Monday, May 29, 2017

A recent hit piece on Psi Research

As you are aware Parapsychologist Daryl Bem has been doing a lot of experiments on ESP. Columnist Daniel Engber did a recent hit job on Parapsychology. He viciously attacked his character as a scientist by saying that Daryl Bem always believe in Psi. Couldn't be further from the truth. Daryl Bem is open to the possibility that maybe just maybe it exists. Numerous positive replications have been done by Daryl Bem and his colleagues. There has been some failures as well. Psi researchers are well aware the the experimenter effect which has been well known since the 1960's by psychologists. Apparently Daryl Bem, Marilyn Schlitz and Delorme presented results from their ESP experiment as they performed a pre registered analysis according to Daniel Engber. It looks like their large-scale, multisite, pre-registered replication ended in a failure. Here is a little more information cited from that article.

"In their conference abstract, though, Bem and his co-authors found a way to wring some droplets of confirmation from the data. After adding in a set of new statistical tests, ex post facto, they concluded that the evidence for ESP was indeed “highly significant.” Since then they’ve pre-registered a pair of follow-up experiments to test this new approach. Both of those efforts are in progress; meanwhile, the original attempt has not yet been published in a journal."

- Interesting but not so much, a typical accusation launched at Parapsychologist's is that they engage in fishing for positive results.

Not surprisingly Dr. Steven Novella did a recent post on this very subject. He said that Psi is dead. That their is no need for any more research in this field. The thing is which Steven Novella hides from his post is the fact their has been many successful positive replications for Psi. You can't take one negative result and have it rule out 2 or more positive results. It doesn't work that way. The reality is there has been more successful positive replications for Psi then their has been negative replications. Psi Phenomenon deserve to been taken seriously by the scientific community.

Steven Novella said this. Which I find rather interesting.

Alas, Bem and his fellow psi researchers did not give up:

In their conference abstract, though, Bem and his co-authors found a way to wring some droplets of confirmation from the data. After adding in a set of new statistical tests, ex post facto, they concluded that the evidence for ESP was indeed “highly significant.”

So close. They did the rigorous protocol, they put their nickle down like good scientists, but then they flinched from the results. That is the moment that separates real scientists from pseudoscientists. That is the ultimate test – can you accept results which definitively disprove your pet hypothesis?

So one failed replication disproves a person's theory?. I don't think so. For a phenomenon to be accepted it should be replicated hundreds of times.

Here is the Skeptical article on the Psi research done by Daryl Bem and others

Here is Dr. Steven Novella's post on Daryl Bem's Psi research

To close out I would like to add this interesting video video, on the assessment of Psi research and how the evidence for Psi is very strong.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Questions Physicalists have a very hard time answering

There are numerous questions physicalists have a hard time answering. One of them is the fact that I can easily imagine life without consciousness. That would definitely signal a strong scientific confidence that Physicalism is right.However, we don't have that we have subjectivity an inner life that at least humans possess. What evolutionary advantage is there in having conscious beings instead of zombie like humans?. Another is the fact that I can easily imagine the earth being just a tad closer to the sun. If that was the case life would not exist. It would be too hot on earth. Let's put aside the overwhelming evidence for psi and for an afterlife to the side for a moment. Physicalist's claim that consciousness ends when physical life ends when the brain stops. However, consciousness is subjective in nature. How can subjective have an ending. Be that a temporary ending or a permanent ending like Physicalist's insist it must. Well, I just wanted to share these questions with you. I have been thinking about them for a long time now. Physicalists never have any proper answers to these questions. Though many of them seem to be very certain of their positions. They never have any doubt in their convictions. So what about Idealism?. Well, it seems to suffer the same problem that Physicalism does and that is assuming everything is reduced down to one single substance. Instead of matter/energy being primary, we have consciousness as primary. Substance Dualism seems to be the best answer as it doesn't make reality be simple. After all, reality isn't so simple. As new discoveries like Quantum Physics are teaching us.

On a side note, the weather here has been downright awful, with constant rain and more coming too.