ISF Logo   IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » General Skepticism and The Paranormal
 


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Tags study , psi , dean radin , carl sagan

Reply
Old 30th January 2007, 08:10 PM   #1
omegablue
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 599
Carl Sagan, in the end of his life, suggested psi deserves serious study

Wow, now that is exciting.

Reading one of Dean Radinīs books, The Conscious Universe, Iīve stumbled upon the following report in the introduction of the book (pages 2 and 3):

In a 1995 book saturated with piercing skepticism ,the late Carl Sagan of Cornell University maintained his lifelong mission of educating the public about science in this case debunking popular hysteria over alien abductions, channelers, faith healers, the "face" of Mars, and practically everything else found in the New Age section of most bookstores. Then, in one paragraph among 450 pages, we find an astonishing admission:

"At the time of writing there are three claims in the ESP field which, in my oppinion, deserve serious study: (1) that by thought alone human can (barely) affect random numer generators in computers: (2) that people under mild sensory deprivation can receive thoughts or images "projected" at them; and (3) that young children sometimes report the details of a previous life, which upon checking turn out to be accurate and which they could not have known about in any other way than reincarnation."


Will you friends help me investigating which Saganīs book is that, and if this is true or not, and if it is, why is this fact being practically concealed from the public? Just to remember, Sagan died in December 20, 1996. If it is like Radin reports, this declaration was within one of his latest publications.

Last edited by omegablue; 30th January 2007 at 08:13 PM. Reason: spelling errors
omegablue is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th January 2007, 08:17 PM   #2
Cleon
King of the Pod People
 
Cleon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 25,659
Charles Darwin, Carl Sagan....Astonishing how many "deathbed recantations" are out there.

Check out this page on skepdic.com. Basically, this is the worst sort of taking a quote out of context:

Quote:
We try. Sometimes we fail, but this is not one of those times. Here is the part of the passage from Sagan that Radin quotes:
At the time of writing, there are three claims in the ESP field which, in my opinion, deserve serious study: (1) that by thought alone humans can (barely) affect random number generators in computers; (2) that people under mild sensory deprivation can receive thoughts or images "projected" at them; and (3) that young children sometimes report the details of a previous life, which upon checking turn out to be accurate and which they could not have known about in any other way than reincarnation (Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World, Random House, 1995, p. 302).
Radin calls this "an astonishing admission" and goes on to crow about "other signs of shifting opinions" regarding the reality of psi phenomena "cropping up with increasing frequency in the scientific literature."

However, immediately after the quote in question, Sagan writes: "I pick these claims not because I think they're likely to be valid (I don't), but as examples of contentions that might be true." They "have at least some, although still dubious, experimental support. Of course, I could be wrong." He then goes on to relate how in the mid-1970s he found himself unable to sign a manifesto called "Objections to Astrology" not because he thought astrology has any validity, but "because I felt (and still feel) that the tone of the statement was authoritarian." Sagan was not admitting anything about the likely reality of psi phenomena. He was merely being Sagan: No claim should be dismissed out-of-hand or rejected because it seems absurd or stupid, or because of the motivations, scientific qualifications, or moral character of its proponents. Claims should be accepted or rejected only if the evidence warrants it. Sagan was simply defending the view that a good skeptic must be open-minded. He is not saying that any of these three claims is true or probably true. He is stating the claims as those who believe them would state them and he is saying they deserve "serious study," that is, they should not be dismissed out-of-hand. He said the same thing about astrology.
Incidentally, that particular book--The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark--should be required reading for any person who considers themselves a skeptic, or even wants to know more about skepticism and science in general.
__________________
"People like me are what stand between us and Auschwitz." - Newt Gingrich

Last edited by Cleon; 30th January 2007 at 08:20 PM.
Cleon is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th January 2007, 08:24 PM   #3
Hamradioguy
Pyrrhonist
 
Hamradioguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,296
Originally Posted by Cleon View Post
Incidentally, that particular book--The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark--should be required reading for any person who considers themselves a skeptic, or even wants to know more about skepticism and science in general.
You beat me to it, Cleon. I've just finished re-reading this, and remember the particular passage. Of course by quote mining an entirely different viewpoint seems to have been made.

When I become dictator this book will be required reading for EVERY person....period.
Hamradioguy is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th January 2007, 08:42 PM   #4
omegablue
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 599
Hmmm... looks like it was really cropped.

But in the end I did not know Carl Sagan was convinced that this things deserved serious study. I also do not get it as like he was saying that psi exists. But looks like the results being obtained by the experiments was raising even a few hardcore skepticīs brows at that time, otherwise he would be mocking the claims and exposing the experiments.

