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Tags "The Poltergeist" , poltergeists , William Roll

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Old 7th October 2012, 02:17 AM   #1
Andyman409
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What is the best evidence for Poltergeists?

Before I talk about the evidence for poltergeists, I might as well link to a quick introduction to the field.

Poltergeists definatly make the most extraordinary claims of all paranoral phenomenon. ESP advocates claim it can effect zener cards and number generaters. Cases of Poltergeists contain objects being thrown, apparitions seen, and people hurt. Of course, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. So, do poltergeists have extraordinary evidence? Parapsychologists like Robert McLuhen say they do, and criticise skeptics for not knowing enough about poltergeists. They would have us debunk every single one of their documented cases of poltergiests before admitting they might be wrong. He even included the list of supposedly genuine poltergiets reported by SPR in his post.

So, what is there to know? Apparantly, William Roll's book "the poltergeist" is the most authoritative book on the subject, and that skeptics should read it or else there ignorant. I have read a few articles that link to it, which summarize some impressive looking cases documented in the book. One of these involved a man who supposedly brought his poltergeist into a lab, and got impressive results on a PK test with it. It's a shame I dont have the details to this case- I'm sure the key to debunking it is there.

So, has anyone here read William Roll's book? Does anyone feel that Robert McLuhan is wrong, and that skeptics have done enough homework after all?

Last edited by Andyman409; 7th October 2012 at 02:35 AM.
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Old 7th October 2012, 02:37 AM   #2
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What is the best evidence for poltergeists?

None. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zero. Zilch. The empty set. The null domain.
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Old 7th October 2012, 02:45 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Andyman409 View Post
Before I talk about the evidence for poltergeists, I might as well link to a quick introduction to the field.

Poltergeists definatly make the most extraordinary claims of all paranoral phenomenon. ESP advocates claim it can effect zener cards and number generaters. Cases of Poltergeists contain objects being thrown, apparitions seen, and people hurt. Of course, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. So, do poltergeists have extraordinary evidence? Parapsychologists like Robert McLuhen say they do, and criticise skeptics for not knowing enough about poltergeists. They would have us debunk every single one of their documented cases of poltergiests before admitting they might be wrong. He even included the list of supposedly genuine poltergiets reported by SPR in his post.

So, what is there to know? Apparantly, William Roll's book "the poltergeist" is the most authoritative book on the subject, and that skeptics should read it or else there ignorant. I have read a few articles that link to it, which summarize some impressive looking cases documented in the book. One of these involved a man who supposedly brought his poltergeist into a lab, and got impressive results on a PK test with it. It's a shame I dont have the details to this case- I'm sure the key to debunking it is there.

So, has anyone here read William Roll's book? Does anyone feel that Robert McLuhan is wrong, and that skeptics have done enough homework after all?

Just that book then? Great, You guys are going to be in for it, wasting your time with all those other books when all I have to read is one!

To answer your question. 0,nothing,nill
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Old 7th October 2012, 03:11 AM   #4
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I agree with #2 and#3 of course. I wonder why you would like there to be evidence for poltergeists? For me, it is far more exciting and interesting to know that our brains have the capacity to imagine such things and write stories about them.
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Old 7th October 2012, 03:20 AM   #5
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The best evidence for poltergeists is that some people write books about them.

Apart from that, nothing.
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Old 7th October 2012, 03:33 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Andyman409 View Post
Parapsychologists ... criticise skeptics for not knowing enough about poltergeists.

This is a type of argument that often gets used against Richard Dawkins by religious apologists, who say that he hasn't studied theology enough to be able to assess whether there is evidence for God.

