Friday, May 31, 2013

Are materialists dodos afraid of extinction?

I've been reading some old science fictions stories from the 1950s in Galaxy Magazine. I'm up to 1953, and I've noticed a common theme in several stories: Humankind is evolving into a new species that has psychic powers and the first mutants of the new species are considered a threat to the normal people who are going to be left behind or become extinct. One story makes an analogy with Neanderthals.

Fear of psychic phenomena is one reason for pseudoskepticism and prejudice against psychics but it might be more than just fear of spooky phenomenon like having someone read your mind or fear of ghosts. It might be fear of being inferior or of being left behind in evolution. Evolution is an area of great importance to materialists. They might not like to think that they are on a terminal branch.

If you believe in the afterlife or reincarnation, there is no reason to fear a new superior species of humanity because at the spiritual level we are all the same. The physical incarnation is just a temporary condition taken on for particular purposes but the souls all come from the same place.

But if you are a materialist, if you don't believe in the afterlife or reincarnation, then the fact of ESP forces you to confront the possibility that you are a member of an inferior species that might go extinct. Evolution is important to materialists because it is part of their creation myth. Faced with the reality of psychic phenomena, faced with the possibility that they are an evolutionary dead end, it would create a existential crisis of epic proportions. It would shake their faith that they are rational, intellectual, supermen and instead suggest that they are like the dodo, which was doomed to extinction because of stupidity. It would suggest materialists are inferior to people with psychic abilities, particularly since psychic ability seems to run in families and thus probably has a genetic and therefore (according to materialist belief) an evolutionary basis. The existence of ESP threatens materialists' most sacred faith about their origins and their place in the universe.

Just to be clear - I am not saying psychics are superior to other people. They are not. Being psychic is no different than having any other talent such as musical ability or mathematical ability. I am saying materialists who lack spiritual understanding will misunderstand the implications of the existence of people who are psychic and it could lead them to reject evidence for psychic phenomena and explain why they persecute psychics.

Copyright © 2013 by ncu9nc All rights reserved. Texts quoted from other sources are Copyright © by their owners.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Powerless Pseudoskeptics

The parapsychological community should stop worrying about pseudoskeptics and start lobbying congress to allocate funds for parapsychological research.

For over a hundred years psychical researchers and parapsychologists have been trying to convince mainstream scientists that psychic phenomena are genuine by providing scientific proof. Despite the unambiguous proof that has been supplied over and over starting in the late 1800's, the reality of psychic phenomena are still not acknowledged by mainstream science. It should be obvious that trying to convince the pseudoskeptics who lead the scientific community is a waste of time.

The pseudoskeptics are actually powerless. Spending time reacting to them is not necessary. In the US we have the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (wikipedia) which provides government funding for research in alternative medicine. The pseudoskeptics did not want this organization funded and they did everything they could to stop it. Everything they could do was, in fact, nothing. They were completely powerless to prevent it. This exposed them as impotent. Any power the pseudoskeptics have is ceeded to them by parapsychologists who respond to pseudoskeptics or consider them when setting research goals. Parapsychologists and others should recognize this example for what it is and they should not waste time reacting to pseudoskeptics nor should they let the pseudoskeptics set the agenda for parapsychology.

Instead of constantly responding to pseudoskeptics, the parapsychological community should lobby congress for research funds. The current budgetary environment is not encouraging, but money could be reallocated to parapsychology from other areas. What could be more important to humanity that the huge gaps in our understanding of consciousness? What could be more important to science than the huge gaps in our understanding of the universe revealed by the evidence of parapsychology? Making the argument that parapsychology is more deserving of research funds than other branches of science should be very easy to do.

Copyright © 2013 by ncu9nc All rights reserved. Texts quoted from other sources are Copyright © by their owners.

