Sharon Hill on Parapsychology

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https://sharonahill.com/2016/03/11/the-s...ok-review/

Was looking at the suggested blogs on the wiki we have and found Sharon Hill, eventually found this. I think its honestly one of the best skeptical reviews of the field I've seen. Very nuanced and fair for the most of it, and I can respect someone not believing in PSI based on these grounds.

One thing I wondered is if she's right about progress in PSI however. Has there really been no substantial progress across all the years has field has been a thing?

Her highlights of the glaring issues of the field, such as low results, problems with replication and lack of theories ect also especially strike home, but since she's only read the book I wonder what the opinions of other professionals in the field would be.

What do you guys think of it?
Seems like usual skeptical materialist evangelical mumbo-jumbo.

I'd look at the Psi Encyclopedia for better assessment of the field. Lack of *physicalist* theories is different than lack of theories, there's a whole book of theories.

I'd also note Democritus expressed the Hard Problem millennia ago, and progress for a Physicalist solution has been exactly zero.

Chris also posted a lot about this sort of thing here, and Johannes and Iyace did the same on the old Skeptiko forums. They're more familiar with assessments of the lab research.

edit ->

Quote:Click here to order. Or for $35, direct from me, pay here and specify if you want it signed. U.S. shipping only.

Lol.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


(This post was last modified: 2020-12-20, 10:46 PM by Sciborg_S_Patel.)
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(2020-12-20, 10:39 PM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote: Seems like usual skeptical materialist evangelical mumbo-jumbo.

I'd look at the Psi Encyclopedia for better assessment of the field. Lack of *physicalist* theories is different than lack of theories, there's a whole book of theories.
-----
Chris also posted a lot about this sort of thing here, and Johannes and Iyace did the same on the old Skeptiko forums. They're more familiar with assessments of the lab research.
See I don't feel like that's true. This isn't someone who's dismissing parapsychology or coming with a materialist axe to grind. She's just read the book and put forward her opinions, which I feel like are substantial and valid. Problems with replication, effect sizes and a solid agreed upon theory that can predict results so we're not just working with data. Of course some of her problems could have been eleviated a little by doing some more research but she was only just reviewing the book.

Her points about whining about materialism and skeptics also interested me a bit. I feel like sometimes we stray into that territory, and recognition has certainly been impacted by skeptics but the quality of evidence is what stops a lot of scientists from having a keen eye on it. We have a lot of data, but its fragmented, small and loosely held together by us just not knowing how PSI works. Though of course I'm optimistic, and as studies and results improve people will be forced to take note regardless. I feel like Cardena's 2018 meta analysis was a milestone in that, considering the poor skeptical responses to it.

As for the posts by Chris and the like you mentioned if you have any good links to recommend I'd be thankful. I do a bit of reading on the PSI encyclopedia but it feels a bit difficult to get an idea of what's going on there sometimes because of all the seperate pages.
(2020-12-21, 05:37 AM)Smaw Wrote: See I don't feel like that's true. This isn't someone who's dismissing parapsychology or coming with a materialist axe to grind. She's just read the book and put forward her opinions, which I feel like are substantial and valid. Problems with replication, effect sizes and a solid agreed upon theory that can predict results so we're not just working with data. Of course some of her problems could have been eleviated a little by doing some more research but she was only just reviewing the book.

Her points about whining about materialism and skeptics also interested me a bit. I feel like sometimes we stray into that territory, and recognition has certainly been impacted by skeptics but the quality of evidence is what stops a lot of scientists from having a keen eye on it. We have a lot of data, but its fragmented, small and loosely held together by us just not knowing how PSI works. Though of course I'm optimistic, and as studies and results improve people will be forced to take note regardless. I feel like Cardena's 2018 meta analysis was a milestone in that, considering the poor skeptical responses to it.

As for the posts by Chris and the like you mentioned if you have any good links to recommend I'd be thankful. I do a bit of reading on the PSI encyclopedia but it feels a bit difficult to get an idea of what's going on there sometimes because of all the seperate pages.

I looked over her site and it was clearly pseudo-skeptical advocacy. As for her assessment of the data, does she have a math background? I don't often comment on lab data because while I have an undergrad degree in math and worked in clinical research, those days are long, long behind me. I don't feel right trying to say a lot about methodology and statistics when I simply don't recall or learned all the intricacies.

She has a BS in Geosciences, so maybe she did some math there but it seems her primary work is in science education as her master's was used to....become a careerist blogger? Skeptics have a knack for suddenly developing a kind of skills-based-Psi when it comes judging parapsychology, though given the way scientists are treated as a sacred priesthood when they confirm the Materialist Evangelical faith I guess it doesn't extend to outside parapsychology. It has recently seemed to work generally in fits and starts as more scientists publicly declare their doubts about Materialism, so like the old lawnmower you have to tug a few times we might suddenly find ourselves with out-of-the-blue prodigies...

Regarding her other claims ->

Skeptics always claim the anti-Psi attitude in STEM is overblown, but there's a good record of this bias. The skeptic Piggilucci even admitted he would never hire Maaneli because the man was honest enough to say he was convinced by the data. Let's not even get started on how Sheldrake has been treated - for example how people swallowed Randi's lies that he'd falsified the dog telepathy work.

Just look at this Lewontin quote.

Bernardo Kastrup's talked about this issue, Brian Josepshon as talked about it, Radin has talked about the private support he's gotten from scientists who don't want to publish research when it suggests Psi, etc. Even one of the CSICOP founders left the organization because he was disgusted by the bias in the Starbaby Scandal.

Most of us make note of the bias when it pops up and move on, heck at least a few (many?) parapsychologists are themselves materialists.