It has also been used by tailors.
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Old 7th October 2012, 03:37 AM   #7
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Yeah the "Since you don't agree with me, by definition you don't know enough to argue with me, since I'm defining people that agree with me as experts" thing got old a long time ago.
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Old 7th October 2012, 04:47 AM   #8
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Well, I'm not going to read that book. Of course, you could just present the evidence.
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Old 7th October 2012, 05:32 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Andyman409 View Post
Apparantly, William Roll's book "the poltergeist" is the most authoritative book on the subject, and that skeptics should read it or else there ignorant.
And yet I know the difference between "there" and "they're." Who's ignorant again?
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Old 7th October 2012, 05:41 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Andyman409 View Post
What is the best evidence for Poltergeists?
I am unaware of any evidence supporting the existence of "poltergeists." Could you provide some, so we can evaluate it?
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Old 7th October 2012, 06:40 AM   #11
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To my knowledge, every single poltergeist "incident" that's been impartially investigated has shown evidence of human agency....Usually a teenager.
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Old 7th October 2012, 06:43 AM   #12
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I'm a sceptic and I've read it along with approximately 30 others on the same subject. I'm happy to go against the grain and agree fully that most sceptics haven't done their homework, but I speak as one who has and can say with reasonable certainty that classic poltergeist phenomena do not exist.
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Old 7th October 2012, 07:01 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Andyman409 View Post
Before I talk about the evidence for poltergeists, I might as well link to a quick introduction to the field.

Poltergeists definatly make the most extraordinary claims of all paranoral phenomenon. ESP advocates claim it can effect zener cards and number generaters. Cases of Poltergeists contain objects being thrown, apparitions seen, and people hurt. Of course, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. So, do poltergeists have extraordinary evidence? Parapsychologists like Robert McLuhen say they do, and criticise skeptics for not knowing enough about poltergeists. They would have us debunk every single one of their documented cases of poltergiests before admitting they might be wrong.

It is dishonest of the woo believers to ask for other people to disprove the woo claims.

Quote:
He even included the list of supposedly genuine poltergiets reported by SPR in his post.

So, what is there to know?

Here is what there is to know: It is dishonest of the woo believers to ask for other people to disprove the woo claims.

Quote:
Apparantly, William Roll's book "the poltergeist" is the most authoritative book on the subject, and that skeptics should read it or else there ignorant. I have read a few articles that link to it, which summarize some impressive looking cases documented in the book. One of these involved a man who supposedly brought his poltergeist into a lab, and got impressive results on a PK test with it. It's a shame I dont have the details to this case- I'm sure the key to debunking it is there.

The believers are responsible to objectively support their belief. Until and unless they can do that, the beliefs already exist in a state of debunction. No further debunking necessary.

Quote:
So, has anyone here read William Roll's book? Does anyone feel that Robert McLuhan is wrong, and that skeptics have done enough homework after all?

Robert McLuhan is wrong if he believes skeptics have any responsibility to do any homework at all. If the woo mongers can't objectively demonstrate their claims to be true, they may be summarily dismissed as false.
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Old 7th October 2012, 07:30 AM   #14
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I think the OP is simply asking what the poltergeist believers put forward as their own best evidence. I don't think the OP is a believer, I think he's just wondering what the "Roswell" of the poltergeist world is.
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Old 7th October 2012, 08:58 AM   #15
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Evidence for poltergeists?

Just watch this documentary . . .


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Old 7th October 2012, 10:46 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
I'm a sceptic and I've read it along with approximately 30 others on the same subject. I'm happy to go against the grain and agree fully that most sceptics haven't done their homework, but I speak as one who has and can say with reasonable certainty that classic poltergeist phenomena do not exist.
What homework haven't we done?
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Old 7th October 2012, 11:19 AM   #17
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I allus haveta ax this question... "if the entity is insubstantial enough to pass through solid objects such as walls, how does it substantialize sufficiently to move anything at all, without its motionatory appendage not passing harmlessly through the object?"
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Old 7th October 2012, 11:21 AM   #18
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Ectoplasm.....
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Old 7th October 2012, 11:23 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Sledge View Post
What homework haven't we done?
Who's "we"?
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Old 7th October 2012, 11:33 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by I Ratant View Post
I allus haveta ax this question... "if the entity is insubstantial enough to pass through solid objects such as walls, how does it substantialize sufficiently to move anything at all, without its motionatory appendage not passing harmlessly through the object?"
The angrier they get, the more solid they get, or they can focus their vibrations or energy - or something. You can always fabricate some unfalsifiable answer for such questions.
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Old 7th October 2012, 12:48 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Andyman409 View Post
So, has anyone here read William Roll's book? Does anyone feel that Robert McLuhan is wrong, and that skeptics have done enough homework after all?

