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← On all things wondrous strange: ghosts, mediums, and rubber hands

On all things wondrous strange: ghosts, mediums, and rubber hands - Comments

ZenDruid's Avatar Comment 1 by ZenDruid

It's quite easy to dismiss haunts until you experience one yourself.

Fri, 20 May 2011 09:37:43 UTC | #628711

edmundjessie's Avatar Comment 2 by edmundjessie

"an experiment using such everyday household objects as ‘a table, a large coffee-table book, a towel, a rubber hand and an open-minded friend.’ The bizarre experiment proves that the sense of being inside your own body is simply an illusion created by your brain, based on incoming sensory information."

Can you explain a little more about this experiment?

Fri, 20 May 2011 09:40:59 UTC | #628713

SaganTheCat's Avatar Comment 3 by SaganTheCat

i think the experiment involves stabbing the rubber hand and have your friend cry in pain (or something like that)

Fri, 20 May 2011 10:08:49 UTC | #628719

Schrodinger's Cat's Avatar Comment 4 by Schrodinger's Cat

I'm quite sure people do see things that are not there. The trouble is, people also see unexplained things that are there. For years pilots were dismissed as 'seeing things' when they reported seeing strange flashes above thunderstorms. Science failed to take such reports seriously......yet we now know that sprites and jets are very real and all of a sudden there is a huge scientific literature on something that not so many years ago was 'seeing what isn't there'.

If there's a lesson it is that blanket dismissal is not the way to deal with things. However much more effort may be involved....proper science is all about dealing with every phenomenon on its own merits.

Fri, 20 May 2011 11:55:41 UTC | #628744

jimbob21's Avatar Comment 5 by jimbob21

It's quite easy to dismiss haunts until you experience one yourself.

Did you mean to say until you think you experience one yourself?

Fri, 20 May 2011 11:57:22 UTC | #628745

Teknical's Avatar Comment 6 by Teknical

Comment 5 by jimbob21 :

It's quite easy to dismiss haunts until you experience one yourself.

Did you mean to say until you think you experience one yourself?

What about several people experiencing or seeing the same thing? I'm aware of mass hysteria and suggestions etc, but if more than one person thinks that they have seen or felt something without any form of discussion taking place how is that explained?

Fri, 20 May 2011 13:01:06 UTC | #628766

irate_atheist's Avatar Comment 7 by irate_atheist

Comment 6 by Teknical -

What about several people experiencing or seeing the same thing? I'm aware of mass hysteria and suggestions etc, but if more than one person thinks that they have seen or felt something without any form of discussion taking place how is that explained?

Er, explained by mass hysteria, suggestions etc..

Fri, 20 May 2011 13:17:37 UTC | #628771

SaganTheCat's Avatar Comment 8 by SaganTheCat

Comment 7 by irate_atheist :

Comment 6 by Teknical -

What about several people experiencing or seeing the same thing? I'm aware of mass hysteria and suggestions etc, but if more than one person thinks that they have seen or felt something without any form of discussion taking place how is that explained?

Er, explained by mass hysteria, suggestions etc..

exactly!

basically the only way you can ever find out if more than one person experienced the same thing is if there's some sort of dialogue. this will happen after the event when people are then free to reprogram their memories to fit in with their preferred hysteria. either that or the sun really did vanish in fatima

Fri, 20 May 2011 15:37:36 UTC | #628839

Teknical's Avatar Comment 9 by Teknical

Individual and mass hallucination are other contenders.

Fri, 20 May 2011 15:54:25 UTC | #628851

Schrodinger's Cat's Avatar Comment 10 by Schrodinger's Cat

Er, explained by mass hysteria, suggestions etc..

That confirms it for me. The Moon isn't real. It's a mass hallucination brought about by being brainwashed from birth into believing it is there.

Fri, 20 May 2011 16:01:40 UTC | #628855

Schrodinger's Cat's Avatar Comment 11 by Schrodinger's Cat

I have to say, and on a forum like this I think it is worth saying, that I think 'blanket' dismissals are about the most unscientific thing there is. Blanket dismissals are scientific laziness.

Look at one of the few cases where scientists did actually bother to investigate a phenomenon.....the Hessdalen lights.....rather than give the 'mass hallucination' or 'people drunk after a Friday binge' explanations. And what did the scientists find ? Yes...the people were seeing something unusual. Possibly an unknown atmospheric chemical process. Think of the valuable science that 'mass hallucination' would have missed !

Same goes for sprites and jets, for years dismissed as just the visual error of tired pilots.

However tiresome it might be...every phenomenon has to be investigated on its own merits. That is proper science.

Fri, 20 May 2011 16:17:15 UTC | #628860

Teknical's Avatar Comment 12 by Teknical

Comment 1 by ZenDruid :

It's quite easy to dismiss haunts until you experience one yourself.

It is easy to dismis them afterwards aswell if your life is made easier by keeping it to yourself.

I would imagine (and I obviously have no scientific proof of this) that looking for them is a bit like being a Jehovas Witness knocking on a door that no-one wants to answer.