He distinguish his oppinion from fact:

oppinion: these claims are not likely to be valid.
facts: there is at least a few experimental support.

conclusion: this deserves serious study.

Wow, this is being skeptic, truly.

Quote:
Incidentally, that particular book--The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark--should be required reading for any person who considers themselves a skeptic, or even wants to know more about skepticism and science in general.
If it inspires true skepticism and not "war on the paranormal", like many places and "skeptic" sites over the internet promotes, I do agree with you. My oppinion is that skepticism is a tool, its a tool for thinking and applying science, not a lifestyle. I think things like "Iīm a skeptic, just watch me doubt about anything" is the same as being religious. It is just a matter of misinterpretation of what skepticism really is and should be used as.
omegablue is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th January 2007, 10:12 PM   #5
Questioninggeller
Illuminator
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 3,048
Just want to echo the comment on The Demon-Haunted World. It is a must read.
Questioninggeller is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th January 2007, 10:48 PM   #6
LostAngeles
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 10,109
That book was one of the many factors in me getting my sh** together. It's a great read.
LostAngeles is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th January 2007, 10:50 PM   #7
ChrisC
Critical Thinker
 
ChrisC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 466
Thanks to the people on this forum, I purchased DHW. I'm having a hard time getting through it, but not because it's at all crummy. Quite the opposite. I find every page gives me something to think about and I end up putting the book aside for at least a moment to ponder what Sagan has written. I really appreciate that he never seems to fall into the trap of dismissing people as idiots or fools when he obviously disagrees with them. There's no note of mean-spirited-ness. Even his criticism of, for example, the witch burnings comes across as honest instead of assaultive. I find that style of communication far more persuasive than bashing, even when the bashing is warranted. He really makes a good case and I can't see any reasonable person from either side of the fence being alienated by his opinions.

Everyone should read this book. I'm buying another copy so that I can give this one away.

Sorry to go on... I'm just really enjoying this book.
ChrisC is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th January 2007, 11:04 PM   #8
The Atheist
The Grammar Tyrant
 
The Atheist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 21,511
Originally Posted by omegablue View Post
Hmmm... looks like it was really cropped.

But in the end I did not know Carl Sagan was convinced that this things deserved serious study. I also do not get it as like he was saying that psi exists. But looks like the results being obtained by the experiments was raising even a few hardcore skepticīs brows at that time, otherwise he would be mocking the claims and exposing the experiments.

He distinguish his oppinion from fact:

oppinion: these claims are not likely to be valid.
facts: there is at least a few experimental support.

conclusion: this deserves serious study.

Wow, this is being skeptic, truly.

If it inspires true skepticism and not "war on the paranormal", like many places and "skeptic" sites over the internet promotes, I do agree with you. My oppinion is that skepticism is a tool, its a tool for thinking and applying science, not a lifestyle. I think things like "Iīm a skeptic, just watch me doubt about anything" is the same as being religious. It is just a matter of misinterpretation of what skepticism really is and should be used as.
Yes, that's all marvellous, but it's not quite the same as this post:

Originally Posted by omegablue View Post
There is already a huge ammount of supporting evidence for telepathy and ESP, that for some reasons which remains mostly unknown, they are all rejected, mocked or forced to be forgotten.
So, where's this "huge amount of evidence"?
__________________
The point of equilibrium has passed; satire and current events are now indistinguishable.
The Atheist is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th January 2007, 11:17 PM   #9
Questioninggeller
Illuminator
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 3,048
Originally Posted by ChrisC View Post
Thanks to the people on this forum, I purchased DHW. I'm having a hard time getting through it, but not because it's at all crummy. Quite the opposite. I find every page gives me something to think about and I end up putting the book aside for at least a moment to ponder what Sagan has written. I really appreciate that he never seems to fall into the trap of dismissing people as idiots or fools when he obviously disagrees with them. There's no note of mean-spirited-ness. Even his criticism of, for example, the witch burnings comes across as honest instead of assaultive. I find that style of communication far more persuasive than bashing, even when the bashing is warranted. He really makes a good case and I can't see any reasonable person from either side of the fence being alienated by his opinions.

Everyone should read this book. I'm buying another copy so that I can give this one away.

Sorry to go on... I'm just really enjoying this book.
Be sure to get Dawkin's new one too (if you haven't). It is well-written, and thought provoking.
Questioninggeller is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st January 2007, 02:33 AM   #10
CFLarsen
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 42,367
It isn't often we see a new trick from the tricksters. This is an old trick that gets dusted off from time to time, in the vain hope that someone haven't seen it before.

