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BS: Explaining the Unexplained

GUEST,visitor 06 Sep 00 - 12:53 AM
Helen 04 Sep 00 - 05:56 PM
Helen 04 Sep 00 - 05:53 PM
Metchosin 03 Sep 00 - 06:50 PM
Helen 03 Sep 00 - 06:23 PM
Ebbie 03 Sep 00 - 05:28 PM
hesperis 03 Sep 00 - 03:36 PM
Sourdough 03 Sep 00 - 02:29 PM
Alice 03 Sep 00 - 01:39 PM
Sourdough 03 Sep 00 - 01:06 PM
Alice 03 Sep 00 - 11:15 AM
hesperis 03 Sep 00 - 03:33 AM
Sourdough 03 Sep 00 - 03:22 AM
hesperis 03 Sep 00 - 03:21 AM
Escamillo 03 Sep 00 - 02:40 AM
hesperis 03 Sep 00 - 02:03 AM
katlaughing 03 Sep 00 - 12:50 AM
Metchosin 02 Sep 00 - 11:26 PM
Escamillo 02 Sep 00 - 10:44 PM
Little Hawk 02 Sep 00 - 10:09 PM
katlaughing 02 Sep 00 - 09:59 PM
little john cameron 02 Sep 00 - 08:20 PM
little john cameron 02 Sep 00 - 08:07 PM
Helen 02 Sep 00 - 07:33 PM
Wolfgang 01 Sep 00 - 08:16 AM
katlaughing 01 Sep 00 - 12:54 AM
Little Hawk 31 Aug 00 - 10:31 PM
The Beanster 31 Aug 00 - 09:31 PM
Wolfgang 31 Aug 00 - 11:59 AM
CarolC 31 Aug 00 - 07:22 AM
kendall 31 Aug 00 - 05:50 AM
Helen 30 Aug 00 - 10:51 PM
katlaughing 30 Aug 00 - 10:41 PM
Sourdough 30 Aug 00 - 09:39 PM
The Beanster 30 Aug 00 - 09:06 PM
Little Hawk 30 Aug 00 - 05:37 PM
CarolC 30 Aug 00 - 04:02 PM
Wolfgang 30 Aug 00 - 06:21 AM
CarolC 29 Aug 00 - 07:36 PM
sophocleese 29 Aug 00 - 10:50 AM
Wolfgang 29 Aug 00 - 10:00 AM
JamesJim 29 Aug 00 - 01:20 AM
catspaw49 28 Aug 00 - 03:13 PM
Little Hawk 28 Aug 00 - 02:56 PM
GUEST,Crazy Eddie 28 Aug 00 - 09:07 AM
Troll 28 Aug 00 - 07:23 AM
robroy 28 Aug 00 - 05:18 AM
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Subject: RE: BS: Explaining the Unexplained
From: GUEST,visitor
Date: 06 Sep 00 - 12:53 AM

Very interesting, to say the least.


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Subject: RE: BS: Explaining the Unexplained
From: Helen
Date: 04 Sep 00 - 05:56 PM

Darnit, blicky didn't work:


part two of this thread

Please post to the other thread

http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=25033&messages=10

Helen


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Subject: RE: BS: Explaining the Unexplained
From: Helen
Date: 04 Sep 00 - 05:53 PM

Here is
part two of this thread, kindly started by katlaughing.

Please post to the other thread

http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=25033&messages=10

Helen


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Subject: RE: BS: Explaining the Unexplained
From: Metchosin
Date: 03 Sep 00 - 06:50 PM

A few nights before Mt. St. Helen's blew its stack, I had a particularly upsetting nightmare, where I was at home with my two small children and for some reason or other, was also taking care of a mentally handicapped person as well. All of a sudden there was a great rush of wind and when I looked out the window there was not a tree standing as far as the eye could see. I paniced and woke up when I realized that due to fallen timber, there was no way I could pack up the children and get out of the house, nor could my husband rescue me because of the blocked roads.

A couple of days later, when Mt. St. Helens let go, on the front of the newspaper was a photograph of the scene from my dream of downed forests stretching for miles. I had been expecting the impendig volcano to blow, but in my mind, I pictured lots of lava and smoke, not flattened forests..... Gave me goosebumps for some time......


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Subject: RE: BS: Explaining the Unexplained
From: Helen
Date: 03 Sep 00 - 06:23 PM

I've tried last night and this morning to create a second part of this thread but I get an error message and can't create it. I'll check the Help file and keep trying.