Well that hardly seems fair. I've read Spates Catalog and Tobin's Spirit Guide from cover to cover and on the subject of Poltergeists, they both agree that the phenomenon is caused by attention-seeking teenagers and that there is nothing paranormal about it, whatsoever.

If you can't call on Tobin's Spirit Guide for the straight dope on the paranormal, who you gonna call?
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Old 7th October 2012, 01:29 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
Who's "we"?
*sigh* Sometimes I really wish I didn't have such an aversion to using the "ignore" feature on forums.
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Old 7th October 2012, 02:09 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
I'm a sceptic and I've read it along with approximately 30 others on the same subject. I'm happy to go against the grain and agree fully that most sceptics haven't done their homework, but I speak as one who has and can say with reasonable certainty that classic poltergeist phenomena do not exist.
What do you mean when you say classic poltergeist phenomena don't exist? Do you think it's psi? And what do you mean by most skeptics?

Sorry for the questions, but I try to be as honest as possible when studying these phenomena. I dont like the idea of psi or an afterlife, but I'm willing to follow the evidence were it leads. At the moment, I dont know where that is, since i havent had an opportunity to read the scholarly rebukes of these books (like from William roll).
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Old 7th October 2012, 02:32 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Sledge View Post
*sigh* Sometimes I really wish I didn't have such an aversion to using the "ignore" feature on forums.
You could always either be coherent in your writing or use that walnut-like object in your skull which comes with a built-in ignore feature.

Originally Posted by Andyman409 View Post
What do you mean when you say classic poltergeist phenomena don't exist? Do you think it's psi? And what do you mean by most skeptics?
By classic I mean paranormal, basically - things moving without agency, teleportation, etc. However, at a push I could believe in such phenomena as electrical fields affecting perception and mood. I also believe there might be a psychological aspect to some cases, where people aren't lying or mistaken in the classic sense but have genuine subjective experiences and who may even be physically carrying out actions that they later forget. It's also worth pointing out that I don't have an explanation for some of the accounts, even once the frauds, the lunatics and the terminally gullible have been weeded out. This doesn't suggest paranormality, however, rather lack of data and inaccurate reporting.

By "most sceptics" I mean just that, in my experience. The majority of those who call themselves sceptics don't do the background research.

Originally Posted by Sledge View Post
Sorry for the questions, but I try to be as honest as possible when studying these phenomena. I dont like the idea of psi or an afterlife, but I'm willing to follow the evidence were it leads. At the moment, I dont know where that is, since i havent had an opportunity to read the scholarly rebukes of these books (like from William roll).
Remember that you need to be sceptical with the sceptics just like you are with the proponents.
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Old 7th October 2012, 03:54 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Sledge View Post
*sigh* Sometimes I really wish I didn't have such an aversion to using the "ignore" feature on forums.
.
I had to use it for the first time.
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Old 7th October 2012, 04:45 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Andyman409 View Post
skeptics should read it or else there ignorant.
Irony thy name is Andyman...
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Old 7th October 2012, 04:52 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
By classic I mean paranormal, basically - things moving without agency, teleportation, etc. However, at a push I could believe in such phenomena as electrical fields affecting perception and mood. I also believe there might be a psychological aspect to some cases, where people aren't lying or mistaken in the classic sense but have genuine subjective experiences and who may even be physically carrying out actions that they later forget. It's also worth pointing out that I don't have an explanation for some of the accounts, even once the frauds, the lunatics and the terminally gullible have been weeded out. This doesn't suggest paranormality, however, rather lack of data and inaccurate reporting.
I'm not sure what "at a push is". I agree that electrical fields or even seismic activity could account for some of the phenomena, but those are far from supernatural. Actually, the data seems to favour electrical fields when it comes to mood swings. I have also heard psychological explainations as well, such as disassociative states or fantasy proneness, which dont at all seem improbable. Even common psychological problems are of great import, like alziemers or TLE. Psi can be invoked, but it certainly seems to defeat the purpose. I can't rule it out as a possible explaination a priori- but it would look very suspicious if only a few cases suggested it. Plus there is the issue of how PK operates, or why there isn't any real laboratory evidence for it (has there ever been a PK test that hasn't seemed better suited for ESP?). I don't want to come off as hyperskeptical- I agree with your point that it can't be completely ruled out.