Fri, 20 May 2011 17:12:46 UTC | #628884

ZenDruid's Avatar Comment 13 by ZenDruid

I'm mostly curious as to the causality of that experience, as it wasn't optical or aural, but a small 'field' of killing rage that I walked through. Being a peaceful and level-headed individual, such an emotion was foreign to me. Every member of my family had also experienced 'something' over the three years we lived there, only corroborating our stories years later.

The fellow in the next house on the street had died inexplicably, shortly before before we moved in.

-DUNT-DUNT-DUNNN-!

Yeah, I'm definitely interested and curious, but not obsessed.

Fri, 20 May 2011 18:18:14 UTC | #628915

KenChimp's Avatar Comment 14 by KenChimp

Comment 13 by ZenDruid :

I'm mostly curious as to the causality of that experience, as it wasn't optical or aural, but a small 'field' of killing rage that I walked through. Being a peaceful and level-headed individual, such an emotion was foreign to me. Every member of my family had also experienced 'something' over the three years we lived there, only corroborating our stories years later.

The fellow in the next house on the street had died inexplicably, shortly before before we moved in.

-DUNT-DUNT-DUNNN-!

Yeah, I'm definitely interested and curious, but not obsessed.

By no means do I mean to dismiss the oddity you experienced. It certainly sounds odd...and intriguing. But I just had to say....

I experience fields of 'killing rage' every time I'm around the willfully ignorant. Ghosts not included or required.

Fortunately, thus far, this naughty monkey's marvelous neo-cortex has prevented the R-complex from acting out the primitive lizard desire to 'chop and devour'. hehehe.

Fri, 20 May 2011 20:57:44 UTC | #628972

Wendy Farts On Her Bible's Avatar Comment 15 by Wendy Farts On Her Bible

Thanks for your review of Wiseman’s book, Mark. I reserved a copy of it from my local library and look forward to reading it.

I don’t know if you’ve read the following book by David Marks, but I strongly recommend it:

The Psychology of the Psychic

It’s one of the best sceptical analyses of the paranormal I’ve came across.

The following programme, broadcast on British television a number of years ago, is also very good (and not merely because it features RD):

Equinox: The Secrets of the Psychics

The Israeli charlatan, Uri Geller, was so riled by the above programme that he complained to the British Broadcasting Standards Commission about it.

The Commission ruled against the ludicrous spoon-bender - as can be seen here.

Fri, 20 May 2011 22:35:27 UTC | #629013

seals's Avatar Comment 16 by seals

A fascinating subject. I personally haven't had any so-called "paranormal experiences", (which of course wouldn't be paranormal at all, if real ie. not involving the imagination). Although several years ago, I did hear of one first hand from someone I knew well, who had definitely no financial incentive in the matter, and was not otherwise known to indulge in fantasy. I've forgotten the details but it involved a holiday cottage and the sound of marching soldier's feet, which, if I recall, could only be heard from one particular room.

"Psychic" and "medium" are now dirty words, having come to automatically mean fraud and quackery. I do wonder if there might be something genuine which is being missed due to these charlatans giving the whole subject a bad name. In all the history of paranormal research, it only takes one story or anecdote to be true, to upset the applecart. But people take entrenched positions as it has become a battlefield.

Fri, 20 May 2011 23:37:29 UTC | #629030

12PM's Avatar Comment 17 by 12PM

what about this?

it's not pro-creationism but pro-science in its own way.

Sat, 21 May 2011 03:07:28 UTC | #629067

JuJu's Avatar Comment 18 by JuJu

Comment 17 by 12PM

what about this?

it's not pro-creationism but pro-science in its own way.

You mean pro pseudo-science.

Sat, 21 May 2011 07:11:11 UTC | #629093

Wendy Farts On Her Bible's Avatar Comment 19 by Wendy Farts On Her Bible

Comment 16 by seals

A fascinating subject. I personally haven't had any so-called "paranormal experiences", (which of course wouldn't be paranormal at all, if real ie. not involving the imagination). Although several years ago, I did hear of one first hand from someone I knew well, who had definitely no financial incentive in the matter, and was not otherwise known to indulge in fantasy. I've forgotten the details but it involved a holiday cottage and the sound of marching soldier's feet, which, if I recall, could only be heard from one particular room.

That was the room directly below the one occupied by the Grand Old Duke of York, no doubt.

Sat, 21 May 2011 07:48:29 UTC | #629100

12PM's Avatar Comment 20 by 12PM

Comment 18 by JuJu You mean pro pseudo-science.

how are you so sure? see this and this

Sat, 21 May 2011 08:43:35 UTC | #629110

Wendy Farts On Her Bible's Avatar Comment 21 by Wendy Farts On Her Bible

Comment 20 by 12PM

how are you so sure? see this and this

The second link which you provided, 12PM, brought this up:

The Dropa Stones

In 1938, an archeological expedition led by Dr. Chi Pu Tei into the Baian-Kara-Ula mountains of China made an astonishing discovery in some caves that had apparently been occupied by some ancient culture. Buried in the dust of ages on the cave floor were hundreds of stone disks. Measuring about nine inches in diameter, each had a circle cut into the center and was etched with a spiral groove, making it look for all the world like some ancient phonograph record some 10,000 to 12,000 years old. The spiral groove, it turns out, is actually composed of tiny hieroglyphics that tell the incredible story of spaceships from some distant world that crash-landed in the mountains. The ships were piloted by people who called themselves the Dropa, and the remains of whose descendents, possibly, were found in the cave.