Andr‚s, I can't completely agree about not charging money for some of my abilities, but I have re-worked the process of Tarot readings so that the person is talking through their own life questions rather than relying on me to read the cards for them. I was not comfortable with telling people what I saw in the cards if I am not 100% sure of the accuracy of my readings. The messages I see in the cards are open to interpretation through my insights, so the margin for error is increased there too. By leading the other person through a structured process of reviewing their own lives I can work with their own insights of their lives.

I am confident that this process works well and has good results so I charge for it. I use my intuitive abilities as much as my logical and analytical abilities in this process. If I chose to offer Reiki as a service I would charge for that too, because I have checked it out and I am comfortable that there are benefits, even if only for relaxation and minimising stress, but I think it goes deeper than that too.

Helen


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Subject: RE: BS: Explaining the Unexplained
From: Ebbie
Date: 03 Sep 00 - 05:28 PM

This has been a most interesting thread to me and I would welcome a continuation on a Part Two thread.

As the person who mistakenly- serendipitously?- turned this thread into a, as Escamillo said, serious rather than humorous subject (Hey! I happen to be a very literal person!), I would like to hear more first-person accounts of the unexplained (and not necessarily unexplainable). We all have had them.

The other day I asked my friend with whom I saw the 'cloud name' whether it's possible that she somehow created an image which I then absorbed- a hallucination, as it were. She does NOT think so; she says that she had no such possibility in her mind, that she, no more than I, was not thinking of the sky at all, that she was greatly relieved that I could see it too.

When I came home that day, I used a piece of chalk to draw the letters as I saw them: a huge E, an a, a tucked-in, slightly-tilted r and an l with a flourish back under the name. My friend, when she saw my drawing, said that the 'a' in the name the she saw was more upright than I showed it to be- the a I saw had a slightly long tail, as though it had drifted. So what we saw evidently was not identical.

I don't mind at all if a mudcatter tries to explain away what I saw- in fact, I would welcome it- I would like to have it explained. If you cannot explain it or maybe postulate some atmospheric phenomenon that could have caused it, I am free to agree with Sinsull and others that Earl made a quick detour!

Ebbie


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Subject: RE: BS: Explaining the Unexplained
From: hesperis
Date: 03 Sep 00 - 03:36 PM

LH - the predators exist, and that is why porcupines grow quills. That does not mean that everyone who hurts us does it on purpose...
Are armadillos soft-bellied?
To my knowledge, porcupines can shed their quills, and armadillos don't shed their armour, but I may be wrong on the second count.

Quills can be used to make beautiful hings, and some humans create beauty when they shed their defenses...
In music, art, dance, laughter, and relationships.

Life itself is a miracle.
That it is so common around us is, perhaps, the greatest miracle of all.
Let's hear it for the sense of wonder!

~*sirepseh*~


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Subject: RE: BS: Explaining the Unexplained
From: Sourdough
Date: 03 Sep 00 - 02:29 PM

Alice -

"How We Believe" - That is a very interesting site. Thanks for putting in a "BCT" to take us there. Some of the samples of Shermer's writing are intriguing - the purpose of magical (non-rational) "thinking", his choice of those funny parts of a baroque church's ceilings as a starting point for an explanation of a kind of thought-error, are very clear.

I am curious whether or not Wolfgang is familiar with it. Once again - Thanks

Sourdough


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Subject: RE: BS: Explaining the Unexplained
From: Alice
Date: 03 Sep 00 - 01:39 PM

Sourdough, I think I mentioned this in another thread, not sure if it is in this one, but another good book recently published on this topic is "How We Believe" by Dr. Michael Shermer., a social scientist. His examination of why people make a particular belief choice is really interesting.

To quote from the preface, "Since humans are storytelling animals, a deeper aspect of the God Question involves the origins and purposes of myth and religion in human history and culture, the subject of the seventh, eighth, and ninth chapters. Why is there is an eternal return of certain mythic themes in religion, such as messiah myths, flood myths, creation myths, destruction myths, redemption myths, and end of the world myths? What do these recurring themes tell us about the workings of the human mind and culture? What can we learn from these myths beyond the moral homilies offered in their narratives? What can we glean about ourselves as we gaze into these mythic mirrors of our souls? When we began the Skeptics Society and Skeptic magazine in 1992 we adopted a quote from the seventeenth-century theologian and philosopher Baruch Spinoza: "I have made a ceaseless effort not to ridicule, not to bewail, not to scorn human actions, but to understand them." When it comes to religion it is especially difficult for any of us to apply this principle consistently. But if we do the moral dilemma of how to discuss the God Question without offense may be resolved.