I think the biggest issue of all is the fact that poltergeists rely on second hand evidence almost necessarily. The classic apologetic for poltergeists tends to be: "here are many cases, explain THAT!". Great effort needs to be put into analysing each case, and I'm not sure if parapsychologists have put in that effort. Some bring mediums to their investigation, while others still take Tina Resch seriously. I think a careful but skeptical sifting needs to be done, at least at some of the more prominent cases, and I am unsure of how to approch such a task, or who has already partaken in it. Surely I am not the only skeptic to approach the question honestly. Any others you know of?

Now, I obviously dont expect a perfect answer for each case. Although I'm unsure of how many cases there are that seem inexplicable, that doesn't mean they actually are inexplicable. There could always be a hidden variable or, of course, it could just be that something was lost in translation. Many cases occurred in the distant past, so a re-evaluation would be completely futile.

Originally Posted by baron View Post
By "most sceptics" I mean just that, in my experience. The majority of those who call themselves sceptics don't do the background research.

Remember that you need to be sceptical with the sceptics just like you are with the proponents.
Most skeptics attack popular treatments of the paranormal and frauds. Nothing wrong with that if your upfront. Certainly makes investigating the "professional" cases harder though. What recources do you think are best for critically analysing poltergeist cases? Which magazine articles, journals, authors or groups?

Last edited by Andyman409; 7th October 2012 at 05:32 PM.
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Old 7th October 2012, 05:08 PM   #28
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All examples of evidence for poltergeists are of equal validity.
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Old 7th October 2012, 05:12 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Robrob View Post
Irony thy name is Andyman...
Originally Posted by I Ratant View Post
.
I had to use it for the first time.
Originally Posted by Sledge View Post
What homework haven't we done?
I'm paraphrasing McLuhen for pete's sake! Sorry if you thought I said or think that.

Originally Posted by JohnG View Post
Well that hardly seems fair. I've read Spates Catalog and Tobin's Spirit Guide from cover to cover and on the subject of Poltergeists, they both agree that the phenomenon is caused by attention-seeking teenagers and that there is nothing paranormal about it, whatsoever.

If you can't call on Tobin's Spirit Guide for the straight dope on the paranormal, who you gonna call?
Not all claims are created equal. An intelligent design book isn't the same a "origin of the species" just because they are both found in the science section of the library. And I never said we had to explain all the evidence for each scenario. A lot of wierd things happened with Tina Resch that I can't precisesly explain right now. However, since she was caught cheating on one of them, I see no reason to look deeper.

Originally Posted by joesixpack View Post
I think the OP is simply asking what the poltergeist believers put forward as their own best evidence. I don't think the OP is am unsure ha believer, I think he's just wondering what the "Roswell" of the poltergeist world is.
Yes, that is the crux of the issue. Although I think I have a fairly good grasp at what the poltergeist apologetic is. They usually gather a bunch of cases and than task us with explaining them away. It is a monumental task, and I doubt we will ever have the time to investigate them in all in depth. However, we could act as scientists and merely look at a representative sample, if such a thing could exist. My biggest question is, has anyone done this?