Harnessing the Paranormal Community

Harnessing the "Paranormal Community" by Loyd Auerbach is an article the current issue of Edge Science, the on-line magazine published by The Society for Scientific Exploration. In the article, Auerbach asks people who are knowledgeable about parapsychology to read internet forums on paranormal phenomena and post information on parapsychology. Auerbach explains that most people have a very poor understanding of what is known about paranormal phenomena because they get most of their information from television programs that are not reliable sources of information. Auerbach hopes that a better awareness of parapsychology in the paranormal community will result in more useful data being reported and greater support for parapsychology.

I think Loyd Auberach is correct. I have been reading and posting to the reddit paranormal subreddits and occasionally to the Above Top Secret paranormal forum. I have seen many people who don't know where to go for reliable information and who have been misinformed by the television shows. My main interest on these forums is to help people cope with psychic experiences , and help people who have ghosts in their homes to help those spirits to complete their transition to the spirit world. But I have also been posting information on parapsychology, such as Evidence for the Afterlife, Proof of ESP, how materialist pseudo-skeptics spread misleading information, and after it was posted recently, Dean Radin's list of Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles on Psi.

But, there are two sides to this divide between parapsychologists and the paranormal community. It is a good idea to educate ordinary people about what parapsychologists are doing. But parapsychologists should also recognize that ordinary people have played a genuine role in this field and it is equally important for parapsychologists to gain a better understanding of what ordinary people are doing. Ghost hunter TV shows mislead ordinary people about paranormal phenomena but they also mislead parapsychologists about what ordinary people know about paranormal phenomena. Botanists recognize the value of knowledge about the uses of plants gained through first hand experience by shamans. Parapsychologist should not dismiss the value of the knowledge ordinary people may have about paranormal phenomena.

Some ghost hunters are just teenagers with EVP recorders out for a lark, but others are psychic or involve psychics and do serious work. Parapsychologists might benefit from identifying the more serious investigators among the ghost hunters and opening a dialog with them, not just to teach them about parapsychology, but to learn from them about the phenomena they study.

I have had many paranormal experiences at Spiritualist churches taking classes in medumship and spiritual healing, and observing mediumship demonstrations that occur during the Sunday service. It is not just the experiences of doing mediumship but also the teaching methods, and stages of development that should be of interest to parapsychologists. Parapsychologists should learn about these aspects of psychic phenomena which ordinary people are involved in. They could do this by attending Spiritualist services, which welcome anyone regardless of their beliefs, or even by taking classes. Parapsychologists may learn as much from trying to develop their own psychic abilities as they can by studying the psychic abilities of other people. Anyone who has undertaken any large project will know that when you get involved in the details of doing something, when you get your hands dirty, you find out things you never imagined when you were only thinking about the subject in an abstract sense. Also, the most qualified person to identify conditions that are conducive to psychic perception is someone who is psychic, particularly if they developed their abilities through a systematic learning process. If parapsychologists want to obtain positive results, personal knowledge of what it is like to develop and use psychic abilities would be valuable.

Furthermore, there are many psychics to be found at Spiritualist church services. They represent a potential pool of subjects who have developed psychic abilities and might be willing to participate in parapsychological experiments if they were personally familiar with the investigator. A lot of high quality evidence on mediumship could be collected (using appropriate blind protocols) if someone earned the trust and cooperation of an advanced class in mediumship at a Spiritualist church. Those students and the spirits of the relatives of their classmates have years of experience communicating. They are trained mediums and trained spirits who are all practiced at communicating with each other. As Richard Hodgson discovered many years ago when he studied Mrs. Piper, spirits improve their ability to communicate through mediums with practice. However, I am not aware of any studies on mediumship that tried to take advantage of this phenomenon.

There are many independent Spiritualist churches as well as those that belong to these organizations:

Copyright © 2013 by ncu9nc All rights reserved. Texts quoted from other sources are Copyright © by their owners.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Darwinism must be false because matter cannot produce consciousness.