Here is a website where you can read excerpts from the book.How We Belive.com


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Subject: RE: BS: Explaining the Unexplained
From: Sourdough
Date: 03 Sep 00 - 01:06 PM

I second that recommendation of Randi. He is a magician and so is also an entertainer. As a result, his demonstrations of alternate explanations of the paranormal are interesting and fun as well as informative. I don't believe he says that the paranormal does not exist. His point is that so muuch of what people use to prove the paranormal can be explained by other means.

His best known example is Uri Geller who is best remembered for his bending spoons and making making broken clocks run again. What Randi shows in his demonstration is how easily non-professional (non-magician) observors can be fooled and that scientists, who are totally unprepared for sleight of hand are easily hoodwinked. His explanation of broken clocks and watches running again (a natural phenomonon, notslight of hand) all over Great Britain after Geller appeared on television is a good lesson of how there can be other explanations of an unusual event besides fraud or parapsychological power.

I have an acquintance, a physician, who is very intersted in alternative therapies. He was among the first to use acupuncture in his part of California. He also led a group of practicing physicians as they looked at auras, osteopathy, vitamin supplements and other things that thirty years ago were considered "far out". He was ridiculed but he kept pointing out that physicians do not do such a wonderful job of healing that they can afford not to look at alternative methods that claim to be getting results. As you might expect, some things worked, somethings didn't and some they weren't sure of because they needed larger numbers of people to try them on.

He is an example of what I admire in an inquisitive mind. First, he is inquisitive, second he is skeptical. Skepticism is a valuable attribute in a physician. I don't think any of us would like a doctor who tries things out on us or a sick relative because he heard from a verysincere person that a cure such as sleeping on marigold petals will cure leukemia. That's why, when he heard of "psychic surgery" in the Philippines, he went there to look at it. He had heard anecdotal reports of people benefitting greatly from non-invasive surgery at the hands of a group of psychic physicians. These people claimed to be able to remove cancers and other things through reaching into the body (without opening it) and removing the offensive tumor, growth, etc. As a physician, when he attended a a series of such operations, he recognized immediately that the procedure was a hoax but he was struck by how much better the patient claimed to feel and there was evidence that some patients actually seemed to be cured. His professional interest, from that time on, became how *belief* can affect healing. In other words, he saw faith healing as a possibility, not because of the intervention of an outside power but because of individual, internalized, beliefs.

AS a result, he did not spend the rest of his career studying how to become a psychic surgeon but how to adpapt his own practice of medicine to take advantage of the forces he had come to respect for their power. He blended what he had learned in the Philippines with what he had learned in his medical school education and his practice of medicine.

Sourdough


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Subject: RE: BS: Explaining the Unexplained
From: Alice
Date: 03 Sep 00 - 11:15 AM

Check out FLIM FLAM, by James Randi, introduction by Isaac Asimov, quote Asimov ""Folly and Fakery has never before been as dangerous as it is now".

It seems to me that in this age of information, people are not well prepared to sort through misinformation and fraud, to reason and be able to use critical thinking.

Other books by James Randi are "An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural", introduction by Arthur C. Clarke, "The Faith Healers", by James Randi and Carl Sagan, "The Mask of Nostradamus" by Randi. "The Demon Haunted World" by Carl Sagan is another good one on this subject.


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Subject: RE: BS: Explaining the Unexplained
From: hesperis
Date: 03 Sep 00 - 03:33 AM

Yeah, Sourdough, that makes sense.
Insticts are from the subconscious, and I was out of my mind with pain at the time.
Reacting on a purely subconscious level to the stimuli, I guess.
But I didn't know that about aspirin.


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Subject: RE: BS: Explaining the Unexplained
From: Sourdough
Date: 03 Sep 00 - 03:22 AM

Hesperis, To go back to the idea of Occam's Razor.

Can you understand how someone else, with a different bent for explanation, might think that

you might have applied your feelings of what was going on with your joint to the anatomical knowledge you had picked up; a basic understanding that the structure of the knee joint involves cartilidge where the bones come together?

you might have been subconsciously aware that asprin causes bleeding which is one of the advantages of acetominophin, it doesnt. It is why aspirin are buffered. Many would feel that this knowledge is not restricted to the medical specialties?

Do you think someone without a knowledge of the rough outline of how a knee joint is constructed would have felt the same way you did?

For me, it seems less of a stretch to go that route for an explanation than to invoke ideas that have never been confirmed under controlled circumstances.

