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Which theory may explain paranormal phenomena?

 
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ForestsOffline
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PostPosted: 08-02-2012 23:16    Post subject: Which theory may explain paranormal phenomena? Reply with quote

To those who are open to PSI existing. Which theory do you believe may explain PSI (paranormal phenomena) such as telepathy, clairvoyance, psychokinesis, near-death experiences or apparitions etc?

John Beloff a well known parapsychologist concluded that PSI occurs becuase of dualism ie the mind and brain are separate. Amit Goswami however in his book “The Self-Aware Universe”, lists some studies on quantum physics that may lead to an explanation of psi that agrees with the theory of a nonphysical and conceptual world. He explains that in quantum physics, objects are not seen as definite things. Instead, objects are possibilities, viewed as something called “possibility waves”. Of course his interpretation due to his research in quantum physics has lead him to formulate idealistic monism, that only consciousness exists in the universe and everything is part of it, he argues against dualism and materialism.

Others however have disagreed and put forward physical and materialistic theories to try and explain PSI.

Michael Persinger claims that much of paranormal phenomena can be explained by low frequency (ELF) electromagnetic waves.

Brian Josephson has claimed that the explanation of PSI may be found in quantum physics. Gerald Feinberg's concept of a tachyon, a theoretical particle that travels faster than the speed of light has been advocated by some parapsychologists who claim that it could explain some PSI phenomena.

Charles Tart however believes PSI is completey non-physical and does not operate to material laws.

There are many theories which try and explain PSI. Which one do you advocate and why? If any?
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StormkhanOffline
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PostPosted: 09-02-2012 15:46    Post subject: Reply with quote

The problem is the assumption there is some form of "unified theory" concerning such a vast selection of differing phenomena. Even ghosts come in such varying manifestations that finding a "one explanation fits all" theory is going to come unstuck.
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ramonmercadoOffline
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PostPosted: 15-03-2012 17:28    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hope this fits in here. It suggests there is no theory. But, absence of evidence isn't necessarily evidence of absence. Can't find the study its responding to. But if its on the FTMB maybe it could be moved to there.


Quote:
Believing the Impossible: No Evidence for Existence of Psychic Ability Found
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120315094737.htm

A new study fails to find evidence for the existence of psychic ability, contradicting an earlier controversial study that claimed to demonstrate precognition. (Credit: © timur1970 / Fotolia)

ScienceDaily (Mar. 15, 2012) — Research failing to find evidence for the existence of psychic ability has been published, following a year of industry debate. The report is a response by a group of independent researchers to the 2011 study from social psychologist Daryl Bem, purporting the existence of precognition -- an ability to perceive future events.

Professor Chris French (Goldsmiths, University of London), Stuart Ritchie (University of Edinburgh) and Professor Richard Wiseman (University of Hertfordshire) collaborated to accurately replicate Bem's final experiment, and found no evidence for precognition. Their negative results have now been published by open access journal PLoS ONE.

Their report was rejected by the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (JPSP), which originally published Bem's findings along with his appeal to independent researchers to attempt replications.

"Our submission was rejected without being sent for peer review on the basis that the journal has a policy of not publishing replications," said Professor Chris French. "Our paper has opened up the debate on the proper place of replication in the scientific literature."

In Bem's experiment, after completing a memory test on a list of words, participants were then shown a random selection of half the words from the original list. Results showed that participants were better at remembering the words they were about to be shown, indicating they had reached forward in time to 'practice' those words in the future.

Within parapsychology, there is a tendency to accept any positive replications but to dismiss failures to replicate if the procedures followed have not been exactly duplicated.

"We went to great pains to ensure we followed the same procedures as Bem," said Stuart Ritchie. "Using Bem's own computer programme and stats methods, we replicated his experiment three times, at each of our respective campuses, with the same number of participants as the original study."

"By having our paper published, we hope academic journals and popular media alike will offer the same weight to negative results as given to eye-catching positive results," said Professor Richard Wiseman.

Story Source:

The above story is reprinted from materials provided by University of Hertfordshire, via AlphaGalileo.

