PDA

View Full Version : Howdy!



Gnomistic
2006-Sep-10, 03:58 AM
Tell me... how is it that a mature (even retired) professional in the midst of a second career teaching undergraduates can come to a new forum and feel like an absolute idiot with nothing to say? I got here because a friend on another forum pointed to the very cogent analysis of the Hoax Theory (!) of the Lunar Landing on the BA site. Then I wandered around and got lost and here I am.

I teach social sciences to undergraduates and do a lot of teaching and skills workshops for junior (and other) faculty.

I read widely in archeology, paleontology and cosmology, and I am drawn to planetary astronomy by the sheer beauty of the NASA imagery. I have a real interest in one area of the 'margin' of science: the debate between the skeptics and the "believers" and the "curious scientists" over psi or psychic phenomena.... Not the corner psychic reader, but the work of Charles Honorton, and the work reported by Bem and Honorton in PsyBul a decade ago. The debate interests me because of the psychology illuminated by each side of the issue...

I know not what else to say... ask if you want.

hhEb09'1
2006-Sep-10, 04:04 AM
Not the corner psychic reader, but the work of Charles Honorton, and the work reported by Bem and Honorton in PsyBul a decade ago. Welcome to BAUT.

I wasn't familiar with the work, but "Honorton" is easy to google. There is a Honorton wiki page (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Honorton), but it says he died in 1992, quite a bit more than a decade ago, after he went to England to pursue a Phd. When was the PsyBul work published?

Gnomistic
2006-Sep-10, 04:29 AM
Here is the citation:

Daryl J. Bem and Charles Honorton
Does Psi Exist? Replicable Evidence for an Anomalous Process of Information Transfer
Psychological Bulletin
1994, Vol. 115, No. 1, 4-18.

12 years ago.

01101001
2006-Sep-10, 05:40 AM
Here is the citation:

Daryl J. Bem and Charles Honorton
Does Psi Exist? Replicable Evidence for an Anomalous Process of Information Transfer
Psychological Bulletin
1994, Vol. 115, No. 1, 4-18.

12 years ago.

Haven't read it, but in the process of preparing, ran into this:

Does Psi Exist? Lack of Replication of an Anomalous Process of Information Transfer (http://homepage.psy.utexas.edu/homepage/Class/Psy391P/Does%20Psi%20Exist%EF%80%A51999.pdf)

One of the authors is Richard Wiseman. Richard Wiseman is the evil twin of the Bad Astonomer Phil Plait (http://www.badastronomy.com/bablog/2006/02/02/tam-4-report-4/) (and synchronicity notwithstanding, the BA mentioned him again (http://www.badastronomy.com/bablog/2006/09/05/my-evil-twin-wants-to-kill-you/) in the BA Blog, just days ago). From this tenuous but powerful connection alone, I suspect Honorton is in very big trouble -- beside being deceased, he must also be very, very wrong.

My research is complete -- except for the hard part.

Maksutov
2006-Sep-10, 08:09 AM
Haven't read it, but in the process of preparing, ran into this:

Does Psi Exist? Lack of Replication of an Anomalous Process of Information Transfer (http://homepage.psy.utexas.edu/homepage/Class/Psy391P/Does%20Psi%20Exist%EF%80%A51999.pdf)

One of the authors is Richard Wiseman. Richard Wiseman is the evil twin of the Bad Astonomer Phil Plait (http://www.badastronomy.com/bablog/2006/02/02/tam-4-report-4/) (and synchronicity notwithstanding, the BA mentioned him again (http://www.badastronomy.com/bablog/2006/09/05/my-evil-twin-wants-to-kill-you/) in the BA Blog, just days ago)...Good to know, 01101001, that you're among the very Jung at heart.

Welcome to the BAUT BB, Gnomistic!

Have fun!

http://www.planetsmilies.com/smilies/innocent/innocent0005.gif

mugaliens
2006-Sep-10, 10:07 AM
I believe that it's possible, but I also believe that it's existence has yet to be proven according to scientific requirements, statistics, etc.

Gnomistic
2006-Sep-10, 03:18 PM
The debate interests me because of the psychology illuminated by each side of the issue...

I am not sure Chuck Honorton is in trouble, being dead and all... but I thank you all for your greetings. The issue of "anomalous transfer of information" fascinates me for one particular reason: Those who "believe" that it may well be true and worth research tend to be 'hard' scientists, physicists, chemists and such ... Surveys show 70 - 80 % indicate the "possibility"... as opposed to psychologists and related social scientists... where the skeptics hold the same proportionate majority.

Some of the pro-psi commentators suggest that this is due to the training in tolerating uncertainty (quantum mechanics rarely drop tools into a finite space like an engine compartment) that modern physics demands.

The skeptics, on the other hand, continue to challenge the research design of psi studies, suggesting that physical scientists are poorly prepared to deal with the vaguries of research on humans.... "their being so complicated and all" <removes tongue from cheek>.

Given the weak but positive evidence in favor of the existence of psi, and given the dramatic improvements in the design and execution of the studies, it is relatively easy to defend the position that "there may be something worth investigation." On the other side, it is becoming increasingly difficult to refrain from weaker arguments, such as "even if something might be there, it is so weak that it is useless".

I call it the "Psi-Wars," and I use the argumentation on both sides in my Critical Thinking course in the little college where I teach. I love ambiguous evidence... It makes us think. There is nothing more difficult to do right, and nothing more fun.

Swift
2006-Sep-10, 10:14 PM
By the way Gnomistic, I like your signature. You'll never guess where my nom-de-net comes from? ;)

HenrikOlsen
2006-Sep-13, 11:04 PM
I am not sure Chuck Honorton is in trouble, being dead and all... but I thank you all for your greetings. The issue of "anomalous transfer of information" fascinates me for one particular reason: Those who "believe" that it may well be true and worth research tend to be 'hard' scientists, physicists, chemists and such ... Surveys show 70 - 80 % indicate the "possibility"... as opposed to psychologists and related social scientists... where the skeptics hold the same proportionate majority.

Some of the pro-psi commentators suggest that this is due to the training in tolerating uncertainty (quantum mechanics rarely drop tools into a finite space like an engine compartment) that modern physics demands.

James Randi has a different explanation, phycisists and other "hard" scientists are easiest to fool using stage magicians tricks, because in their regular line of work they don't expect people to lie, whereas psychologists and social sciences expect people to be liars axiomatically and spend a lot of their efforts actively compensating for that in their research.