Sourdough


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Subject: RE: BS: Explaining the Unexplained
From: hesperis
Date: 03 Sep 00 - 03:21 AM

I would count on my personal judgement for my personal health.
I would not set myself up as a healer for others.
(Although I have taken the pain away from minor injuries for friends, when they asked me.)
If I did, I would not charge anything for it. I would possibly accept barter, though. (But that is my personal choice.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Explaining the Unexplained
From: Escamillo
Date: 03 Sep 00 - 02:40 AM

You were lucky, Hesperis.:) When my elder son Mariano broke his left knee cartileges when jumping from a wall, he had to go to the surgeon. But the point that appears to me as most important in this discussion (which was intended as hilarious and became serious) is this:

Would you now accept that you have some psychic power to diagnose illnes or injuries, and then offer your services to people as an alternative medicine, for a modest charge ?

I would like a definition on this matter as a starting point in a discussion that needs a second part (almost 200 posts is too heavy to download) - any volunteer ?

Un abrazo - Andrés


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Subject: RE: BS: Explaining the Unexplained
From: hesperis
Date: 03 Sep 00 - 02:03 AM

Andres - "No, as far as that person don't rely on these phenomena to make decisions about his/her health" ...

A few years ago, I had an accident.
I slipped on ice that was hidden under snow, came down on my knee,my other knee, and then my hands.
I tried to get up, and my knee felt like it slid inside the socket.
The people who had given me a ride home had driven off already. I was 25 feet from the door. I walked in pain to the door, opened it, got inside, and fainted in the hallway.
By the time I came to, my leg was swollen. A friend who was staying at our house helped me up the stairs to my room and got my mother.
(I have a revulsion to hospitals, and I refuse to go to them. This may be irrational, but I don't care, it is a part of who I am. That story is too long to tell here. Just bear with me, please.)
My mother said she would go get me an aspirin, and I barked at her, "NO!"
She was very startled, understandably, and tried to get me to take an aspirin and go to the hospital. I refused both, said that I was fine, it was only a torn cartilege and then said that I would take an acetominophen in order to sleep. I would miss school the next day, and would go back the following day.

People at school tried to argue me into seeing a doctor, and I refused. I wrapped my leg in bandages, and walked. At first, my leg was bent at about 100 degrees, and wouldn't straighten without hurting badly, but slowly it straightened out.
Now (about five years later, which is normal for this type of wound,) it only twinges a bit in rain, snow, or very high humidity.

Three years or so after the accident, I went to see a doctor about it. It was torn cartilege, nothing more, and aspirin would have inflamed the wound. Acetominophen was fine.

How did I know the name of my wound, the treatment that did in fact work for it, and that aspirin would have been dangerous?
Something in me knew.
I don't know how.

hesperis


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Subject: RE: BS: Explaining the Unexplained
From: katlaughing
Date: 03 Sep 00 - 12:50 AM

Andres, I don't think analytical disdain is at all an oxymoron; it is something I've encountered much in my life. I have an innate sense of things that, to me, are Truth. There has been some ridicule and disdain in this thread and others towards those of us who believe in and have experienced phenomena which cannot be explained by *science*.

I have written and re-written this posting several times lest someone pick it apart and not just accept it as what is true and right for me.

Ultimately, I think, it doesn't matter to most people what scienctists think of such things. People take the same kind of chances every day with modern medicine and pay oodles of money on radiation and other *chances* at curing cancer, etc. A good doctor, like mine, will admit when they do not know whether a treatment will work or not; so, it comes back to what one wants to put their faith in.

Personally, I am honour bound not to charge for any help I may be able to give. I believe that in giving, we also receive.

Thank you,

kat

PS, ljc...good to see ya!


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Subject: RE: BS: Explaining the Unexplained
From: Metchosin
Date: 02 Sep 00 - 11:26 PM

A short anecdote to add to this lengthy thread....

A number of years ago, my sister-in-law's brother, home alone one sunny afternoon, was confronted by a ball of light that exited a light socket, travelled just above the floor towards him, then veered sharply and reentered another light socket.

Being a child of the Disney Age and somewhat reluctant to accept that God had exited a light socket, Michael was firmly convinced he had been visited by Tinkerbell. He kept his eerie experience to himself for many years, as he was even more reluctant to admit to his belief in fairies.

A few years ago he was watching a TV programme on ball lightning and finally realized the probable cause of his visitation. Although relieved that he felt he could finally could talk about his experience with the phenomenom, it was not without a trace of wistfulness.

His experience always made me wonder what would have happenened if the ball of light hadn't veered? Another case of spontaneous combustion perhaps?