Note: Materials may be edited for content and length. For further information, please contact the source cited above.

Journal Reference:

Stuart J. Ritchie, Richard Wiseman, Christopher C. French. Failing the Future: Three Unsuccessful Attempts to Replicate Bem's ‘Retroactive Facilitation of Recall’ Effect. PLoS ONE, 2012; 7 (3): e33423 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0033423
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titchOffline
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PostPosted: 15-03-2012 18:10    Post subject: Reply with quote

From hilary Evans "seeing ghosts" One incontrovertible feature of the ghost experience is that frequently the percipient obtains information of which no one living is aware. This information, whether it is a visual detail or a spoken instruction, can only be obtained in one of only two ways: either by extra sensory (psi) perception or by direct communication.(this communication, of course may also involve psi)....However, he goes on to emphasize that while this may go part of the way towards an explanation, in that telepathy or something like it is almost certainly involved, the psi only hypothesis is inadequate as the total explanation that the SPR-group hoped it would be,even if it is accepted, as they sometimes had to reluctantly had to accept-that sometimes it may be necessary to extrapolate from telepathy from the living to telepathy from the dead.

Or in my own words, sometimes we don't need fancy theory's it may just be dead people. Very Happy
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ramonmercadoOffline
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PostPosted: 15-03-2012 18:22    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Or in my own words, sometimes we don't need fancy theory's it may just be dead people.


Excellent!
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titchOffline
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PostPosted: 19-03-2012 17:58    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had another quote from the same book, in which Evans says the pursuit of psi has got in the way of understanding ghosts, but this afternoon in a fit of madness i loaned my copy of "seeing ghosts" to a college tutor, and the course ends in 3 weeks.....FFS! I AM OLD ENOUGH TO KNOW NEVER EVER EVER LOAN BOOKS!!
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dreenessOffline
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PostPosted: 20-03-2012 12:20    Post subject: Reply with quote

What Richard Wiseman said:

Quote:
"By having our paper published, we hope academic journals and popular media alike will offer the same weight to negative results as given to eye-catching positive results," said Professor Richard Wiseman.





What Richard Wiseman didn't say:

Quote:
From Bem's response:

'By the deadline, six studies attempting to replicate the Retroactive Recall effect had been completed, including the three failed replications reported by Ritchie et al. and two other replications, both of which successfully reproduced my original findings at statistically significant levels. (One of them was conducted in Italy using Italian words as stimuli.) Even though both successful studies were pre-registered on Wiseman’s registry and their results presumably known to Ritchie et al., they fail to mention them in this article. I consider this an important omission. (I also note that Ritchie et al., describe their replication attempt as three independent studies, but the total number of sessions they ran was the same as 'the number I ran in my own original experiment and its successful replication.)

So there seems to be a suppression of results that don't agree with a preconditioned mind set and an eye on an 'it's all rubbish' headline. How remarkable....


(From "Guardian" comments)

link




... A very long time ago, when I was just a young embryonic Dreeness, I asked an elderly professor why it was that tabloids printed huge sensationalistic headlines. And the old professor explained to me, in a weary voice: "Headlines go on the front page, in letters two inches tall. Retractions go in a little box, on page 37. And for every person who actually reads the retractions, there will be ten thousand who will only ever remember the headlines."


Last edited by dreeness on 20-03-2012 12:33; edited 1 time in total
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ramonmercadoOffline
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PostPosted: 20-03-2012 12:27    Post subject: Reply with quote

And heres the link to Bem's response.

http://www.plosone.org/annotation/listThread.action?inReplyTo=info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fannotation%2F02eae6d6-af7f-41d8-b2b3-b6d32fdce7a6&root=info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fannotation%2F02eae6d6-af7f-41d8-b2b3-b6d32fdce7a6
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jkarlsonOffline
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PostPosted: 22-06-2012 16:34    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stormkhan wrote:
The problem is the assumption there is some form of "unified theory" concerning such a vast selection of differing phenomena. Even ghosts come in such varying manifestations that finding a "one explanation fits all" theory is going to come unstuck.


That made me think of one such "one explanation fits all" explanation I read in this book:
http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/126971
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