[ExI] Psi (was QT and SR)

Damien Broderick thespike at satx.rr.com
Sun Sep 7 21:45:45 UTC 2008

At 05:18 PM 9/7/2008 -0400, John Clark wrote:

>No, the reason Psi is rejected is that when skilled experimenters,
>that is to say people who have been known to perform important and 
>even beautiful non Psi experiments turn their attention to Psi they 
>see nothing;

This would be a lot more interesting if you could name any five such 
notable experimenters who've followed the published protocols and 
found nothing. Not high school science teachers with a one-paper 
essay in SKEPTICAL INQUIRER, heavy duty dudes of the kind you reference.

The point of my post describing Dr. May's attempts to publish his 
results in SCIENCE is that "skilled experimenters" without any 
background in this field *never get to hear about the results* (such 
as pre-stimulus spikes, which have been found as well in old data 
bases not prepared by true believers), so they are never likely to 
attempt a careful replication.

But in general it's true that the calibre of psi experimenters is 
pretty woeful, by Nobel standards, and May is quick to admit just 
that. Even so, enough convergent weirdness has been coming out of the 
small underfunded labs for at least the last 30 years to provide some 
puzzles for these fine minds to test. It's not as if it's extremely 
difficult to run prestimulus experiments, and it's certainly not the 
case (to my knowledge) that geniuses known to perform important and 
even beautiful non Psi experiments have tried this protocol and got 
null results. Three or four examples would help corroborate your 
claim, John. But I know your likely reply: since this is all 
categorically a priori BULLSHIT, why should you waste your time 
looking for this evidence?--it must be there somewhere, because any 
such claim is BULLSHIT.

Damien Broderick

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