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Subject: RE: BS: Explaining the Unexplained
From: Escamillo
Date: 02 Sep 00 - 10:44 PM

Helen and Kat, "analytical disdain" is an oxymoron, a phrase that is contradictory in itself, like "military intelligence" or "professional programmer" :)

If we are influenced by a feeling of disdain, we better don't analyze the thing, for our results will be biased and probably wrong. And this is what probably happened in some experiments conducted by scientists, leaving the impression that psychic phenomena (or UFOs, or astrology) have not been correctly analyzed. However, there have been many clean and unbiased experiments with zero results.

Does this mean that the psychic phenomena don't exist ? NO. It says that they have not been proved, and therefore, it deserves no further investigation, until someone brings a new experience which can be controlled in a laboratory.

Does this mean that psychic events don't contribute to a better life por some persons ? NO. But it is a CONDITIONAL "NO". No, as far as that person don't rely on these phenomena to make decisions about his/her health or relatives' health, and s/he does not make money selling those beleifs to other people.

All these logic architecture will not convince you too much, but I would wish to obtain at least one point from you: please tell me that it is NOT correct to make money with the advice, teaching or any kind of services based upon theories that have been proven wrong by science, or could not be proved true.

Once we agree in that point, then we could argue about the benefits and the risks of the unexplained things, can we begin to agree ? :)

Un abrazo - Andrés


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Subject: RE: BS: Explaining the Unexplained
From: Little Hawk
Date: 02 Sep 00 - 10:09 PM

Good to hear from you, Little John. I was actually beginning to get worried about you. This place does tend to become like an extended family...which means, sadly, that a person can get hurt here sometimes too...as well as all the good aspects.

Someone said awhile back in another thread that we start out by idolizing our parents and end up by despising them (or something like that). How about our lovers? Or our business partners? Or our neighbours? Or the other band members (in the case of musicians)? Or our friends?

As Dylan said, "The foreign sun it squints upon a bed that is never mine, while friends and other strangers from their fates try to resign, leaving men wholly totally free to do anything they wish to do but die, and there are no trials inside the Gates of Eden.

How I long for the Gates of Eden.

Is this why porcupines grow quills, and armadillos have armour? Explain that, someone. I do not mind a joke being at my expense...as long as it was not with harmful intention.

Anyway, I am glad that you are back.

I don't particularly care whether or not scientists believe in some of the extraordinary things I have seen either. There will always be mysteries. The fact that we are here at all is one of them. It never ceases to amaze me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Explaining the Unexplained
From: katlaughing
Date: 02 Sep 00 - 09:59 PM

Point taken, "unexplained" is fine with me, Wolfgang.

I do agree with what Helen said, very well put, Helen, thank you.

kat


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Subject: RE: BS: Explaining the Unexplained
From: little john cameron
Date: 02 Sep 00 - 08:20 PM

OOPS Here's the cloud bit>br>
http://www.orgonelab.org/AIBC.htm


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Subject: RE: BS: Explaining the Unexplained
From: little john cameron
Date: 02 Sep 00 - 08:07 PM

Jist got back fae a road trip an am catchin up wi the unexplained.Orgonomy.http://www.orgonelab.org/e_articl.htm

Worth a look for them wi "clouded" vision.


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Subject: RE: BS: Explaining the Unexplained
From: Helen
Date: 02 Sep 00 - 07:33 PM

Wolfgang,

I find it surprising that you have stated that I have been obfuscating and that you then say in your last post something very similar to what I was saying.

To make myself clear: Just because a scientist has not yet proven some thing or a phenomenon to exist or to be true does not mean that that thing or phenomenon does not exist or is not true. What has not yet been proven is not necessarily impossible. There have been numerous occasions in history when scientists have argued vehemently that a thing or a phenomenon cannot possibly be true because the scientists haven't yet found the tools or the information they need yet to find the truth. The history of human flight engines, and the history of the study and use of electricity are two examples.

Psychic phenomena have not been proven scientifically to exist or be true to the satisfaction of some people, and I welcome the scientific methods which can examine these phenomena in controlled scientific studies, however, I do not welcome scientific attitudes which are applying, as katlaughing said, analytical disdain on these phenomena and on the people who have experienced them.

For my own part, I agree with the sentiments expressed by some people in this thread that I don't care whether other people believe me or not about the psychic experiences I have had. I know what I have experienced, I am not gullible and rushing to believe what I want to believe, I have tested the experiences and I have also worked towards making my psychic abilities more controllable and specific.

It may be that many people who have had psychic experiences also don't care whether scientists do or don't believe in the existence of these phenomena and therefore they do not feel compelled to prove anything in scientific experiments. Maybe it's like trying to find a badger or a Tasmanian Tiger. Maybe the animal prefers to live its own life in peace and prefers not to become the subject of scientific study.

I know that my life and experience have been made far richer and deeper because of my psychic abilities and experiences and I would not trade that for anything.

