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April 27, 2005

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But "Medium" fans want to believe Dubois is a psychic. Otherwise, they'll realize they're watching a fictional TV show.

Fiction? What's that? If it's on TV, it's real, isn't it?

Man, we're starting to attract an unsavory bunch to 2%Co because of those Allison DuBois posts. It was so nice when we had no trolls.

On the contrary - they can prove Alison Dubois is not psychic. They just require her cooperation to try an objective test.

Actually, Blue State, we would require a lot more than her cooperation in an objective test. We would also require her agreement that the goalposts wouldn't be moved if/when she failed such a test. By this I mean that if (by some chance) the answers she got from "beyond" weren't accurate, she would agree not to use excuses like "the spirits sometimes lie," or "you'll realize later that I was really correct." Of couese, Allison would argue that this is just how her "powers" work, and we'd be right back in the same place we are now - unable to prove that she has no powers.

If you boil this down, you end up with the statement that in order to prove that Allison has no powers, we just require her to be completely honest with us. And that's the core of the problem, really.

Believe or don't believe...does it really matter? The world will go on. But, haven't you ever had a dream that came true? We all have abilities that we use or don't use, as we choose. I don't know if Allison DuBois is the real deal, and I really don't care. What struck me as I watched the show is that sometimes in her dreams, she is in the victim's place. That's the kind of dreams I have. I've always had the dreams, but they were about people I didn't know. When I started having dreams of people I knew, and they came true, I prayed for God to take the dreams away. I didn't have them for years, but they came back. I don't like them, I don't want them, and I don't want to do anything about them. I know there must be many people out there who have abilities. Go ahead and deny that who you really are is a spirit housed in a human body, but that won't change it. The "paranormal" is normal...we're just afraid of that side of life because we are too caught up in this side, the physical side. But, like I said, believe or don't believe...the world will keep turning. And I actually think that most of the "mediums" I've seen on t.v. are self-centered idiots. I can't imagine anyone having the ability to see the spiritual world being anything but humble and quiet. It's sometimes frightening.

Rhonda:

You say does it really matter? Read what Mark Klass has to say. His daughter was murdered many years ago. Numerous “psychics” bothered him and diverted law enforcement resources toward useless endeavors instead of concentrating them on real leads. Fraudulent supposed “psychics” waste police time and add to the misery of parents of missing children – I’d say that matters.

I think one of the problems with Randi's challenge in relation to purported psychics is that the tests are often premised on the falsity of that which is supposedly being investigated as true or false, as I discuss in the following post:

https://skepticwatch.blogspot.com/2005/07/randi-and-1million-challenge.html

Lame

First, Randi takes no part in the testing and is often not even aware when the tests are being performed.

Second, in science one tries to falsify things – prove them wrong – rather than prove them right. The reason for this is the logical fallacy of affirming the consequent. I wrote about this here.

Third, if any psychic really had the powers they say they had they would win the $ Million. Randi wouldn’t be able to stop them.

Btw, your site doesn’t take comments unless the commenter has a blogger user name, and I’m not registering with blogger just to leave a comment on your blog. Perhaps that what you want? Up to you, anyway.

Ummm, hope ya don't mind, but I took the liberty of using my account to post your response.

This one needs to try harder. Even Rockstars can smell B.S behind $.50 words...

I can assure you all that Randi is not available for the preliminary tests as I am quite close to those in new England who perform such tests. The tests are objective, and have an established definition of "success" or "Failure" which is mutually agreed upon by the tester and the testee.

As a matter of fact, one Dr. Steven Novella who appeared on the show "Bullshit" is a friend of mine. He is a Neurologist practicing at Yale New Haven hospital and has shared some very interesting tales of previous tests. He is always fair, and kind in the treatment of those bringing claims to the table.

No one in their right mind would take the test because the whole experiment is set up for failure. The way it works is on believing success. If someone came along and said they wanted to prove the success of psi phenomena, then it would work. YOU ALL DON'T GET IT!! :-) That's because it's outside of your thought processess. A skeptic is someone who wants to find the truth and doesn't make a conclusive decision until proof has been found. There is nothing that disputes psi phenomena -- so, yes, maybe someone should start trying to prove that something exists .. whatever that something is.

"I can't imagine anyone having the ability to see the spiritual world being anything but humble and quiet. It's sometimes frightening."

Different strokes for different folks. Some personalities are quiet and so are not. ;-) And yes, it truly is frightening which is why I reject any clairvoyance or remote viewing that comes my way if I can help it. I'm okay with "feeling" and "knowing" things though --that doesn't bother me too much. And I believe you.

"The way it works is on believing success."
To clarify... what I mean to say is that psi phenomena works on "belief". If people believe in you and are open to you and want you to succeed, the psychic -- medium -- intuitive -- whatever -- WILL. Now why that happens, maybe they are all just telepaths or maybe they have found a way to read the proverbial "energy". And from what I understand most don't learn it, they just have it happen to them and can't explain it until one day a marketing term like -- psychic -- jumps out at them and they are like... "oh... that's what I am... that's what I have". Seriously it's not as evil as people think though I agree there are many frauds and people who want to take extreme advantage of the vulnerabilities of others. But that's how it is with ANYTHING in life. so.. blah! lol

No one in their right mind would take the test because the whole experiment is set up for failure.

All experiments are set up for failure. It'd be dishonest to set them up otherwise: Science works by doing its hardest to prove things false. Anything that survives is probably true.

If someone came along and said they wanted to prove the success of psi phenomena, then it would work.

So, why doesn't it work around me?

A skeptic is someone who wants to find the truth and doesn't make a conclusive decision until proof has been found.

You got that right. So is there any proof of psi?

Now why that happens, maybe they are all just telepaths or maybe they have found a way to read the proverbial "energy".

Which is all moot, since you haven't presented any proof that it happens at all.

Seriously it's not as evil as people think though I agree there are many frauds and people who want to take extreme advantage of the vulnerabilities of others. But that's how it is with ANYTHING in life.

True, but at least other professions can prove their ability under proper viewing conditions. Psychics, so far, can't.

If these marvellous, fragile powers only work when people believe in them, how on earth did their first practitioners find out they could use them? Unless they surround themselves with people who'll believe anything at all of course. . .

I believe most scientists would love to discover evidence that, say, psychokinesis; it'd give them a whole new area to study, and the effect might get named after them.

However, I believe that science doesn't necessarily give you the wisdom to know the truth but the wisdom not to be fooled easily. Scientists have a true mystical power: the ability to smell BS a mile away.

Slight twist in the issue: For people who get healed by psychic powers, chakra binds, energy tune-ups, etc... Why don't they keel over dead or whatever when they bump into a skeptic?

Do homeopathic believers OD on tap water?

Why can't a pre-cog look into the future to the final clinching proof that will convince all the skeptics and repeat it here and now?

If precognition is so powerful, why aren't its adherents posting shed-loads of predictions on blogs every day to convince us? Why is it always "Oh, yes, I saw this coming the day before yesterday?"

Why don't the powers-that-be, who are suppressing the evidence for psychic super-powers, just assassinate all the "sensitives" in a series of convenient accidents? There seem to be a lot of them still running around touting their supposed wares.

On that last point, I love it when the believers say "Oh, of COURSE the CIA / FBI / NSA / MI5 etc. wouldn't hesitate to asassinate ANYONE!" Do they actually know a damn thing about these organisations?

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