I also mentioned the common critique that skeptics dont do their homework. It depends on the phenomena. I think the skeptical community (I say we because I 'm a skeptic) have a good understanding of many paranormal claims, such as aliens, cryptzoology, astrology and alternative medicine. I also think the skeptical community is well aware of the current evidence for psi. Many skeptical outlets, like skeptical inquirer or skeptic magazine, fequently engage with the parapsychological community. I'm not so sure about poltergiests or haunt phenomena. Perhaps there is more skeptical literature on the topic that I havent seen yet. Richard Wiseman and Chris French are good examples. I dont know whether McLuhens claim is true. Certainly many individuals who call themselves skeptics lack the time or resources to perform full blown academic investigations of the phenomena in question. What is our standard for saying one is informed? Surely we dont need to know every single case in question. How many does one need to be familiar with before they can safely say poltergeists dont happen?

These aren't easy questions. Than again, intellectual honesty isn't easy at all.

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Old 7th October 2012, 05:18 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Andyman409 View Post
I'm not sure what "at a push is". I agree that electrical fields or even seismic activity could account for some of the phenomena, but those are far from supernatural.
Indeed not. "At a push" means that whilst no known mechanism exists I would not be hugely surprised if it turned out to be true.

Originally Posted by Andyman409 View Post
Actually, the data seems to favour electrical fields when it comes to mood swings. I have also heard psychological explainations as well, such as disassociative states or fantasy proneness, which dont at all seem improbable. Even common psychological problems are of great import, like alziemers or TLE. Psi can be invoked, but it certainly seems to defeat the purpose. I can't rule it out as a possible explaination a priori- but it would look very suspicious if only a few cases demanded it.
As you say, psi explains nothing. It would be like explaining ghosts by saying they're actually aliens. There are clearly many explanations that are demonstrably responsible for alleged poltergeist cases, the question is how many of these are not well understood.

Originally Posted by Andyman409 View Post
I think the biggest issue of all is the fact that poltergeists rely on second hand evidence almost necessarily. The classic apologetic for poltergeists tends to be: "here are many cases, explain THAT!". Great effort needs to be put into analysing each case, and I'm not sure if parapsychologists have put in that effort.
And not just each case, each event. Certainly I'd say most investigators are lacking in their approach, for whatever reason be it lack of rigour, gullibility or outright fraud (I could name two total fraudsters who recently published a book on case in England but perhaps I'd better keep their identities to myself).

Originally Posted by Andyman409 View Post
Some bring mediums to their investigation, while others still take Tina Resch seriously. I think a careful but skeptical sifting needs to be done, at least at some of the more prominent cases, and I am unsure of how to approch such a task, or who has already partaken in it. Surely I am not the only skeptic to approach the question honestly.

Now, I obviously dont expect a perfect answer for each case. Although I'm unsure of how many cases there are that seem inexplicable, that doesn't mean they actually are inexplicable. There could always be a hidden variable or, of course, it could just be that something was lost in translation. Many cases occurred in the distant past, so a re-evaluation would be completely futile.

Most skeptics attack popular treatments of the paranormal and frauds. I guess there's nothing wrong with that, unless you are upfront about it. Certainly makes investigating the "professional" cases harder though. What recources do you think are best for critically analysing poltergeist cases? Which magazine articles, journals, authors or groups?
I'd suggest reading whatever you can get your hands on and, if you can, talking to people directly involved whether "experiencers" or investigators. In my experience the latter have been mostly honest but very gullible and misguided. Guy Lyon Playfair and Colin Wilson are good authors to start with - good in the sense of being honest and dedicated but very much on the woo side of the fence. Unfortunately I've found sceptics like Wiseman to be likely correct in their conclusions but having nothing particularly incisive to offer.
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Old 7th October 2012, 06:19 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
As you say, psi explains nothing. It would be like explaining ghosts by saying they're actually aliens. There are clearly many explanations that are demonstrably responsible for alleged poltergeist cases, the question is how many of these are not well understood.
When you said "physically", I thought you said "psychically". I feel like a complete idiot now, since I realise you were referring to disassociative states. (which BTW also seem like a good explanation to me)