Helen


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Subject: RE: BS: Explaining the Unexplained
From: Wolfgang
Date: 01 Sep 00 - 08:16 AM

There is something in the human personality that can't stand an unsolved mystery. I'm quite comfortable saying "I don't know why that happened,"

Jeri wrote in a post above, short and to the point.

In three words: Accepting the unexplained,
however, not Accepting the unexplainable. I can find no fault with the first formulation.

'Unexplainable' rules out that there might be an explanation well known but not to you; that there is an explanation which is not known yet, but will be entirely scientific if it's known; that there is a completely down to earth explanation which may never be found;(and many more)...what you have in mind is only one single of several possibilities.

Go on, but you'll have to stand analytical comment.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Explaining the Unexplained
From: katlaughing
Date: 01 Sep 00 - 12:54 AM

How about one for those of us who acknowledge and believe we have experienced the unexplainable..."Accepting the unexplainable?"

Without ridicule or analytical disdain?


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Subject: RE: BS: Explaining the Unexplained
From: Little Hawk
Date: 31 Aug 00 - 10:31 PM

What say we now launch a couple of new threads...

"Explaining the not very well explained"

and...

"Explaining the Inexplicable" Ha!

Who wants to take the plunge?


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Subject: RE: BS: Explaining the Unexplained
From: The Beanster
Date: 31 Aug 00 - 09:31 PM

Thanks, Wolfgang. Must be very interesting stuff.


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Subject: RE: BS: Explaining the Unexplained
From: Wolfgang
Date: 31 Aug 00 - 11:59 AM

Beanster,
a definiton from the web: Psychophysics is commonly defined as the quantitative branch of the study of perception, examining the relations between observed stimuli and responses and the reasons for those relations.
That is, you vary an objective value of a stimulus (intensity, size, distance, colour,...) and ask the observer to 'tell' you about the subjective side (perceived intensity; which of two stimuli seems larger; match two stimuli to have subjectively equal colour;...).

kat,
yes I can see the relevance of that link to a Christian fundamentalist to the discussion here. He says:
In conclusion, then, our Christianity does come to bear in our thought processes. It forms a central part of our worldview and is an organizing principle of experience. ... Indeed it is a task of the utmost importance for the intellectual Christian to develop and to show the consistency of a Christian worldview... which reflects the timeless, absolute truths of the Gospel in our unique culture and generation.
Good example how faith comes first and determines what is then admissed as truth.

Helen,
I stated that a certain claim (on cloud busting) could be tested whether it was real (based on reality) or imaginary. It was a claim about an observable relationship which is definitely within the realm of science. You cited my statement and went on that nobody can "definitely state what reality is". For me that was nothing but using words as a smokescreen in order to obfuscate a simple issue.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Explaining the Unexplained
From: CarolC
Date: 31 Aug 00 - 07:22 AM

kendall,

I agree with you about Spaw being a good writer. Though I think he's not so much in the vein of Jean Sheppard, as he says he is. I think he's really more of an aromatic Garrison Keillor.

And he has found a subject that is above the waist. Only above women's waists, though.) ; )

Carol


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Subject: RE: BS: Explaining the Unexplained
From: kendall
Date: 31 Aug 00 - 05:50 AM

It is well known that some primitive tribes know how to die. When they have had enough, they just sit down and die. How do they do the? How can I learn the art? By the way Spaw, you definitly have the talent to write. Now, if you could just find a subject above the waste LOL


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Subject: RE: BS: Explaining the Unexplained
From: Helen
Date: 30 Aug 00 - 10:51 PM

Wolfgang,

When I said "definitively state what reality is" I meant comprehensively, knowing everything there is to know about reality. I certainly didn't mean that nothing could be defined as reality. If you had read the rest of that paragraph you should realise that I was talking about scientific theories and experiments which can make sense of a lot of what happens here on earth, and elsewhere to some extent, but which also have to be reevaluated in the light of other discoveries and deductions. Your example of a red light and green light is off the topic in relation to what I said.

I'll repeat what I said: Reality is bigger than any one of us, and for one person to claim to know what reality is is absurd. No single human or even group of humans can claim to know all there is to know about reality. The world always has surprises in store for people who think they have found a definitive answer to a question, but that is what makes life on earth interesting. It would be a boring life, in my opinion, to know everything there is to know and not be able to discover anything new.

Little Hawk,

I like your distinctions between the mundane and the spititual, emotional etc.

Helen


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Subject: RE: BS: Explaining the Unexplained
From: katlaughing
Date: 30 Aug 00 - 10:41 PM

There is what looks to be an interesting paper by a PhD. candidate at Boston University on Science, Mataphysics, and Worldviews which looked as though it touched on some of which has been in this thread.


