump all IONS studies together as "good" or "bad". I would say that IONS as an organization has managed to achieve a level of credibility that is unusual in organizations that look at consciousness studies.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2017
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  4. When I took classes in mediumship, we didn't learn formulas or use claculators. We did meditation. And this is what I think parapsychology is missing. They are trying to understand consciousness from the outside looking in. But parapsychologists are conscious. If you want to understand consciousness you can do it best from the inside.

    They are not using all of the available circuits in their brains.
    https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/252241.php
    "Scientists have discovered that the brain circuits we engage when we think about social matters, such as considering other people's views, or moral issues, inhibit the circuits that we use when we think about inanimate, analytical things, such as working on a physics problem or making sure the numbers add up when we balance our budget. And they say, the same happens the other way around: the analytic brain network inhibits the social network."​
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2017
  5. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    Well yes, but if you went for fitness training (say), you wouldn't learn in terms of formulae, but scientists might introduce formulae - at least statistics - to stufy the subject.

    Ideally, I would say that scientists should use all their faculties to intuit what to study, and then use their analytic faculties to devise a valid testing procedure - which is what someone like Dean Radin seems to do.

    David
     
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  6. The more they experience psi, the more they understand about practical methods of its development and use, the better they will be able to study it scientifically.
     
  7. One way to measure the success of a scientific program is by its practical applications. Fitness science has had many practical applications. Parapsychology has not. My point is that the reason they have not been successful is because they are doing it wrong. They are still on the fringe of science after many many years. This is because they are not studying the right things in the right way. The one exception is the remote viewing research program at SRI, which is the exception that proves the rule: It involved a psychic, Ingo Swann, and it was based on practical uses not reductionist analysis.

    If the scientists had not changed course from psychical research to parapsychology, with modern technology, they would not still be trying to convince pseudo-skeptics. Practical use of psi would have become mainstream and the public benefit would be immense.
     
  8. Targ, Puthoff, Tart, and Radin, could have accomplished more spending a few hours a week in a properly conducted a trance or physical mediumship development circle than they have accomplished through full time careers in parapsychology.
     
  9. LetsEat

    LetsEat Member

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    Do you have any suggestions?
     
  10. K9!

    K9! New

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    I'm not sure that's really true. Targ worked closely (I believe they were married for a time as well) with Jane Katra, who happens to be not only a credentialed academic but also a medium. Clearly she didn't feel that being a medium gave her all the answers because she wanted to pursue studies with him. I believe Targ meditates, and he also did remote viewing himself (as opposed to Puthoff, who wanted to remain an objective non-participant in the work).

    Radin meditates and he's reported first hand psi experiences.



    Clearly, being an experiencer does not give you all the answers, because there are many scientists who have had psi experiences. The majority try to carry on as if nothing ever happened. But a few individuals, such as Radin, seem to be able to let those experiences inform the work that they do. I think work that has been shaped by these experiences is important.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2017
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  11. Baccarat

    Baccarat New

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    PSI is real, TK is real, Pre-cog is real. How many more times do I have to say it. Grab a journal and right down your dreams
     
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  12. I think the main reason the results of parapsychology are not accepted throughout society is because of atheism. Atheists are resistant to any data that could be construed as evidence of a soul (spirit), the afterlife, prophesy (precognition) or any type of miracle (pk or telepathy) because that would be seen to support religion and belief in God. The existence of many scientific controversies in the history of science shows us that what is the best explanation for any data is always going to be an opinion. Atheists will be unlikely to be convinced by parapsychological results because there are many ways to discount them such as incompetence, fraud, "unknown error", or the need for "extraordinary proof". And laboratory experiments occur out of the public eye so as far as the general public is concerned, it is one scientists word against another's.

