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Old 5th January 2005, 08:52 PM   #1
Open Mind
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Should psychic research receive funding?

Go vote
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Old 5th January 2005, 09:11 PM   #2
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I voted no.
I would love it if there actually was ESP, but so far the accumulated body of results have been utterly unimpressive. I have a strong feeling that if research went on for another 100 years, the psi folk would still be singing the meager praises of experiments like the Ganzfields.
They've done their best over the years to make something out of nothing, and I just don't see any reason to continue research in this area.

Now, of course, the pro-psi crowd can chime in now and tell me how many experiments have proven the existence of psi, and more work needs to be done, blah, blah, blah.

It's time to let it go, in my opinion.
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Old 5th January 2005, 09:29 PM   #3
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it should receive all of the private funding that anyone wishes to waste their money on.

it should not receive any money that comes from taxpayers.
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Old 6th January 2005, 12:27 AM   #4
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Of course not, money should be channeled into other areas where there is actually evidence of effectiveness, like homeopathy.


















































Well, if you ask funny questions you'll get funny answers
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Old 6th January 2005, 12:50 AM   #5
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I voted "not sure" because I could imagine a program of research that would be like a Manhattan Project of the mind... that would utterly eliminate all alternate explanations, and could perhaps once and for all find evidence of latent or expressed psychic abilities, under unbelievably strict protocols, with huge "n" and such. That would be a great effort, and my suspicion is that it would be more nothing. But we of course never know.

That sort of thing earns $0 when it comes out of my pocket, I'd rather send a buck to Indonesia. And I'd be sad to see it mounted by a government. Yes, bring on the evidence, but I think it should be the private sector that gets this all settled. Wouldn't a cool million from a dedicated profiteer from the idea make it better? If I had some ability, even better than chance, of any of these claimed things (PK, remote viewing, clairvoyance) I would be hard pressed to sleep until I knew how predictable it was, how many others could do it, etc. I'd put my $ into a research account, and get it all going.

Sadly, I'm not in a position to do that.
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Old 6th January 2005, 02:15 AM   #6
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It should be funded, but the source of the funds should be the profits of the people who make money out of their claimed paranormal powers.

Just as the pharmaceutical companies pay for the clinical trials of drugs they develop, so should e.g. homeopaths pay for clinical trials of their products. Likewise Uri Gellar and co should pay a % of their profits for powers of telekinesis to be independently investigated, Sylvia Browne and co should pay for psychics to be tested etc etc.
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Old 6th January 2005, 02:17 AM   #7
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Hey, there is a real problem with this thread.

The poll title is "Should PSI research receive funding, for scientific research with proper controls" to which I answered "yes" only because it contained the qualifying phrase, "with proper controls."

That phrase, in my opinion, basically eliminates PSI research because the proponents never agree to "proper controls."

But then your "Subject" line is "Should psychic research receive funding?" which is an ENTIRELY different question. I would answer "no" to it.

So make up your mind as to which question you want answered and go from there.
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Old 6th January 2005, 03:47 AM   #8
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I voted "yes". Even if I'm an hardcore skeptic, medium is a really interresting topic for research. I would love to do ressearchs on that subject

There is many ways to do researchs on that subject. Are medium more fantasy-prone than other peoples? For medium who really believe they are true medium, it would be really interresting to do interview about there childhoods and see if they are some patterns in there.

Someone like Richard Wiseman do researchs on medium. I mean, this guy really need funding too...

We need to fund this area if we want skeptics to be able to do replications of parapsychology experiments and show that, when they do it they don't have any statistical significant results. Parapsy will thell it's the experimenter effects, but, hey, who cares?

I don't think it's a good idea to not fund this type of area of researchs, because then you can be sure it would be the woo-woo who'll publish about it on New Age bookshop. Vade Retro!
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Old 6th January 2005, 04:14 AM   #9
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I have this feeling that if we fund proper ESP research today and the results are (naturally) zero, then after 10 years the lovely ESP proponents will still be crtiticizing these studies and supporting ESP and asking for more funding
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Old 6th January 2005, 04:50 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by El Greco
I have this feeling that if we fund proper ESP research today and the results are (naturally) zero, then after 10 years the lovely ESP proponents will still be crtiticizing these studies and supporting ESP and asking for more funding
I do agree with you on that... But, well, you know: I'm a believer in the academic world

I really think that if a debate is inside the academic world, and not outside, it would be better for everyone...
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Old 6th January 2005, 05:02 AM   #11
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I voted "no", but I did not like the caption "No, it’s a waste of money, we already know the answers". In my opinion, this has already been researched ad nauseam with no results. Now, if somebody came up with something new, I would be willing to support it.
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Old 6th January 2005, 05:09 AM   #12
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No.