For some reason, they think they can get away with it, even right here on this forum:

Originally Posted by T'ai Chi View Post
Mark, a lot of them pick and choose from what Sagan wrote.

Sagan said that one of the only borderland studies worth examining are the random number generator ones, which I thought was interesting, something which a lot of people here dismiss.
Of course, such fraud is quickly revealed.
CFLarsen is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st January 2007, 04:09 AM   #11
T'ai Chi
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 11,218
It is because Sagan wasn't a dismissive, negative type of skeptic. That is, he wasn't a debunker or a self promoter, and was more interested in Science. In fact, he had more Science is his pinky nail that probably all of the skeptical clubs put together.
T'ai Chi is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st January 2007, 04:39 AM   #12
Lothian
should be banned
 
Lothian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: on the edge
Posts: 14,096
Originally Posted by T'ai Chi View Post
It is because Sagan wasn't a dismissive, negative type of skeptic. That is, he wasn't a debunker or a self promoter, and was more interested in Science. In fact, he had more Science is his pinky nail that probably all of the skeptical clubs put together.
Are you suggesting that science can not be used in debunking or are you just being a wanker as usual ?
Lothian is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st January 2007, 05:17 AM   #13
Big Les
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 5,028
Originally Posted by Lothian View Post
Are you suggesting that science can not be used in debunking or are you just being a wanker as usual ?
I'll take door number two please Bob.

Just reading DHW myself and was initially shocked to read the paragraph in question. Sagan really should have thought about future quote-mining exercises by the woos; it's a godsend for them. Great book though; really explains scepticism as a something that can be balanced with "open-mindedness" and needn't be aggressive. Then again he really had a downer on elements of popular culture that he doesn't seem to have fully understood; famously the X-Files, but also Beavis and Butthead! Had he watched the latter I would hope he'd realise that it was a form of social commentary on the very phenomenon (lazy uncritical thought, poor education) he saw it as promoting. Perhaps it did, for those too young or otherwise unable to see past the toilet humour.
Big Les is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st January 2007, 05:49 AM   #14
Beady
Philosopher
 
Beady's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: 42d 45'23.3"N, 84d 35' 10.8'W, 840'>MSL
Posts: 6,882
Originally Posted by Big Les View Post
Sagan really should have thought about future quote-mining exercises by the woos; it's a godsend for them.
You can't live your life or perform your work according to what other people might do with it.

BTW, there's another passage by Sagan, somewhere in Broca's Brain, I believe, where he posits the beneficial efffects of mind-altering drugs. I'm suprised folks haven't seized on it for whatever reason, but my point is that that passage was written in the '70s, when people were making all kinds of claims for all kinds of drugs. Sagan, as I remember and interpret it, was saying the same thing then about drugs that he later said about ESP. He wasn't advocating anything other than interest in a possibility.
__________________
I don't care what you do to the women and children,
leave me alone!
Beady is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st January 2007, 05:52 AM   #15
CFLarsen
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 42,367
Originally Posted by T'ai Chi View Post
It is because Sagan wasn't a dismissive, negative type of skeptic. That is, he wasn't a debunker or a self promoter, and was more interested in Science. In fact, he had more Science is his pinky nail that probably all of the skeptical clubs put together.
Here, T'ai Chi tries to separate skepticism from science (oh, sorry: Science). He wants skeptics to be seen as people who are not doing science:

Originally Posted by T'ai Chi View Post
Nope, skepticism is not science no matter how much one wishes.
True to form, he has argued the exact opposite before:

Originally Posted by T'ai Chi View Post
The best way to introduce Critical Thinking and Skepticism?

I'd say by encouraging people to study science.
Originally Posted by T'ai Chi View Post
The best thing in my opinion that one can do to promote critical thinking and skepticism is to study both sides of an issue, which includes also recognizing the assumptions in science.
T'ai Chi is a very confused young man.
CFLarsen is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st January 2007, 06:35 AM   #16
Big Les
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 5,028
Originally Posted by Beady View Post
You can't live your life or perform your work according to what other people might do with it.

BTW, there's another passage by Sagan, somewhere in Broca's Brain, I believe, where he posits the beneficial efffects of mind-altering drugs. I'm suprised folks haven't seized on it for whatever reason, but my point is that that passage was written in the '70s, when people were making all kinds of claims for all kinds of drugs. Sagan, as I remember and interpret it, was saying the same thing then about drugs that he later said about ESP. He wasn't advocating anything other than interest in a possibility.
Quite right. I think it would be worth bearing in mind for anyone writing on related subjects though. Sagan's writing style seems a little bit "stream of conciousness" to me; with a slightly different sentence and paragraph structure the quote wouldn't have been so readily "minable".

