Damien Broderick thespike at satx.rr.com
Thu Sep 11 23:59:12 UTC 2008

At 07:31 PM 9/11/2008 -0400, JKC wrote:

>>almost all of what is shown amid the usual Penn and Teller antics 
>>and outbursts is BULLSHIT,  a child could see that.
>I ... can not fined one FUCKING error in what Penn and Teller were 
>say, not one God damn fuckinnm error!

Calm down. Your grammar is out of control. The fuckinnm BULLSHIT is 
what I was pointing at: that is, almost everything they showed 
gloatingly in between their antics: the grab-it-in-your-fists 
spoonbending and the animal spirits or whatever it was and the 
grotesque unblinded stupidity masquerading as remote viewing, all the 
ridiculously childish nonsense they so bravely set out to debunk. 
Those "psychic" morons with their obvious crude fakery were almost 
exactly on a par with that blustering fool blithering about the Large 
Hadron Collider on the CNET page you url'd earlier. If P&T spent ten 
minutes laughing at him, would you conclude that they had thereby 
shown the errors of particle physics? You've heard of shooting fish 
in a barrel? P&T were blasting at dead sardines in a can.

There were, of course, errors in the very few claims they made about 
real parapsychology. For example, Hyman got in his couple of 
sentences about how he showed there was nothing at all happening in 
STAR GATE, having apparently forgotten what he actually wrote in his 
official report. From my book:

<Professor Jessica Utts and Professor Ray Hyman, both of whom had 
previously assessed psi for the military in 1988,[11] were contracted 
in 1995 by American Institutes for Research (AIR) to evaluate the 
Star Gate program. Under Pentagon pressure, the multi-decade program 
was then terminated late in 1995; one might suppose that these 
evaluators had examined the best results from the various wings of 
the long project and found them wanting. Not so, or not quite. 
Curiously, Utts's report had concluded: "It is clear to this author 
that anomalous cognition is possible and has been demonstrated. This 
conclusion is not based on belief, but rather on commonly accepted 
scientific criteria" (my italics).

Hyman, a well-known skeptic, predictably disagreed, but admitted: "I 
tend to agree with Professor Utts that real effects are occurring in 
these experiments." Irritatingly, the assessors were not given the 
"operational" remote viewing material, just laboratory results from 
the last three years of government-sponsored research done from 1989 
to 1994 at Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), 
after the program had moved from SRI. Most of the real material, 
according to Utts, remains classified (personal communication)...>

That is, Professor Hyman was obliged to acknowledge that the effects 
were real, and unexplained, even if he thought it was due to some *as 
yet unknown* flaw in the methodology.

Damien Broderick

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