Each time a proper experiment is carried out, the effect vanishes, despite earlier claims of big, easily detecable effects.

The "unwillingness" of most psychics etc. is testament to their deceit.

Let the money go to debunk frauds and charlatans instead.
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Old 6th January 2005, 05:53 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by SezMe

But then your "Subject" line is "Should psychic research receive funding?" which is an ENTIRELY different question. I would answer "no" to it.

So make up your mind as to which question you want answered and go from there.
Please use the latter with proper controls question ....... to explain I had a much longer question for the poll, I suspected it would be too long for a topic title (which must be shorter in some other forum software) .... I then found out when creating the poll question (that must be done after topic creation) that my poll question was far too long for the poll ........ oh well, I'll get these the same next time
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Old 6th January 2005, 06:20 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by SezMe

That phrase, in my opinion, basically eliminates PSI research because the proponents never agree to "proper controls."


"never"

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Old 6th January 2005, 06:21 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by CFLarsen

Each time a proper experiment is carried out, the effect vanishes, despite earlier claims of big, easily detecable effects.
Vanishes? Like disappears completely? Please clarify..
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Old 6th January 2005, 06:25 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by CFLarsen
No.

Each time a proper experiment is carried out, the effect vanishes, despite earlier claims of big, easily detecable effects.
We've seen you tout this claim before Claus. Last time, I asked you 3 times for peer reviewed papers that back up your claim before giving up. Have you got them this time?
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Old 6th January 2005, 06:28 AM   #17
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Public funding? No.

By now it is amply clear that that the chances of any significant discoveries being made is vanishingly small.

Private funding? Sure, whatever tickles your pickle. A fool and his money...
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Old 6th January 2005, 07:44 AM   #18
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The only funding it will get from me is when I send some money into the JREF.
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Old 6th January 2005, 08:08 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by jzs
Vanishes? Like disappears completely? Please clarify..
Vanish. Disappears. Vaporizes. Gone with the wind. POOF!

If you, OTOH, can point to a properly conducted experiment that shows evidence of any paranormal phenomenon, be my guest.
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Old 6th January 2005, 08:10 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by davidsmith73
We've seen you tout this claim before Claus. Last time, I asked you 3 times for peer reviewed papers that back up your claim before giving up. Have you got them this time?
Try Wiseman: Whenever he tries to find anything, he fails.
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Old 6th January 2005, 08:19 AM   #21
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I voted 'no', taking it to mean Government sponsored funding.

But I would encourage private funding as that is not impacting anyone except for the individual/organisation who chooses to fund it.
And they'll be much more enthuiastic about the research as they will be very results orientated.

It's strange actually that not more private research is being funded into this. Think of the benefit to any company that yielded positive results in this area! It would make trillions!

Why don't they spend more money on this research?
I suspect it could be that the corporate entities (who would happily research rocks for years if they felt there was even the remotest chance of yielding a drop of blood from them) just don't think that research will yield anything.

Not, of course, that this means that these abilities don't exist, just that those with the international purse strings certainly don't think they do.
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Old 6th January 2005, 08:32 AM   #22
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I think KelvinG summed up all the decades of fruitless research in 3 words:


Let it go.
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Old 6th January 2005, 08:40 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by CFLarsen
Try Wiseman: Whenever he tries to find anything, he fails.
Your quote in full (bold mine):

"Each time a proper experiment is carried out, the effect vanishes, despite earlier claims of big, easily detecable effects."

Do you have the references of literature reviews to back up your actual claim instead of dropping names about the odd one or two failed experiment?
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Old 6th January 2005, 08:50 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by davidsmith73
Your quote in full (bold mine):

"Each time a proper experiment is carried out, the effect vanishes, despite earlier claims of big, easily detecable effects."

Do you have the references of literature reviews to back up your actual claim instead of dropping names about the odd one or two failed experiment?
I see that nothing will satisfy you, not even actual examples (which is what you asked for).

Oh, well.
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Old 6th January 2005, 10:18 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally posted by CFLarsen
I see that nothing will satisfy you, not even actual examples (which is what you asked for).