I do wonder why Sagan even mentioned the three things as being particularly worthy of "serious study". Do they merit it?
Big Les is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st January 2007, 06:49 AM   #17
Darat
Lackey
Administrator
 
Darat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: South East, UK
Posts: 84,548
Originally Posted by Big Les View Post
Quite right. I think it would be worth bearing in mind for anyone writing on related subjects though. Sagan's writing style seems a little bit "stream of conciousness" to me; with a slightly different sentence and paragraph structure the quote wouldn't have been so readily "minable".

I do wonder why Sagan even mentioned the three things as being particularly worthy of "serious study". Do they merit it?

It was published about 10 years ago, things move on. It is very unlikely that Sagan would, for instance, still be saying that there was something in the random number generator effect idea since the major studies have concluded that there is no effect.

The OP quote is being used as a false appeal to authority.
__________________
I wish I knew how to quit you
Darat is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st January 2007, 06:59 AM   #18
Jekyll
Graduate Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,586
Originally Posted by Big Les View Post
Quite right. I think it would be worth bearing in mind for anyone writing on related subjects though. Sagan's writing style seems a little bit "stream of conciousness" to me; with a slightly different sentence and paragraph structure the quote wouldn't have been so readily "minable".

I do wonder why Sagan even mentioned the three things as being particularly worthy of "serious study". Do they merit it?
At the time they hadn't been show to be conclusively false, and they were sufficiently fringe like phenomena that Sagan didn't feel they could be ruled out.
Since then things have moved on, PEAR's negative result and subsequent shut-down has ruled the effect of the mind on random number generation.

And by serious study, Sagan just meant legitimate study by actual scientists rather than the existing new age spin, and not that large amounts of resources should be pumped into the exploration of the field.
Jekyll is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st January 2007, 08:17 AM   #19
Big Les
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 5,028
Fair enough; thanks for the clarification. It's interesting that the subject title of this thread should be so similar to the old myth about Darwin recanting on his deathbed. Believers really will try anything to lend legitimacy to their nonsense.
Big Les is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st January 2007, 08:24 AM   #20
omegablue
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 599
Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
So, where's this "huge amount of evidence"?
The evidence is there and everywhere for anyone to dismiss or accept based on what criteria one use to be convinced that something is going on. All the meta-analyses of the experiments that are being conducted for more than a century points out that there is a real effect other than chance and design flaws, file-drarwer effect and other known possible problems that could decrease the confidence on the results. In fact the claims that the tighter the controls , the dimmer the results seem to be plausible at some extent. But even ruling out the most of this things, the meta-analysis like the reported by Radin in his books, seems to be in the order of 1 chance in 1 million or more.

So the point is not whether there is huge evidence or not, but how different people with different points of view and beliefs react to and accept these results. One can whine and bitch about the methods in particularly any way, based on his/her creativity and skills in rhetoric, or simply based on what they want to accept or not. Note that this can even be exaggerated to the point where you cannot say one is doing science anymore, but making science to behave like oneīs intentions, beliefs or hopes. The evidence convinced many people (like Sagan) that something was going on, and it was not due to chance, nor the other factors cited above, because increasing and increasing the controls the results (this extended to the period beyond /Saganīs death though), the results maintained way higher than expected by chance. Since I could not find anything serious and truly scientific debunking these experiments other than general moaning and claiming by exaggerated skeptics I have to agree with Sagan, that this deserves further and serious studies, apart from our oppinions and hopes about the truth behind these effects.
omegablue is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st January 2007, 08:27 AM   #21
Darat
Lackey
Administrator
 
Darat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: South East, UK
Posts: 84,548
Originally Posted by omegablue View Post
The evidence is there and everywhere

...snip....
So to repeat The Atheist's unanswered question - where's this "huge amount of evidence"?
__________________
I wish I knew how to quit you
Darat is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st January 2007, 08:34 AM   #22
KingMerv00
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 14,458
Originally Posted by omegablue View Post
The evidence is there and everywhere for anyone to dismiss or accept based on what criteria one use to be convinced that something is going on. All the meta-analyses of the experiments that are being conducted for more than a century points out that there is a real effect other than chance and design flaws, file-drarwer effect and other known possible problems that could decrease the confidence on the results. In fact the claims that the tighter the controls , the dimmer the results seem to be plausible at some extent. But even ruling out the most of this things, the meta-analysis like the reported by Radin in his books, seems to be in the order of 1 chance in 1 million or more.
Could you please give a specific example?
KingMerv00 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st January 2007, 08:35 AM   #23
Ersby
Fortean
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 1,872
Originally Posted by omegablue View Post
But even ruling out the most of this things, the meta-analysis like the reported by Radin in his books, seems to be in the order of 1 chance in 1 million or more.
I no longer have The Conscious Universe to hand, but it is full of mistakes regarding the two fields of which I know a fair bit about: the ganzfeld, and his brief summary of the debate about continetal shift in the introduction are both riddled with errors.