    What could have a greater impact on the general public is practical applications. When a technology is in daily use you can't deny it exists. I think we saw this with the TV mediums. They had a large impact on the public. But it is still less convincing to watch a demonstration than it is to experience it yourself. So I think we are going to have to wait for one or more applications of psi that influence the daily life of most people.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2017
  13. Alex

    Alex New

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    agreed. different set of goals when bringing this into the lab. I mean, we can throw up our hands and say we'll never understand the greater reality from our lesser reality, but where does that get us. at the same time, I sometimes worry that psi researchers error on the other side :)
     
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  14. Alex

    Alex New

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    what did y'all think about this:
    9 out of 10 veterans, in our randomized controlled trials, would cover from PTSD, those symptoms of flashbacks and nightmares, intrusive thoughts, those symptoms…

    Alex Tsakiris: Okay, now again, I might not have set that up quite enough for people. The name of the technique that he uses is Emotional Freedom Technique. I mean, does that sound new-agey or what? It sounds totally new-agey and then if you really break it down...
     
  15. K9!

    K9! New

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    It's basically a form of acupressure, isn't it? They just gave it a very new-agey name.

     
  16. Alex

    Alex New

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    the published results are extraordinary. acupuncture has never delivered clinical results like this.
     
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  17. Baccarat

    Baccarat New

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    Ahhhhh Atheism......aka nilihism wrapped in pseudo cognitive biased word salad. I remember those days......long gone
     
  18. LetsEat

    LetsEat Member

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    This is definitely pretty incredible, I remember hearing about this about a year ago and briefly trying it but my disbelief was enough to self sabotage (didn't read how to actually do it, just tapped randomly on my face to alleviate a headache).

    Just a week or so ago I remembered it and thought to myself while walking a dog 'what a ridiculous system, how could it possibly work?' and shaking my head knowingly.

    I'll have to dive more into it now that you've mentioned it, I think starting with their website and then grabbing that 80 page manual is a good start.
     
  19. Alex

    Alex New

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    I tried some half-hearted tapping as well :)
     
  20. Ginko

    Ginko New

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    Forgive me but Changing the subject here: Edgar Mitchell is a complete fraud and that "Christian guy" has much bigger testicles than Mitchell or anyone at IONS. I too respect Radin but lets just admit that with 2 minutes of actual scientific logical thinking it becomes obvious that it is and remains impossible to go to the moon. In fact it was the moon landings themselves that enshrined "Science" as the all powerful and best method of approaching life. Despite the fact that science can tell us next to nothing about art, love, ethics, justice, morality, aesthetics, raising a child, governance. If fact ALL of the most important aspects of life, besides physical health and comfort, science is almost useless.

    The scientific method has severe limits in helping is understand anything non-physical. But we can use it to critique science itself and what passes for it's understanding of Physics, concrete reality. The temperature on the moon is 250 degrees fahrenheit in the sun and 250 degrees negative fahrenheit in the shade. (Or close to that). They had a magic battery powered backpack that could cool and heat them simultaneously? Where is that technology today?

    Why didn't Mitchell mention the stars while in outer space? They must have been incredible!!

    Why haven't we gone back? The list goes on and on. Severe radiation exposure outside the ionosphere. The ridiculous maneuvers of the LEM that had the computer power of a watch. 9 years from conception thru design to fabrication and testing to the glorious completion of a 6 moon landings!! (1961-1969). ALL of the engineering drawings for the Saturn 5 and the command module and LEM are lost as are most of the moon rocks (many of them shown to be fake) and all of the original videos!! The program was run by a Nazi former SS officer and a Crowleyite OTO lodge head explosives expert. Guys they never went and it wasn't aliens that scared them off. It was fraud pure and simple. And fraud in science and in the spiritual "world" is constant and rife and we need to be on guard against it whether is is christian TV evangelists or contemporary New Age Blavatsky Theosophical types or guys with 3 Ph.D's and a white lab coat on. Alex you have had more than a one or two frauds on your show. We all get fooled from time to time.

    For more on why the moon landing was scientifically impossible go here: Wagging The Moondoggie http://centerforaninformedamerica.com/moondoggie/

    "It is easier to fool someone than to convince them that they have been fooled" Mark Twain

    Peace
     
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