Originally Posted by baron View Post
I'd suggest reading whatever you can get your hands on and, if you can, talking to people directly involved whether "experiencers" or investigators. In my experience the latter have been mostly honest but very gullible and misguided. Guy Lyon Playfair and Colin Wilson are good authors to start with - good in the sense of being honest and dedicated but very much on the woo side of the fence. Unfortunately I've found sceptics like Wiseman to be likely correct in their conclusions but having nothing particularly incisive to offer.
From what I understand, researchers penning themselves "anamolistic pscyhologists" like Wiseman focus on claims like hauntings and apparitions, where the claims are far, far, far less drastic. Simple hallucinatory experieces and illusions are all that's needed to account for these claims.

shame there aren't many (if any) easy, accessable books that document poltergeists and their most prominent researchers like there is for psi. perhaps I should write one
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Old 7th October 2012, 06:29 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by JohnG View Post
Well that hardly seems fair. I've read Spates Catalog and Tobin's Spirit Guide from cover to cover and on the subject of Poltergeists, they both agree that the phenomenon is caused by attention-seeking teenagers and that there is nothing paranormal about it, whatsoever.

If you can't call on Tobin's Spirit Guide for the straight dope on the paranormal, who you gonna call?
Originally Posted by Andyman409 View Post
Not all claims are created equal. An intelligent design book isn't the same a "origin of the species" just because they are both found in the science section of the library. And I never said we had to explain all the evidence for each scenario. A lot of wierd things happened with Tina Resch that I can't precisesly explain right now. However, since she was caught cheating on one of them, I see no reason to look deeper.

I'm just busting your chops. Busting makes me feel good.
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Old 7th October 2012, 07:23 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Andyman409 View Post
What recources do you think are best for critically analysing poltergeist cases? Which magazine articles, journals, authors or groups?

Well, you start with critical thinking, a resource which you seem to have been neglecting to this point. There is no objective evidence to support the notion that alleged poltergeist effects are anything other than mundane phenomena. Applying critical thinking means putting the burden of proof where it belongs. If anyone claims those alleged effects are due to something other than commonly understood, natural causes, the responsibility for demonstrating that belongs to them. If they are unable to do that, the intelligent, rational approach is to dismiss any such claims.
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Old 7th October 2012, 08:01 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by GeeMack View Post
Well, you start with critical thinking, a resource which you seem to have been neglecting to this point. There is no objective evidence to support the notion that alleged poltergeist effects are anything other than mundane phenomena. Applying critical thinking means putting the burden of proof where it belongs. If anyone claims those alleged effects are due to something other than commonly understood, natural causes, the responsibility for demonstrating that belongs to them. If they are unable to do that, the intelligent, rational approach is to dismiss any such claims.
You constrain yourself well, my friend! Anyways, I dont know what you mean by "objective evidence", but I already acknowledged that the evidence for poltergeists is purely testimonial. No reproducible lab evidence exists at all, to my knowledge. Still, testimonial evidence is evidence. It isn't rated favorably in a court of law, but its still admissable.

I also agree that the burden on proof is on the paranormalist, not me. I do not need to explain every detail of a case to show that it's not paranormal. But I do feel obliged to look at some of their cases, perhaps a representative sample, to see what their evidence is. Apparantly, thats the way they argue for poltergeists. Is it so strange that I want to see this evidence, and the critiques of it, before I make my judgement?
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Old 7th October 2012, 08:10 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Andyman409 View Post
Anyways, I dont know what you mean by "objective evidence", but I already acknowledged that the evidence for poltergeists is purely testimonial. No reproducible lab evidence exists at all, to my knowledge. Still, testimonial evidence is evidence. It isn't rated favorably in a court of law, but its still admissable.
You might want to read up on the scientific method and maybe also how it differs from a court of law.
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Old 7th October 2012, 08:55 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Robrob View Post
You might want to read up on the scientific method and maybe also how it differs from a court of law.
For Pete's sake, I said:

Quote:
testimonial evidence isn't worth much, but is still admissable in a court of law.
I'm just saying that one's experiences can be used as evidence, even if it is poor evidence.