If matter cannot produce consciousness, Darwinism must be false. Darwinism, the theory of evolution by natural selection, is a theory of how organisms, such as conscious human beings, evolved from simpler forms of matter through natural processes. If matter cannot produce consciousness, than it is impossible for conscious human beings to have evolved through natural selection and so Darwinism must be false.

This concept was explained by Gary Gutting in Nagel's Untimely Idea on This article contains three reviews of Thomas Nagel's book Mind and Cosmos. Gutting writes:

Why does Nagel insist on a radical rejection of the materialist metaphysics rather than endorsing Chalmers’s dualistic supplement to it? Because, Nagel maintains, materialist accounts rely on Darwinian evolution, which is not capable of explaining the origin of consciousness from matter.

But why is it impossible for consciousness to originate from matter? One line of reasoning that explains why matter cannot produce consciousness is suggested in the same article by physicist Stephen M. Barr:

Even if one knew all the variables of a physical system, their values at one time or at all times, and the equations governing them, there would be no way to derive from that information anything about whether the system in question was conscious, was feeling anything, or was having subjective experiences of any sort.

Barr is saying that the experience of consciousness, what you are feeling, what sensations feel like, is unexplainable by physics.

You can describe brain states in terms of neurotransmitters and cell organization, and neuron firing patterns, and in as much detail as you like, but you will never be able to understand from that what it is like to feel happy or what it is like to see the color red. A physical description of brain a state is fundamentally different from an experience. You can't explain what an experience is like through brain states. You might be able to say such and such a brain state produces the feeling of happiness, but you can't explain, based on a description of brain states, what it feels like to experience being happy, or what it is like to experience seeing the color red. Consciousness is something that is fundamentally different from any material process.

There are many other lines of reasoning and many independent forms of evidence that indicate that matter cannot produce consciousness. I have written about several of them on this blog and on my web site. Most of what I have written on the subject can be accessed from my article Materialism Cannot Explain Consciousness. This article links to discussions of philosophical arguments and also to several independent forms of empirical evidence that consciousness survives death. If consciousness can exist after the brain has died, then the matter in the brain cannot be responsible for the production of consciousness.

Since matter cannot produce consciousness, conscious beings like humans cannot have arisen through any purely material process such as Darwinian evolution. Therefore Darwinism must be false.

Copyright © 2013 by ncu9nc All rights reserved. Texts quoted from other sources are Copyright © by their owners.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

What are Ghosts?

There are several different phenomena that are sometimes described as ghosts.

Sometimes a spirit doesn't complete its transition to the spirit world when its body dies. The spirit may stay on the earth plane rather than moving on to the spirit world (heaven). These are called "earthbound" spirits. Usually this is caused by a sudden unexpected death or if the spirit had a strong emotional attachment to something or someone on the earth and doesn't want to leave it. Their mind may be obsessed with something on the earth, and when you are a spirit, your thoughts influence where you go. Also, sometimes a spirit may be afraid of punishment in the afterlife and so may linger near the earth rather than make the transition. An earthbound spirit has a complete personality and can sometimes communicate with and react to living people. When encountered, even if they seem friendly, but particularly if they are causing problems, earthbound spirits should be helped to complete their transition to the spirit world. The way to do that is explained in my article: How to help spirits complete their transition to the spirit world.

In a normal death due to declining health, the spirits on the other side have time to prepare the person for the transition and it usually goes smoothly. Evidence of this preparation comes from death bed visions.

Sometimes spirits that have completed their transition to the spirit world will come down to the earth plane for a purpose such as communicating with a loved one who is still living, to help a dying person make the transition to the spirit world, or to act as a spirit guide for a living person. In rare cases they can be seen by ordinary people, but usually only someone who is psychic will see them although some people might be able to sense their presence.

In some cases a "ghost" is just the shell of the astral body without the spirit in it anymore. These ghosts don't really have personalities. They are often seen just repeating the same thing over an over, like walking down the same hallway in a house. They are just a shell after the soul has moved on.