Now I see why you are confused.

The above quote contains a serious error.

The ships were piloted by the Droppings - not the Dropa.

Hence the objects found in the cave.

Sat, 21 May 2011 09:38:37 UTC | #629127

Mark Ribbands's Avatar Comment 22 by Mark Ribbands



Greetings from Surin beach in Phuket. Yeah, I know that’s sad but I adore this technology, and it’s not as bad as you lot cracking on about junk science and ghost stories.

My ghast is deeply flabbered. I can’t see how anyone can reconcile reason and science with the paranormal.

By definition, the light of reason which inexorably illuminates the path to atheism, also leads to extreme skepticism about all other fairy stories.

Please don’t misunderstand me: there’s nothing wrong with proper research into ‘unexplained’ phenomena, precisely so they might be either dismissed, or, better, be transubstantiated into explained phenomena.

That’s what Prof Wiseman’s book is all about. I suggest everyone buys it now!

Not least because it would be bad luck not to.

Sat, 21 May 2011 16:19:11 UTC | #629200

JuJu's Avatar Comment 23 by JuJu

Comment 20 by 12PM

how are you so sure? see this and this

I'm sure because I can see how ridiculous the claims are. The question is, how can you believe these stories. There being told as if there's some kind of conspiracies behind them to cover up these important discoveries that disprove the current scientific consensus. Charleston Heston is an ignorant fool, and the so called scientist that are accepting these bogus claims are really pseudo-scientist. It's all bullshit, and you've fallen for it.

Sun, 22 May 2011 07:33:13 UTC | #629398

Wendy Farts On Her Bible's Avatar Comment 24 by Wendy Farts On Her Bible

Comment 16 by seals

"Psychic" and "medium" are now dirty words, having come to automatically mean fraud and quackery.

That isn’t surprising - given this level of tackiness and charlatanry in the paranormal realm.

Anyone who is aware of Derek Acorah's exposure as a fraudulent medium on the Most Haunted television show must regard the man with utter derision. For those of you who are unaware of Acorah's ignominious unmasking on that ludicrous show, please allow me to enlighten you...

The resident parapsychologist on the Most Haunted show had long suspected Acorah of being a phony medium. In order to demonstrate this, he fed Acorah the names of two fictitious spirit entities (viz. 'Rik Eedles' and 'Kreed Kafer') along with some fake biographical details relating to each entity. Acorah swallowed the bait and proceeded to act out (i.e., 'channel') the personalities of the non-existent entities in front of the Most Haunted television audience.

As you've probably guessed, the names of the two fictitious spirit entities - 'Rik Eedles' and 'Kreed Kafer' - were anagrams concocted by the parapsychologist. When rearranged they read as follows:

Rik Eedles (Derek Lies)

Kreed Kafer (Derek Faker)

You would think that anyone with half a brain would have saw those two sucker punches coming. But not Acorah. And not even his alleged spirit guide 'Sam'. Acorah, having been revealed as a fraud in such a clear and unambiguous way, was ejected from the Most Haunted show.

Sun, 22 May 2011 09:51:43 UTC | #629425

Wendy Farts On Her Bible's Avatar Comment 25 by Wendy Farts On Her Bible

William Golding wrote a story about a man who died of shame.

The following video helps me to understand how such a death could happen:

Derek Acorah revealed as a fraud

Sun, 22 May 2011 10:43:35 UTC | #629443

raytoman's Avatar Comment 26 by raytoman

I have seen a banshee, a ghost and a UFO.

I am an athiest and was at the time, so I KNEW they were not real, despite what I was actually seeing. I was frantically trying to observe as much as possible and serach for more probable explainations for what I was seeing.

I came up with a few but no certainties. I suspect that if I had had a camera or a video recording capability at the time I would have forgotten to use them, such was my shock, but if I had taken a photos or a video on each occasion, they would probably still be being used as proof of banshees, ghosts and UFOs.

I know I see with my brain and not my eyes. There are innumerable visual absurdities that can fool us and we are not always at our best. My 3 sightings were at night (obviously) and though the images were pretty, the backgrounds were not.

Sun, 22 May 2011 22:05:33 UTC | #629661

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 27 by Alan4discussion

Many years ago my brother and I were alone in the house when we heard ghostly music a bit like an out of tune harp. It was coming from a back bedroom. We went to look and found nothing. Shortly later we heard it again! We again found nothing. For a third time it started and this time when we opened the door the cat stopped plucking the springs on the spare bed, but did not hide quickly enough to avoid being spotted!

Strange what people can imagine!

Sat, 28 May 2011 21:20:10 UTC | #631868