As for the status of the data, I think one can make some inference about the quality of the data given who's found it good enough to take seriously ->

Wiseman said remote viewing was proved for any non-controversial branch of science. It's convinced tech entrepeneur Ben Goertzel who wrote "Evidence for Psi: Thirteen Empirical Research Reports", Maaneli who was willing to risk his future career in physics by coming out for Psi, the nobel Physicist [Brian] Josephson, and the former (111th) president of the American Statistical Association Jessica Utts.

In the past it was enough to convince Einstein that it made Psi worthy of study. Turing in his famous  1950 paper Computing Machinery and Intelligence, said, "These disturbing phenomena seem to deny all our usual scientific ideas. How we should like to discredit them! Unfortunately the statistical evidence, at least for telepathy, is overwhelming."

About the dream telepathy experiment done by Stanley Krippner, Yale's Irvin Child said ->

The knock on parapsychology studies has long been that any so-called evidence of ESP is usually limited to negligible effects only detectable after scouring massive bodies of data. "Those to whom this criticism has any appeal should be aware that the Maimonides experiments are clearly exempt from it," wrote Irvin Child, Yale's former psychology department chair, in American Psychologist, the APA's flagship journal. "I believe many psychologists would, like myself, consider the ESP hypothesis to merit serious consideration and continued research if they read the Maimonides reports for themselves."
 -From this article about Krippner in the SF weekly.

See the Psi Encyclopedia Entry for more persons who took Psi seriously.

Also Fraud in Science and Parapsychology.

I wonder if anyone has a good anonymous survey on how many scientists take Psi seriously, by which I mean a global one. The data from China, Russia, and Japan alone could be illuminating.

For the stuff posted here, you can just search the name "Chris". Also see the resource threads in varied sections, especially this one.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


(This post was last modified: 2020-12-22, 07:04 PM by Sciborg_S_Patel.)
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As an addendum to my last post, here's an old email I got from Krippner ->


Quote:First of all, our original dream telepathy results were repeated several times in our own laboratory. We published both the successful replications and the unsuccessful replications. All of these articles are referenced at the end of our book DREAM TELEPATHY (by Ullman, Krippner, and Vaughan). A meta-analysis of all the studies produced high significant results and was published in a 1985 article by Irvin Child in The American Psychologist, flagship journal of the American Psychological Association.

Several other researchers attempted to replicate our work. Both the successful replications and the unsuccessful replications have been published in the chapter by Roe and Sherwood in ADVANCES IN PARAPSYCHOLOGICAL RESEARCH, VOLUME 9 (edited by Krippner and Friedman). A meta-analysis of all these studies produced highly significant results. They were not as strong as the Maimonides data, probably because they used "home dreams" instead of "laboratory dreams," the latter involving psychophysiological recordings. In the lab, participants can be awakened once they have been in REM sleep for a while. For home dreams, participants are usually awakened randomly by telephone, hence many dreams are lost.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


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(2020-12-21, 08:33 AM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote: Wiseman said remote viewing was proved for any non-controversial branch of science. It's convinced tech entrepeneur Ben Goertzel who wrote "Evidence for Psi: Thirteen Empirical Research Reports", Maaneli who was willing to risk his future career in physics by coming out for Psi, the nobel Physicist Ben Josephson, and the former the 111th president of the American Statistical Association Jessica Utts.

I think that's Brian Josephson rather than Ben.
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(2020-12-21, 08:37 AM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote: As an addendum to my last post, here's an old email I got from Krippner ->

These were both really good and interesting posts Sci, thanks a lot. I suppose its like I said with a lack of research that's done on the skeptical side. Definitely quelled some of the thoughts I had. I do wonder how many people in the parapsychology field are materialists. I've seen a few on the PSI encylopedia but then they tend to mainly research stuff that doesnt really call materialism into question. I don't think that's bad however, we'd just have to see which direction it eventually goes in.

We still have our problems, but are slowly making our way forward. I suppose it's almost like we're trying to study quantum physics except we've got at most a few hundred researchers across the entire planet and have a budget to spread out across them all that someone would normally use to buy a large patch of land. Puts us at a bit of a disadvantage compared to multi million dollar large hadron colliders and gigalitre tanks of water designed to sit there and do nothing waiting for proton decay.
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(2020-12-23, 07:47 AM)Smaw Wrote: I've seen a few on the PSI encylopedia but then they tend to mainly research stuff that doesnt really call materialism into question. I don't think that's bad however, we'd just have to see which direction it eventually goes in.

We still have our problems, but are slowly making our way forward.

I don't think materialists being parapsychologists is a bad thing, it's more likely a good thing as it separates the findings from any particular metaphysical picture.

I also don't think the data is [in] too terrible a shape, given the American Psychology Association published Transcendent Mind a few years back and that book is buttressed by Psi lab data.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


(This post was last modified: 2020-12-23, 09:32 PM by Sciborg_S_Patel.)
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(2020-12-23, 09:28 PM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote: I don't think materialists being parapsychologists is a bad thing, it's more likely a good thing as it separates the findings from any particular metaphysical picture.

I also don't think the data is [in] too terrible a shape, given the American Psychology Association published Transcendent Mind a few years back and that book is buttressed by Psi lab data.

On the other hand, being a materialist places limits on what one believes is possible. If something is considered impossible, how are experiments to be designed and conducted in those impossible areas? One would assume such investigations would simply not take place.

At the very least, it represents a narrowing of vision, one which embraces the idea of "we already know everything" as a philosophical guideline, rather than, "wow, there's so much fresh ground to explore, so much we have not even considered".
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