[ExI] Alcock on Bem in Skeptical Inquirer

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Sat Dec 4 23:30:23 UTC 2010

On Sat, Dec 4, 2010 at 11:08 PM, Damien Broderick wrote:
> Terrible article, filled with errors and disgraceful innuendo, including
> unjustified imputations of dishonesty ("one cannot help but wonder if two
> experiments were indeed run, and each failed to produce significant results,
> and so the data from the two were combined, with the focus shifted to only
> the erotic pictures common to all participants," even though Alcock adds
> disingenuously, "Surely that was not done, for such an action would make a
> mockery of experimental rigor").

Well, surely his original description must have been very badly
written to allow interpretations that he disagrees with so strongly?
Perhaps he should do a complete rewrite.

But whether or not his statistical findings prove psi is still an
entirely open question.

Perhaps he was praying very hard for a good result?

Or perhaps Mercury was in a good aspect with Uranus at the time of his

Or perhaps his candidates had a few lucky guesses that a longer
experiment would negate?

As I quoted, a statistical bias has no preference for which theory
might or might not have been the cause when no mechanism can be
demonstrated. Choose your favorite theory.


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