[ExI] heaves a long broken psi.

John Clark jonkc at bellsouth.net
Mon Jan 25 15:29:03 UTC 2010

On Jan 24, 2010, Damien Broderick wrote:

> Do you really suppose that parapsychologists with PhDs and professorships in statistics or physics have never noticed the elementary facts you're pointing at? 

Yep I do. Far better scientists than them (nobody would go into parapsychology if they could make it in any other field) have been fooled by statistics and found things that weren't there, and this was in looking at GOOD data sets.

> The whole point of using statistics in science is that with sufficient data points, random correlations can be disambiguated from the non-random.

I can't emphasize enough that it is pointless to use sophisticated mathematics to analyze data to find patterns if you have absolutely no reason to think that the data you're looking at is any good.

> I've had a lot of this [anecdotal stories] directly from the scientists and military personnel in the now disbanded STAR GATE program, and it's hair-raising stuff. 

Physicist Richard Feynman had an interesting psi story. One day when he was a teenager in college and away from home for the first time he suddenly got an overwhelming feeling that his grandmother had died. The feeling was so strong that he made a telephone call home, and long distance calls were rare and expensive then. It turns out that grandma was just fine. Of course Feynman was an odd man, most people don't like to tell those type of psi stories, they prefer the other kind.

> "So why aren't they rich? Why was STAR GATE shut down?" Because psi is unreliable and skittish. 

We are supposed to believe that psi is too unreliable and skittish for the scientific method to detect, and this grotesque situation has been going on for century after century; but we are also supposed to believe that psi is not too unreliable and skittish for third rate mystics and first rate charlatans to discover it. And if you believe that then there's this bridge I'd like to sell you.

  John K Clark 


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