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Subject: RE: BS: Explaining the Unexplained
From: Sourdough
Date: 30 Aug 00 - 09:39 PM

I forget the details now but I did a story around 1970 on a scientific organization that had just been admitted, on a provisional basis, to the American Association for the Advancement of Science. AAAS is a very prestigious organization with membership that includes the American Physoical Society, the American Chemical Society, and virtually every every scientic society from Athropology to Zoology. What made this a story was the new group was The American Paranormal Society. AAAS felt that it was time to bring in this organization and see that experiments were conducted with rigor. In return, the paranormal experimenters were able to use the significant cachet of at least conditional acceptance by AAAS.

I remember one activity they were conducting was a telepathy experiment in which they had a "transmitter" in Washington, DC and "receivers" in cities across the US and the world. The idea was to see if there was an element of time or distance in the transmission of images. They were even hoping to get NASA to cooperate.

The president of the society was very hopeful that as a member of the AAAS, they would get the respect they deserved and be able to raise the money for the experiments that would prove the efficacy of some methodology of paranormality.

I haven't heard anything from that society. There has been no announcement of their discoveries in the AAAS journal, Science, which would have been delighted to report on success.

I think it was the same group that tried to repeat a sleep experiment which was an out-of-body experience. People, during sleep, were reporting the ability to travel and see things going on in other places. They reported rising to the top of the room and seeing the scene below.

A rigorous experiment was set up in which things were placed out of sight of the sleeper in the room. They could only see the test objects from a point of view not reachable by standing, even on furniture. The result was that the "best" subjects had a 100% failure rate.

Not much support for the paranormal here.

Sourdough


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Subject: RE: BS: Explaining the Unexplained
From: The Beanster
Date: 30 Aug 00 - 09:06 PM

Wolfgang,

What is psychophysics?


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Subject: RE: BS: Explaining the Unexplained
From: Little Hawk
Date: 30 Aug 00 - 05:37 PM

My general impression is that we definitely CAN state what reality is when we're dealing with the mundane, and CAN'T when we're not.

Physical reality, that is, being pretty obvious and mundane, while spiritual and much of what might be called emotional reality is not.

It's vitally important to know whether or not a physical lion is present...so don't think that when I say "mundane" I mean "unimportant". Quite the contrary.

Has there been a carefully conducted classroom demonstration of falling in love that works? I don't think so. It remains a mystery, but we all do it at one time or another and have had the experience (utterly unique in every case), so it is real. It is not, however, quantifiable, measurable, verifiable, repeatable or anything like that. It's not mundane, but it is real. It's subjective, not objective.

The purpose of science (I think) is to describe and explain the objective...things which have form. The purpose of spiritual philosophy is to describe and explain the subjective...things which do not have form. (And the purpose of religion is to enslave and regiment the minds of its followers...generally...for material gain...but that's another issue.)

The objective exists in time. The subjective is timeless.

There is no reason for a dispute between science and spirituality. In fact, they ought to make excellent partners, and are the two sides of the coin, so to speak.

Wolfgang is superb at presenting the scientific view of things. And that's good.

When I present the spiritual view of things, I am in no way opposed to Wolfgang, I'm just talking about something else, that's all.

It gets tricky at times, though, because of the limitations of spoken language. If we could share pure thought I think it would be understood right away.


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Subject: RE: BS: Explaining the Unexplained
From: CarolC
Date: 30 Aug 00 - 04:02 PM

Wolfgang,

You talk about science with such religious fervor, I can't help thinking that you must really love what you do. We should all be so lucky.

Carol


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Subject: RE: BS: Explaining the Unexplained
From: Wolfgang
Date: 30 Aug 00 - 06:21 AM

Carol,
I've studied physics, made my PhD in psychophysics and am now professor for psychology (teaching mostly 'research methods' and 'cognitive engineering', sometimes 'general psychology'; doing research mostly on errors of reasoning and illusions of memory).
Quite a way from physics to psychology, I know, but from my point of view I never left 'science' as a method of inquiry.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Explaining the Unexplained
From: CarolC
Date: 29 Aug 00 - 07:36 PM

Wolfgang,

Would you mind telling us what your field of expertise is, and what it is that you teach?