You can discuss Radin's ganzfeld meta-analysis here...

http://www.internationalskeptics.com...ad.php?t=70950
__________________
"Once a man admits complete and unshakeable faith in his own integrity, he is in an excellent frame of mind to be approached by con men." David W. Maurer, "The Big Con"
Ersby is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st January 2007, 08:42 AM   #24
omegablue
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 599
Originally Posted by CFLarsen View Post
Of course, such fraud is quickly revealed.
One of your rhetoric rules of thumb says: "extraodrinary claims requires extraordinary evidence". Where is the evidence of this fraud being revealed? I mean business, scientific evidence , not exaggerated skepticīs oppinions only. Now this is interesting and believe me, I am willing to accept this evidence of yours, if it is so.
omegablue is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st January 2007, 08:44 AM   #25
omegablue
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 599
Originally Posted by Ersby View Post
I no longer have The Conscious Universe to hand, but it is full of mistakes regarding the two fields of which I know a fair bit about: the ganzfeld, and his brief summary of the debate about continetal shift in the introduction are both riddled with errors.

You can discuss Radin's ganzfeld meta-analysis here...

http://www.internationalskeptics.com...ad.php?t=70950
Fine, thanks for the link, I will read through it and will enter that discussion , if I can add something worthy of discussing to that. Thanks.
omegablue is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st January 2007, 08:46 AM   #26
omegablue
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 599
Originally Posted by KingMerv00 View Post
Could you please give a specific example?
Iīll be with the book in hands later on, for now iīm at work. I will give you his examples ASAP.
omegablue is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st January 2007, 08:50 AM   #27
CFLarsen
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 42,367
Originally Posted by omegablue View Post
One of your rhetoric rules of thumb says: "extraodrinary claims requires extraordinary evidence". Where is the evidence of this fraud being revealed? I mean business, scientific evidence , not exaggerated skepticīs oppinions only. Now this is interesting and believe me, I am willing to accept this evidence of yours, if it is so.
The fraud I was talking about was the selective quoting of Sagan's words.

People think they can get away with it, in order to make it appear as if Sagan supported the existence of these phenomena. They can't.

If you want examples of fraud in parapsychology, I got plenty.
CFLarsen is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st January 2007, 08:51 AM   #28
omegablue
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 599
Friends, I would like to ask any of you to provide me any links about debunking Dean Radin and the Meta-Analysis method. What I found does not suffice as debunking evidence, but still it may well be plausible arguments and peer reviewed studies with statistical details, and plausible arguments about the bunk nature of such things.
omegablue is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st January 2007, 08:59 AM   #29
KingMerv00
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 14,458
Originally Posted by omegablue View Post
One of your rhetoric rules of thumb says: "extraodrinary claims requires extraordinary evidence". Where is the evidence of this fraud being revealed? I mean business, scientific evidence , not exaggerated skepticīs oppinions only. Now this is interesting and believe me, I am willing to accept this evidence of yours, if it is so.
Psi involves a force that is unlike any other force known in nature. Until psi-researchers submit their overwhelming evidence, we are left with a choice:

1) Accept psi as real and reject all previous study. The new previously undiscovered psi force must inserted into current science. A whole new field of study needs to be opened.

2) Consider the possibility that psi evidence may be the product of error, fraud, or poor scientific protocol.

#1 requires a restructuring of science as we know it. We know that #2 happens on a regular basis in life. Until we get repeatable data from the psi researchers, I find #2 more likely.
KingMerv00 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st January 2007, 09:01 AM   #30
omegablue
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 599
Originally Posted by CFLarsen View Post
The fraud I was talking about was the selective quoting of Sagan's words.
You are being exaggerated. The quote was cropped, maybe because it would not add that desired wait to Radinīs arguments, and that was bad i agree. If I were Radin I would use the entire excerpt, that would be flawlessly honest. Perhaps this is it. But fraud...hnmmm

The core of the argument was maintained, that was: Sagan really thought at that momment that those things deserved serious study because the claims were being supported with lab evidence. What followed and was cropped was Saganīs oppinion about psi.

Quote:
People think they can get away with it, in order to make it appear as if Sagan supported the existence of these phenomena. They can't.
Sagan supported that those things deserved further and serious studies, nothing more. If someone is getting it as Sagan was saying psi exists, this person is a little lacking in critical thinking and even common sense.