Oh, well.
I can give you single examples of experiments where the controls were improved and the effect does not disappear. However I would not expect you to accept that this proves psi because we need lots of replicated examples don't we Claus.

You have also ignored the fact that your claim was that each time a proper experiment is performed the effect vanishes. So actually no, single examples will not do. You have to show that it happens all the time. There are a lot of psi experiments you know.

So, do you have the evidence?
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Old 6th January 2005, 11:04 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally posted by davidsmith73

You have also ignored the fact that your claim was that each time a proper experiment is performed the effect vanishes. So actually no, single examples will not do. You have to show that it happens all the time. There are a lot of psi experiments you know.
Yeah, but how many proper ones?
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Old 6th January 2005, 11:20 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally posted by davidsmith73
I can give you single examples of experiments where the controls were improved and the effect does not disappear. However I would not expect you to accept that this proves psi because we need lots of replicated examples don't we Claus.

You have also ignored the fact that your claim was that each time a proper experiment is performed the effect vanishes. So actually no, single examples will not do. You have to show that it happens all the time. There are a lot of psi experiments you know.

So, do you have the evidence?
Here:

The VERITAC ESP testing machine (1962) built at the Air Force Cambridge Research Laboratories at Hanscom Field, in Bedford, Mass. The program was designed to replicate the earlier "forced choice" esp experiments conducted by J.B. Rhine at Duke University. J.B Rhine had consistently reported positive results.

VERITAC found no evidence of ESP. Rhine's findings were later found to be the result of poorly-designed experiments and "the file drawer" effect- where negative results go unreported.

Similar experiments were also conducted by Richard C. Sprinthall and Barry S. Lubetkin. Their(negative) results were published in the Journal of Psychology (vol. 60, pp. 313-18)

Targ and Puthoff's "Aquarius Machine" ESP tests are a perfect example of results growing more and more negative as controls are tightened. Feel free to research the dismal history of that run of experiments for yourself.
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Old 6th January 2005, 01:06 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally posted by davidsmith73
I can give you single examples of experiments where the controls were improved and the effect does not disappear. However I would not expect you to accept that this proves psi because we need lots of replicated examples don't we Claus.

You have also ignored the fact that your claim was that each time a proper experiment is performed the effect vanishes. So actually no, single examples will not do. You have to show that it happens all the time. There are a lot of psi experiments you know.

So, do you have the evidence?
I have given you examples. Others have, too. I couldn't care less if you accepted them or not. Since you are a hardcore believer, I doubt that you will ever be swayed by evidence.

Just don't claim that you haven't been shown evidence.
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Old 6th January 2005, 01:15 PM   #29
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I voted 'not sure' because my answer is more complex than a simple 'yes' or 'no'. I don't think there is enough to psychic research that I would spend my own money (if I had that kind of money) to fund it, nor would I pleased to learn that my government was spending my tax money on it. But if some wealthy person wants to fund it out of his own pocket, that's his own business so he can do so to his heart's content, as far as I am concerned. Just don't ask me to kick in.
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Old 6th January 2005, 02:18 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally posted by davidsmith73
I can give you single examples of experiments where the controls were improved and the effect does not disappear. However I would not expect you to accept that this proves psi because we need lots of replicated examples don't we Claus.

You have also ignored the fact that your claim was that each time a proper experiment is performed the effect vanishes. So actually no, single examples will not do. You have to show that it happens all the time. There are a lot of psi experiments you know.

So, do you have the evidence?
Can you give us an idea of how much evidence of non-evidence would be required to convince you, David? Would you require that every single psi study past and present be unequivocally refuted? That would be impossible task.

It still leaves you looking for the unicorn or "one white crow."

Hey! A single white bird feather has just landed on my Notebook as I typed "one white crow". It is after 9 p.m. and I'm in a room with no feather bedding -- I have asthma.

Now, that's is honestly one of the weirdest things that has ever happened to me. It is very windy, and there is an open window. But such strange coincidences happen all the time.

If I hear a crow tonight, though, I'm outa here.
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Old 6th January 2005, 02:50 PM   #31
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I was of two minds on this question.

I voted no because mainly I think it's a colossal waste of money that could be used studying things that actually exist.

But on the other hand, having some controlled, well-performed tests/studies that show absolutely no results, might help put some of these issues to rest and shut up the woos. Oh wait, come to think of it, nothing will convince the woos since their beliefs are not based on ANY empirical evidence.

OK...I vote NO.
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