Why I now believe parapsychology is a science - article bt Chris French

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https://www.skeptic.org.uk/2021/09/why-i...doscience/

Article by Chris French talking about why the methods of parapsychology make it a science, not a psuedoscience. He still doesn't believe any of it exists, but fair enough.

I'm suprised to see this posted on a skeptic website, but then Chris French has always been more of a open minded skeptic.
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Hmm, the article comes across as a bit timid and minimalist to me. Also as he himself points out it is basically a reiteration of the things he was saying in 2013, rather than any step forward (or sideways or backwards, for that matter).

I don't think he's in any danger of shifting ground while he still associates himself "Along with a few other critics of parapsychology, such as Richard Wiseman, Susan Blackmore, the late James Randi".
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Agreed, Typoz, but the admission of parapsychology as a legitimate science is at least a helpful one when it comes from somebody like Chris French, however long he's been reiterating it, and especially given his associates.
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I would just add that I don't think it's credible (if one is honest) to deny that there is something going on now. French is pleasant and polite but that's as far as it goes for me.
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(2021-09-23, 06:42 PM)tim Wrote: I would just add that I don't think it's credible (if one is honest) to deny that there is something going on now. French is pleasant and polite but that's as far as it goes for me.

Chris French annoys me somewhat because of that "I'm willing to consider ..." front he puts up. He's also a friend of Rupert Sheldrake but that says a lot more about Sheldrake's tolerance than that of French.

There is a group of sceptics in the UK who seem to make a good living out of being the go-to "expert" when it comes to TV or Radio coverage of anything psi related. Susan Blackmore and Richard Wiseman have also made careers out of media scepticism. I don't trust them or believe that they are open-minded - quite the opposite, in fact.
I do not make any clear distinction between mind and God. God is what mind becomes when it has passed beyond the scale of our comprehension.
Freeman Dyson
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(2021-09-24, 12:07 AM)Kamarling Wrote: Chris French annoys me somewhat because of that "I'm willing to consider ..." front he puts up. He's also a friend of Rupert Sheldrake but that says a lot more about Sheldrake's tolerance than that of French.

There is a group of sceptics in the UK who seem to make a good living out of being the go-to "expert" when it comes to TV or Radio coverage of anything psi related. Susan Blackmore and Richard Wiseman have also made careers out of media scepticism. I don't trust them or believe that they are open-minded - quite the opposite, in fact.

I don't trust them either, Dave. Wiseman has already admitted that PSI is proven (effectively). Blackmore is like a broken record and French is still comfortably (why?) perched on the fence he's been occupying for decades, even after significant data has been produced. Keven Nelson let his guard slip recently, though, unless it's a mistake by the journalist, that is (it could be, of course)

 For now, though, Nelson remains unconvinced. “The assertion that our consciousness is retained without brain function [has] no verifiable evidence,” he says. “I’m not saying that it doesn’t happen. But it’s a matter of faith, not science.”

(Gaffe bolded)
(This post was last modified: 2021-09-24, 10:10 AM by tim.)
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(2021-09-24, 10:08 AM)tim Wrote: “The assertion that our consciousness is retained without brain function [has] no verifiable evidence,” he says. “I’m not saying that it doesn’t happen. But it’s a matter of faith, not science.


I've rebolded what I've always found most interesting on this topic.

I've railed against this type of rationale as intellectually dishonest for years.  Its a bit of linguistic sleight of hand.

"Faith" used in this context connotates things without evidence and further intimates a tone of falseness.

"Science" used in this context connotates things with evidence and further intimates a tone of truthfulness.

However, when truly examined both positions require an element of belief especially on topics such as the survival of consciousness.  Leaving aside the point that both positions do have elements of evidence, neither can objectively demonstrate the brute force truth or fact of their respective position.

Science has limits.  It can speak only to what human beings currently understand about the universe AND what evidence can be produced and validated through repeated experimentation.  (We all know this.)  There is no actual science that demonstrates the non-survival of consciousness.  Its a proverbial promissory note that science will ultimately produce such evidential standard.

This is why I hold any "scientist" asserting such things as dishonest.  At best, they can only say something to the effect of "I am dubious about the notion of survival as I am a scientist first and foremost.  So far there hasn't been compelling repeatable experimentation that proves such a thing.  I remain open-minded to what may emerge, but perhaps a bit personally doubtful anything ever will."

Such a statement or position to me is reasonable.  Further, it leaves room for folks to explore without fear of derision or insult.

Sorry, a bit of a rambling post but I think you get the gist of it.
(This post was last modified: 2021-09-24, 02:28 PM by Silence.)
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(2021-09-24, 02:28 PM)Silence Wrote: I've rebolded what I've always found most interesting on this topic.

I've railed against this type of rationale as intellectually dishonest for years.  Its a bit of linguistic sleight of hand.

"Faith" used in this context connotates things without evidence and further intimates a tone of falseness.

"Science" used in this context connotates things with evidence and further intimates a tone of truthfulness.

However, when truly examined both positions require an element of belief especially on topics such as the survival of consciousness.  Leaving aside the point that both positions do have elements of evidence, neither can objectively demonstrate the brute force truth or fact of their respective position.

Science has limits.  It can speak only to what human beings currently understand about the universe AND what evidence can be produced and validated through repeated experimentation.  (We all know this.)  There is no actual science that demonstrates the non-survival of consciousness.  Its a proverbial promissory note that science will ultimately produce such evidential standard.

This is why I hold any "scientist" asserting such things as dishonest.  At best, they can only say something to the effect of "I am dubious about the notion of survival as I am a scientist first and foremost.  So far there hasn't been compelling repeatable experimentation that proves such a thing.  I remain open-minded to what may emerge, but perhaps a bit personally doubtful anything ever will."

Such a statement or position to me is reasonable.  Further, it leaves room for folks to explore without fear of derision or insult.

Sorry, a bit of a rambling post but I think you get the gist of it.

Not rambling at all, Silence, very good IMHO. Many so called 'sceptics' (they are not true sceptics) assume that the notion of an afterlife is unscientific. And yet it isn't at all, only materialism prohibits an afterlife, science itself is just the tools/method we use to investigate (as you well know of course) 

I don't know what Nelson's (for example) reasoning is behind his dogmatic, prejudiced approach (one might argue). It seems ridiculous to me to continue to deny the increasing evidence, even illogical if you are prepared to allow for faith, but there you go.

Having said that, the notion that "spirits" might exist, which is what we're really talking about here (basically that is) is obviously going to upset scientists that have established careers with microscopes and scanners.
(This post was last modified: 2021-09-24, 04:25 PM by tim.)
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