Quote:
If you want examples of fraud in parapsychology, I got plenty.
In fact there is a lot! We agree about this. I would like to see the most extensive and serious of them being debunked. Iīm still to see it.

Last edited by omegablue; 31st January 2007 at 09:08 AM. Reason: misspelled "see" for "be" :)
omegablue is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st January 2007, 09:28 AM   #31
Cleon
King of the Pod People
 
Cleon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 25,659
Originally Posted by omegablue View Post
You are being exaggerated. The quote was cropped, maybe because it would not add that desired wait to Radinīs arguments, and that was bad i agree. If I were Radin I would use the entire excerpt, that would be flawlessly honest. Perhaps this is it. But fraud...hnmmm
Yes, fraud. The quote was "cropped," as you put it, for the express purpose of making the claim that Sagan was changing his mind about ESP. This was clearly not the case. The "cropping" was essentially a lie--i.e., fraud.

Quote:
The core of the argument was maintained, that was: Sagan really thought at that momment that those things deserved serious study because the claims were being supported with lab evidence.
You're fishing for something that isn't there. Sagan felt that the "lab evidence" was "dubious" (his word), and that further serious study (i.e., controlled experiments) would show that the experiment was an anomaly. This happens all the time, which is why repeatability is so important to the scientific process. If a scientist writes up a paper indicating that an experiment established X, then other scientists analyze the study, look for flaws in the controls, and ultimately try to replicate the results. If they are unable to get the same results as the original study, then either the original study was flawed or a statistical anomaly.

Quote:
Sagan supported that those things deserved further and serious studies, nothing more. If someone is getting it as Sagan was saying psi exists, this person is a little lacking in critical thinking and even common sense.
That's exactly the way Radin is portraying it--which is why his "cropping" is an act of fraud.
__________________
"People like me are what stand between us and Auschwitz." - Newt Gingrich
Cleon is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st January 2007, 09:35 AM   #32
CFLarsen
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 42,367
Originally Posted by omegablue View Post
You are being exaggerated. The quote was cropped, maybe because it would not add that desired wait to Radinīs arguments, and that was bad i agree. If I were Radin I would use the entire excerpt, that would be flawlessly honest. Perhaps this is it. But fraud...hnmmm
It's fraud. There is no way neither Radin or T'ai Chi could have ignored Sagan's following words.

Originally Posted by omegablue View Post
The core of the argument was maintained, that was: Sagan really thought at that momment that those things deserved serious study because the claims were being supported with lab evidence. What followed and was cropped was Saganīs oppinion about psi.
Now you are being dishonest. The part that was deliberately left out explains why Sagan does not - as it was desired to indicate - support the existence of these phenomena.

Originally Posted by omegablue View Post
Sagan supported that those things deserved further and serious studies, nothing more. If someone is getting it as Sagan was saying psi exists, this person is a little lacking in critical thinking and even common sense.
Without the omitted part, how else would they perceive it? That's why the latter part was left out: To give the false impression that Sagan believed the phenomena were actually real.

Originally Posted by omegablue View Post
In fact there is a lot! We agree about this. I would like to see the most extensive and serious of them being debunked. Iīm still to see it.
Which cases are you talking about?
CFLarsen is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st January 2007, 09:40 AM   #33
omegablue
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 599
Originally Posted by KingMerv00 View Post
Psi involves a force that is unlike any other force known in nature. Until psi-researchers submit their overwhelming evidence, we are left with a choice:

1) Accept psi as real and reject all previous study. The new previously undiscovered psi force must inserted into current science. A whole new field of study needs to be opened.

2) Consider the possibility that psi evidence may be the product of error, fraud, or poor scientific protocol.

#1 requires a restructuring of science as we know it. We know that #2 happens on a regular basis in life. Until we get repeatable data from the psi researchers, I find #2 more likely.
I cannot agree more! Finding it more likely is the key healthy skepticism, if you want to provide your oppinion in a tenable way. But spitting out about the whole psi thing being bunk is like stepping completely out of the line. Sagan would not have forgiven psi if it was completely bunk. I will read carefully that thread about Radinīs meta-analysis and see if i can find anything convincing in there. Up till now, what Iīve found about it, is more likely to be just oppinions and claims than scientific facts.
omegablue is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st January 2007, 09:54 AM   #34
Mojo
Mostly harmless
 