Anyways, I'm starting to think you all misunderstand me, so I'm going to repeat what I said earlier:

Quote:
So, what is there to know? Apparantly, William Roll's book "the poltergeist" is the most authoritative book on the subject, and that skeptics should read it or else there ignorant
I said "apparently". "Apparently", Roll's book is the most authoritative book on the subject. "Apparently", sketics should read it or else their ignorant. Apparantly is the key word here. All I'm doing is paraphrasing a few of the innane comments I've heard from paranormalists, and adding a bit of sarcasm to it. Of course, innae doesn't mean a priori wrong. They are right that one should look at the evidence before one makes a judgement. But than again, we agree on that
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Old 7th October 2012, 09:23 PM   #37
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Sorry, no one has time to read everything or even one book on "everything" Bad news though is that in my misspent youth I read a number of books on these topics including but no way limited to poltergeists. It led me to this: I will happily spend a night or three in a poltergeist/ghost infested house as long as I get to take in weapons of my choice and am legally absolved of responsibility for any deaths occurring during my time there.
(i.e. I firmly and absolutely believe there are no ghosts of any type and am willing to back my belief with the lives of anyone slime enough to try to scare people. I also am willing to shoot vampires and werewolves and, of course, zombies.)

My weapons of choice, by the by, would be a 12 gauge shotgun, a SIG 551A1, a snubby .460 and a not snubby .460 for close work and knives. This is NOT for protection against supernatural crap - don't need anything for that.
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Old 7th October 2012, 09:30 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by Andyman409 View Post
What do you mean when you say classic poltergeist phenomena don't exist?
We mean that there are no phenomena that can be verified to have actually happened that need a supernatural explanation.

Quote:
Do you think it's psi?
Doesn't exist.

Quote:
And what do you mean by most skeptics?
More than 50% of people who trust verifiable evidence more highly than anecdotes and personal beliefs.

Quote:
Sorry for the questions, but I try to be as honest as possible when studying these phenomena. I dont like the idea of psi or an afterlife, but I'm willing to follow the evidence were it leads.
Since there is no evidence, it leads to the null hypothesis - i.e. no psi, no afterlife.
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Old 7th October 2012, 09:35 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by Andyman409 View Post
I think the biggest issue of all is the fact that poltergeists rely on second hand evidence almost necessarily.
Since cameras and video and tape recorders do not exist...

Quote:
The classic apologetic for poltergeists tends to be: "here are many cases, explain THAT!".
To which we say, evidence?

What, no evidence? Well, find some and get back to us.

Quote:
Great effort needs to be put into analysing each case, and I'm not sure if parapsychologists have put in that effort. Some bring mediums to their investigation, while others still take Tina Resch seriously. I think a careful but skeptical sifting needs to be done, at least at some of the more prominent cases, and I am unsure of how to approch such a task, or who has already partaken in it. Surely I am not the only skeptic to approach the question honestly. Any others you know of?
A flat rejection of unevidenced claims is perfectly honest.

Quote:
Now, I obviously dont expect a perfect answer for each case.
How about a perfect question?

Quote:
Most skeptics attack popular treatments of the paranormal and frauds. Nothing wrong with that if your upfront. Certainly makes investigating the "professional" cases harder though. What recources do you think are best for critically analysing poltergeist cases?
The simple question: Evidence?
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Old 7th October 2012, 09:40 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Andyman409 View Post
For Pete's sake, I said:

Quote:
testimonial evidence isn't worth much, but is still admissable in a court of law.
I'm just saying that one's experiences can be used as evidence, even if it is poor evidence.
Back off, man. I'm a scientist.
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