[ExI] few bits per second

Ross Evans ross.evans11 at gmail.com
Sun Jun 27 02:36:24 UTC 2010

On Sun, Jun 27, 2010 at 2:38 AM, Damien Broderick <thespike at satx.rr.com>wrote:

> On 6/26/2010 8:21 PM, Ross Evans wrote:
>  I was poking fun
> What a good idea. I really should try that sometimes.
>  I think the source of our seeming
>> ideological divide, can be found by looking at some of your published
>> works, specifically
>> /Outside the Gates of Science: Why It's Time for the Paranormal to Come
>> In From The Cold /
> Which you've read, obviously (because only a fool or a bigot would dismiss
> a popular science book unread), so let's hear your detailed objections.
> Speaking of Vic Stenger, I find it entertaining, in this context, that his
> web site displays some laudatory comments of mine, which can be seen in full
> on Richard Dawkins' site at
> http://richarddawkins.net/articles/1065
> Damien Broderick
> _______________________________________________
> extropy-chat mailing list
> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org
> http://lists.extropy.org/mailman/listinfo.cgi/extropy-chat

Of course I have not read either work, given that I have been aware of the
existence of both books for only a few hours. That said, I did take the time
to read a synopsis and and detailed review (Why It's Time for the Paranormal
to Come in From the Cold), these alone were enough to raise any eyebrow. The
same goes for 'The Lotto Effect', and again to me it just seems like so much
new age nonsense. For example. the work of P.E.A.R is thus recorded with
ciations on wikipedia...

*PEAR closed its doors at the end of February 2007 with its founder, Robert
G. Jahn <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_G._Jahn>, concluding that after
tens of millions of trials they had demonstrated that human intention has a
slight effect on random-event
28 years, we’ve done what we wanted to do, and there’s no reason to
stay and generate more of the same
said. Jahn felt that the work showed, on average, people can shift 2–3
events out of 10,000 from chance

*These tiny deviations from chance have failed to convince mainstream
scientists who feel that the effect is inconsistent and that relatively few
negative studies would cancel it
L. Park <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_L._Park> said of PEAR, "It’s
been an embarrassment to science, and I think an embarrassment for
maintains that if a coin is flipped enough times, even a slight
imperfection can produce more than 50% heads, and that the "tiny statistical
edges" PEAR reported are the result of statistical

More rigorous statistical analysis of the data collected by P.E.A.R shows no
measurable effect, and as Randi frequently comments, paranormal phenomena
have a habit of vanishing in the presence of serious scrutiny. My issue is
that when talking of 'evidence' for various 'paranormal' phenomena, what is
offered up, are the myriad pseudo-religious conjectures, of people overly
assertive of the healing power of crystals.

Apropos, your review of Stenger's book. You seem to be conflating 'having an
opinion on something', with being the peer of the person whose work on which
you have opined. There is a reason Stenger's work has appeared in numerous
peer reviewed scientific journals, concurrently, there is a reason yours has
not. The latter, whilst entertaining, and assuredly well written, does not
meet the standard of serious scientific inquiry, replete as it is with so
much ideological baggage.

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