In other cases a "ghost" is just an impression of a person who used to be at a location which someone who is psychic can perceive. Particularly if the person who left the impression had a strong emotional experience at the site, they may leave a strong impression there. If a psychic is not experienced at using their psychic abilities, they may mistake their psychic perception of that impression for a ghost.

Sometimes ghostly phenomena is caused by unintentional psychokinesis from a living person.

Also see: Evidence for the Afterlife.

Copyright © 2013 by ncu9nc All rights reserved. Texts quoted from other sources are Copyright © by their owners.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Study Suggests More People Willing to Believe in ESP When Told It's Been Scientifically Disproven

An article on published in 2010 discusses a scientific study that showed people are more likely to believe in ESP if they are told that it has been disproven by scientists. The experiment was conducted at the University of Maryland by a team led by sociologist Heather Ridolfo:

Study Suggests More People Willing to Believe in ESP When Told It's Been Scientifically Disproven

Newly published research on belief in ESP suggests a public disregard for -- and perhaps even hostility toward -- the scientific consensus.

April 20, 2010 | Scientists wondering just how low faith in their field has fallen will get some uncomfortable answers in a study examining belief in Extrasensory Perception (ESP), recently published in the online journal Current Research in Social Psychology.

The researchers wrote:

“In fact, when participants believed that science rejected a claim, they moved in the direction of being more likely to accept the clam as true. This finding ran counter to our expectations, but is consistent with findings that trust in science is decreasing.”

Why would people be so distrustful of science? There are for them to be:

  • Most published scientific research findings are false.

  • Many of the most important scientific discoveries, including some that eventually were awarded Nobel prizes, were initially ridiculed by scientists.

  • Many materialist pseudo-skeptics make misleading claims denying ESP and they incorrectly say that their claims are backed by science. This might create suspicion that science is not reliable.

Most people believe in ESP and the afterlife. People with more education are more likely to believe in ESP and the afterlife and most doctors believe in the afterlife. They believe this way not because of what science says, but because of their own paranormal experiences and the experiences of others. And they are right to do so. They recognize that ordinary people can know truth that Science denies. There is a vast amount of valid evidence for ESP and the afterlife, including scientific evidence validated by replication and published in peer-reviewed journals.

Whatever the reason, this research shows activist materialist pseudo-skeptics are hurting their cause when they try to spread their beliefs. It would be better for everyone if they stopped, because those beliefs can be harmful to other people.

Copyright © 2013, 2015 by ncu9nc All rights reserved. Texts quoted from other sources are Copyright © by their owners.

Monday, May 6, 2013

What to do about Poltergeist

Poltergeist phenomena involve things moving by themselves, sounds such as knocking or rapping, or inexplicable behavior or malfunction of electrical or electronic devices, as well as other types of mysterious phenomena.

When the phenomena happens at various locations but always in the presence of one particular person, it is usually the person causing the phenomenon unconsciously through psychokinesis (unconscious PK). In this case, there may be something causing the person to be emotionally upset that is causing them to produce the phenomenon. If you can figure out what is causing the emotional problem and eliminate it, the phenomenon may stop.

A well known example of unconscious PK producing poltergeist phenomena is the Tropican Arts poltergeist case in Miami, Florida. If you or someone you know is experiencing unconscious PK, this article might be helpful: How to cope with being psychic.

Unconscious PK is sometimes called the Pauli Effect because the Nobel prize winning physicist Wolfgang Pauli was known to wreck lab equipment just by walking through the laboratory door.

When poltergeist phenomenon happens in only one location and does not depend on the presence of any particular individual, it is probably caused by a spirit. If you can encourage the spirit to complete its transition to the spirit world the phenomena may stop.

If you think a spirit is causing poltergeist phenomena, this article might be helpful: How to get rid of spirits

Also see: What are Ghosts?.

Copyright © 2013 by ncu9nc All rights reserved. Texts quoted from other sources are Copyright © by their owners.