Scientific Evidence for PSI?

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Re: Scientific Evidence for PSI?

Postby Access Denied » Fri Jan 07, 2011 6:53 am

This just in...

Journal’s Paper on ESP Expected to Prompt Outrage
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/06/science/06esp.html

One of psychology’s most respected journals has agreed to publish a paper presenting what its author describes as strong evidence for extrasensory perception, the ability to sense future events.

The decision may delight believers in so-called paranormal events, but it is already mortifying scientists. Advance copies of the paper, to be published this year in The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, have circulated widely among psychological researchers in recent weeks and have generated a mixture of amusement and scorn.

This comment at JREF may be worth noting...

http://forums.randi.org/showpost.php?p= ... tcount=408

Leon Heller wrote:I find Bem's choice of the The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology rather strange, I'd have thought that The Journal of Experimental Psychology would have been more appropriate for experiments of that nature; they seem to have little to do with the fields of personality and social psychology. The latter journal would probably have asked a statistician to be involved in the review process, which might have influenced his choice.

Ron weighs in…

Dan wrote:6:00-------------

20 min convo with Ron. Only two responses about C2C: Gordon, negative; and Bill L, positive.

He does not have a CB radio, so he has gotten no feedback from the overnight truckers who make up much of the audience.

There was much discussion of the Daryl Bem paper. It turns out that Daryl's paper has 8 references to Dean Radin's work. Therein lies a tale.......

Dean was another aviary outlier. In the process of Ron's exorcism of Uncle Sam, he had a run-in with Dean. Like Daryl, Dean advertised for people to replicate his results for precognition. Ron volunteered, but Dean was slow to respond. Eventually, Dean explained that the replication would require the purchase of a complete experimental package, including galvanic skin sensors, special analog randomizers, as well as a pre-programmed laptop computer. If you will notice in some of the news blurbs on Daryl, the experiment involves exposure to erotic images. And so did Dean's experiment. Ron ascertained that there were thousands of such images on Dean's computer. When Ron pointed this out to the UNLV admins, Dean was discharged from his professorial duties. Is this playing fair? In a similar fashion, did Ron put a major crimp in Rick's ufo activities.

I pointed out to him that the main critique of Daryl has to do with his alleged neglect of Bayesian statistics. So there we are. Has the Phenomenology Problem been solved? I wouldn't bet the farm on it.

That seems in line with recent widespread criticism of the preprint, e.g. this from James Alcock at CSI…

Back from the future: Comments on Bem
http://www.csicop.org/specialarticles/s ... the_future

Daryl Bem purports to have found evidence of psychic abilities, marvellous abilities that transcend time and allow the future to change the past.

Also, this post at JREF…

Evidence of Scientific Misconduct in "Feeling the Future"
http://forums.randi.org/showpost.php?p= ... tcount=367

Tough crowd.
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Re: Scientific Evidence for PSI?

Postby chrLz » Fri Jan 07, 2011 10:12 am

From that first link:
The editor of the journal, Charles Judd, a psychologist at the University of Colorado, said the paper went through the journal’s regular review process. “Four reviewers made comments on the manuscript,” he said, “and these are very trusted people.”

All four decided that the paper met the journal’s editorial standards, Dr. Judd added, even though “there was no mechanism by which we could understand the results.”


I sit here stunned. What on earth has happened to science? I pray this is just an anomaly in some areas like psychology/psychiatry, but it seems this sort of absolute drivel is happening in other fields as well..

So let's review what was said - it "went through the journal’s regular review process." And “four reviewers made comments on the manuscript". So their regular peer review process is to get four people to look it over..

Do they look at the methodology? How the conclusions were reached? Well, no, apparently they just "decided that the paper met the journal’s editorial standards".. Which standards were those? - a quick spelling and grammar analysis, perhaps?

Because they sure as hell were not being properly peer reviewed, as Dr. Judd himself happily reveals "there was no mechanism by which we could understand the results."

I give up. It's no wonder the charlatans like this field...

FTR, I used to work in the marine sciences and saw on a daily basis how proper methodology and scrutiny was applied to everything. In that environment, this sort of thing would be laughed out of a coffee table discussion, let alone considered for publication (unless it was a university joke book perhaps...).

In a way it is probably a good thing, because it reveals the standards of that journal, and perhaps even the state of psychology as a 'science'.
"To wear the mantle of Galileo, it is not enough that you be persecuted by an unkind establishment. You must also be right." - Robert L. Park (..almost)
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Re: Scientific Evidence for PSI?

Postby Access Denied » Sat Jan 08, 2011 6:52 am

The “good” news I suppose is apparently Wagenmakers’ et. al. rebuttal (mentioned on the first page of this thread) will be published along with it.

More about their justification for publishing it despite that from Alan Boyle here…

Psychic proof? Skeptics strike back…
http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/20 ... trike-back

The journal's editors and reviewers were skeptical as well, but said they decided to go ahead with publication after looking closely at the data.

ABC News' Ned Potter quoted this passage from an editorial due to be published in the journal: "We openly admit that the reported findings conflict with our own beliefs about causality and that we find them extremely puzzling. Yet, as editors we were guided by the conviction that this paper — as strange as the findings may be — should be evaluated just as any other manuscript on the basis of rigorous peer review."

That’s all well and good however following that link I’m afraid we find the real reason…

"Anyone can submit a paper for publication," Judd said. "This one comes from someone who is well respected in the field."

That respect appears to have been earned for unrelated work…

Daryl Bem is a Cornell University psychologist who says he's been doing magic as a hobby since he was 17.

Now he has managed what some scientists may call his greatest trick: he's written a paper attempting to prove the power of ESP -- extrasensory perception -- and had it accepted for publication in a major scientific journal.

[…]

Now retired from a long career of mainstream psychological research, Bem says he started looking at ESP for fun, then began to take it more seriously.

Bem has nothing to lose so he “tricked” his former peer group into reviewing a topic outside their field of expertise that they on their own couldn't refute…
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Re: Scientific Evidence for PSI?

Postby RICH-ENGLAND » Sat Jan 08, 2011 8:45 am

just a question for anyone that might know.

when i was younger when i first got interested in ufos/paranormal etc, i read a story about cia remote viewers finding a downed plane in a jungle that the us military was desperate to get their hands on and allegedly did recover it before anyone else because of the supposed help of remote viewers.

now im not saying there's any truth to the story but i remember it being banded about and also being accepted by many as true.

ive done a quick search but can't find the story im thinking of, does anyone know what im talking about?.

now IF there is any truth to it (which i doubt), wouldn't that be seen as some sort of evidence of esp?.

thanks

rich

Edit) found the story now, gonna do some reading up to refresh!. lol
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Re: Scientific Evidence for PSI?

Postby Access Denied » Sat Jan 08, 2011 9:15 am

Rich, see this post earlier in this thread for a little insight into that case. For some background on Ron see this article in the New York Times for example...

Old Concerns Over Data Transfer to China Get New Attention
http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract. ... 94D0494D81
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