Carol


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Subject: RE: BS: Explaining the Unexplained
From: sophocleese
Date: 29 Aug 00 - 10:50 AM

Wolfgang, I have been reading this thread, the one about Astrological stats and the Crop Circles thread with great interest. I really appreciate your posts. They say what I would like to with greater clarity and elegance. Thank you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Explaining the Unexplained
From: Wolfgang
Date: 29 Aug 00 - 10:00 AM

Helen, I have two issues with your post from 25-Aug-00 - 08:56 PM:

I don't think that any person can definitively state what reality is
you write and avoid the issue. Last weak we had many sightings of a lion in a German wood. Wrong perception or reality (there are circuses and zoos near there, so it is possible)? It matters for the walkers over there and the question 'is the animal real or imagined' cannot be answered satisfactorily by your above statement. If we two had a car crash and you had a green light and I'd say 'Well, for me, my light was green, that's my reality and you can't tell me that your reality is any better, for even scientists don't agree on that concept' you'd take me to court for I bet you believe in your daily life that there is a reality out there and that a court has at least a chance to find it out.

Check out the experiments being done by the Russian and American governments in trying to harness psychic abilities. They are taking it seriously enough to actually experiment with it in controlled circumstances, and appear to be having some good results.
If you're speaking about military research (as I understood you) that's one of the myths you often read when you only read the pro side. There has been scarcely any empirical research (compared to other areas) from the military funds (they pay now and then a bit on the off chance to get something spectacular for nearly no investment) and it has not had any good results.
If you want to read something real on that issue, I cite from 'Enhancing Human Performance', D. Druckman, J. A. Swets, Editors, the report of a committee of the National Academy of Science (US) asked by the Army Research Institute to "examine the potential value of certain techniques that have been proposed to enhance human performance". In their summary on the paranormal phenomena, especially parapsychology, they write:
"...the bulk of the work does not meet the standards necessary to contribute to the knowledge base of science...
the best scientific evidence does not justify the conclusion that...gathering information...without the intervention of known sensory mechanisms exists...
The committee is aware of the discrepancy between the lack of scientific evidence and the strength of many individuals' beliefs in paranormal phenomena...
Many proponents believe that the scientific method may be not the ...most appropriate method for establishing the reality of paranormal phenomena. Unfortunately, the alternative methods...create just those conditions that psychologists have found to enhance human tendencies toward self-deception and suggestibility"
Now that's a bit of research sponsored by the army.

Now let me tell you what would convince me beyond any reasonable doubt. If there'd be just one consistently repeatable experimental result. If I lecture about perception, memory, attention or what else I can make classrooms demonstrations for many findings. That is the students don't have to believe me, they can see for themselves. It works. After 120 years of research on psi or ESP there's not a single classroom demonstration that works.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Explaining the Unexplained
From: JamesJim
Date: 29 Aug 00 - 01:20 AM

I can't explain this, but I've often wondered what happened to Preparation A through G?????

Jim


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Subject: RE: BS: Explaining the Unexplained
From: catspaw49
Date: 28 Aug 00 - 03:13 PM

Sounds like a job for for a proctologist LH. Or maybe we could assign it to the brilliant Major Tom.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Explaining the Unexplained
From: Little Hawk
Date: 28 Aug 00 - 02:56 PM

Oh...I like that. We should launch a government inquiry and get to the bottom of it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Explaining the Unexplained
From: GUEST,Crazy Eddie
Date: 28 Aug 00 - 09:07 AM

I too used to be quite sceptical, until I had a strange experience......................

Walking past a hotel in London a couple of years ago, I saw a sign "Psychics Convention, 27 March, 09.00" So, I returned on the appointed day, only to see another sign reading "Convention cancelled due to unforseen circumstances" Explain that! ;o)


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Subject: RE: BS: Explaining the Unexplained
From: Troll
Date: 28 Aug 00 - 07:23 AM

'Course it is but thats never stopped us from trying!

troll


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Subject: RE: BS: Explaining the Unexplained
From: robroy
Date: 28 Aug 00 - 05:18 AM

I know people are gonna jump but I always thought it was inexplicable!

Robroy


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Subject: RE: BS: Explaining the Unexplained
From: Troll
Date: 28 Aug 00 - 12:38 AM

If you can't, let me know. I'll try to find out if it's on line and, if necessary, I'll send the article. You may not care for the conclusions they reached but it is thought provoking.

troll


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Subject: RE: BS: Explaining the Unexplained
From: The Beanster
Date: 28 Aug 00 - 12:10 AM

Really Troll? I will. I hope I can find one. I would love to have this explained and I hope it's not something I've already considered and rejected... Will let you know.


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Subject: RE: BS: Explaining the Unexplained
From: Troll
Date: 27 Aug 00 - 11:14 PM

Read the Skeptical Inquirer Beanster. This months edition has a article that deals with just the thing that you experienced.

troll


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