Mojo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 30,703
Originally Posted by Cleon View Post
The quote was "cropped," as you put it, for the express purpose of making the claim that Sagan was changing his mind about ESP. This was clearly not the case.
It's also worth noting, perhaps, that in the quotation from Radin in the O/P The Demon-Haunted World is described as "a 1995 book" rather than being given its actual title, and no actual page reference is given, just "one paragraph among 450 pages". Makes it nice and easy to check the context of the quotation, doesn't it?
__________________
"You got to use your brain." - McKinley Morganfield

"The poor mystic homeopaths feel like petted house-cats thrown at high flood on the breaking ice." - Leon Trotsky
Mojo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st January 2007, 10:30 AM   #35
omegablue
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 599
Originally Posted by Cleon View Post
Yes, fraud. The quote was "cropped," as you put it, for the express purpose of making the claim that Sagan was changing his mind about ESP. This was clearly not the case. The "cropping" was essentially a lie--i.e., fraud.
Nopester, not so fast. You possibly want it to be a fraud, based on what you believe, and want it to be. But calling it fraud seems not to be plausible with just this information we have. I agree that he could have been flawless if he put up the entire quotation or paragraph and specifying what was Saganīs personal oppinion and scientific oppinion. Calling Radin a fraud because of this, would be laughable and you would be stepping completely out of the line. You can call it a mistake, but hardly a fraud.

Originally Posted by Cleon View Post
You're fishing for something that isn't there. Sagan felt that the "lab evidence" was "dubious" (his word), and that further serious study (i.e., controlled experiments) would show that the experiment was an anomaly.
Ah come one pal, so what Sagan meant is that the further studying of the phenomena would prove them wrong??? If this is what you mean, this is awful. You are disguising your oppinion and beliefs as facts.

Originally Posted by Cleon View Post
That's exactly the way Radin is portraying it--which is why his "cropping" is an act of fraud.
Like I said above, I disagree.
omegablue is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st January 2007, 10:50 AM   #36
CFLarsen
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 42,367
Originally Posted by omegablue View Post
Nopester, not so fast. You possibly want it to be a fraud, based on what you believe, and want it to be. But calling it fraud seems not to be plausible with just this information we have. I agree that he could have been flawless if he put up the entire quotation or paragraph and specifying what was Saganīs personal oppinion and scientific oppinion. Calling Radin a fraud because of this, would be laughable and you would be stepping completely out of the line. You can call it a mistake, but hardly a fraud.
One time, a mistake. Perhaps. But when Radin is found to select yet another quote, this time from Ray Hyman, it becomes a pattern of deceit.

Add to that, Radin also selects his data to make it show the existence of a global consciousness.

Still think Radin is merely making mistakes?
CFLarsen is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st January 2007, 10:52 AM   #37
Cleon
King of the Pod People
 
Cleon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 25,659
Originally Posted by omegablue View Post
Nopester, not so fast. You possibly want it to be a fraud, based on what you believe, and want it to be.
Not at all. I base my accusation of fraud on what Sagan actually said, and the fact that Radin selectively quoted Sagan to give a misleading impression of what Sagan was saying.

Quote:
But calling it fraud seems not to be plausible with just this information we have. I agree that he could have been flawless if he put up the entire quotation or paragraph and specifying what was Saganīs personal oppinion and scientific oppinion. Calling Radin a fraud because of this, would be laughable and you would be stepping completely out of the line. You can call it a mistake, but hardly a fraud.
The "information we have" is that Radin quoted Sagan out of context to indicate that Sagan thought that the experiments were suggestive of ESP. That is not the case, as the very next paragraph in the same book makes abundantly clear.

Ergo, he lied. Fraud. Whatever you want to call it. It's certainly not a "mistake"--he would have had to deliberately stop reading at that point to not get what Sagan was saying.

Quote:
Ah come one pal, so what Sagan meant is that the further studying of the phenomena would prove them wrong???
Well, that is what he said.

Quote:
If this is what you mean, this is awful. You are disguising your oppinion and beliefs as facts.
In what way is it "awful?" It was Sagan's scientific opinion that, in all likelihood, the experiments he was discussing were either flawed or statistical anomalies, but for the sake of the scientific process, further experimentation was required. That's not my "opinion," it's what Sagan said in the book.
__________________
"People like me are what stand between us and Auschwitz." - Newt Gingrich

Last edited by Cleon; 31st January 2007 at 10:57 AM.
Cleon is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st January 2007, 11:04 AM   #38
aggle-rithm
Ardent Formulist
 
aggle-rithm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 15,334
Originally Posted by omegablue View Post
The evidence convinced many people (like Sagan) that something was going on, and it was not due to chance, nor the other factors cited above, .................
This is more than a little misleading. It may have convinced people LIKE Sagan that something was going on, but it didn't convince Sagan himself. All he said was that something COULD POSSIBLY be going on, as opposed to ideas (like "free energy") that are so laughably implausible that science can safely ignore them without further investigation.

He specifically said that he didn't think the ideas were valid.
__________________
To understand recursion, you must first understand recursion.

Woo's razor: Never attribute to stupidity that which can be adequately explained by aliens.
aggle-rithm is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st January 2007, 11:12 AM   #39
omegablue
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 599
Originally Posted by CFLarsen View Post
It's fraud. There is no way neither Radin or T'ai Chi could have ignored Sagan's following words.
I call it a mistake. A fraud would have been something like: "Even Sagan said he beileved that psi phenomena might be true because of the following quotation in one of his books: <quotation here>..." That would be more like a fraud or lie.

Originally Posted by CFLarsen View Post
Now you are being dishonest. The part that was deliberately left out explains why Sagan does not - as it was desired to indicate - support the existence of these phenomena.
If someone has been dishonest, was Radin, not me. I cannot agree with you on the point that Sagan was trying to dismiss the phenomena in this quotation. The clear thing about the statement is “the claims deserved serious study because of some lab evidence.” This is the fact. Now, his oppinion is “the evidence is dubious and I dont think further stuydying would prove them right”. See the difference? You are forcing something here that is not clearly evident. Concluding , I think Radin comitted a mistake. And you comitted another calling it fraud in order to make all his claims and research results within the book appear fraudulent.

Originally Posted by CFLarsen View Post
Without the omitted part, how else would they perceive it? That's why the latter part was left out: To give the false impression that Sagan believed the phenomena were actually real.
You cannot be so sure, otherwise you are stepping out of the line. He ommited what followed, but what followed did not disprove what was presented. Yet, Sagan suggested that the phenomena deserved further study. Why he said this on a book about skepticism? Because he knew that there was evidence, lab evidence, and despite his personal oppinions about psi, he was honest enough to cite this. Now saying that intended to dismiss psi with that is a little too much isnīt it?

Originally Posted by CFLarsen View Post
Which cases are you talking about?
The cases presented in Radinīs books and works. The meta-analysis of huge ammounts of experiments that pointed to positive results.
omegablue is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st January 2007, 11:45 AM   #40
CFLarsen
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 42,367
Originally Posted by omegablue View Post
I call it a mistake. A fraud would have been something like: "Even Sagan said he beileved that psi phenomena might be true because of the following quotation in one of his books: <quotation here>..." That would be more like a fraud or lie.
But that's exactly the picture Radin wanted to paint. He misquoted Sagan to make it look as if Sagan supported Radin's beliefs.

Any comments on the other two "mistakes" Radin made?

Originally Posted by omegablue View Post
If someone has been dishonest, was Radin, not me. I cannot agree with you on the point that Sagan was trying to dismiss the phenomena in this quotation.
Then you are dishonest.

Originally Posted by omegablue View Post
The clear thing about the statement is “the claims deserved serious study because of some lab evidence.” This is the fact. Now, his oppinion is “the evidence is dubious and I dont think further stuydying would prove them right”. See the difference? You are forcing something here that is not clearly evident.
On the contrary, you are the one forcing something that is not there. If Sagan thinks the evidence is dubious, how can you possibly argue that it is "the fact" that Sagan thinks the claims deserved serious study because evidence is sound?

Unless, of course, you think that "dubious" means "sound".

Originally Posted by omegablue View Post
Concluding , I think Radin comitted a mistake. And you comitted another calling it fraud in order to make all his claims and research results within the book appear fraudulent.
When Radin misquotes skeptics to make it seem as if they support him, not once, not twice, but at least three times, it doesn't become a "mistake" anymore.

Originally Posted by omegablue View Post
You cannot be so sure, otherwise you are stepping out of the line. He ommited what followed, but what followed did not disprove what was presented.
That's exactly what it did.

Originally Posted by omegablue View Post
Yet, Sagan suggested that the phenomena deserved further study.
Not because he found the evidence convincing.

Originally Posted by omegablue View Post
Why he said this on a book about skepticism? Because he knew that there was evidence, lab evidence, and despite his personal oppinions about psi, he was honest enough to cite this. Now saying that intended to dismiss psi with that is a little too much isnīt it?
He clearly said the evidence was crap.

Originally Posted by omegablue View Post
The cases presented in Radinīs books and works. The meta-analysis of huge ammounts of experiments that pointed to positive results.
Go ahead, open a thread, present your case and let's take a look at it.
CFLarsen is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » General Skepticism and The Paranormal

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:09 AM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.