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Originally posted by NOGODSINTHEUNIVERSE
telekinetic proof have not been demonstrated in clean labo conditions
and that's a fact !
(Excerpt From "Parapsychology: The Controversial Science", by Richard S. Broughton, Ph.D., psychologist, scientist and former Director of Research at the world renowned Institute of Parapsychology. This book is a *serious* treatment of the study of parapsychology by trained psychologists and scientists.)
In 1979 and 1980, under the code name Project Alpha, Randi arranged for two younger magicians to pose as psychics and hoax the researchers at the recently established McDonnell Laboratory for Psychical Research at Washington University in St. Louis, MO. Several times over the next eighteen months the two young men were flown in for research sessions at the laboratory. All of this work was classed as exploratory and done under relatively relaxed conditions. At the 1981 convention of the Parapsychological Association the McDonnell Lab researchers presented a videotape of some of these exploratory sessions that they felt captured some possibly genuine phenomena.
Afterward, some science commentators, notably William Board of The New York Times, observed that had Randi been a psychologist conducting that "experiment", his hoax would probably have landed him in trouble with the ethics committee of the American Psychological Association. At the 1983 Parapsychological convention Project Alpha was roundly condemned by some of Randi's own colleagues in the magic profession who had gathered there to discuss how magicians can collaborate with parapsychologists. Despite the ethical backlash, Project Alpha has been warmly embraced by CSICOP members as one of their most audacious exposes."
Randi this week attacked Remote Viewing, spurred by the report in the Times of London, that the CIA, FBI etc may be calling on remote viewers to help in the current situation. As usual it is all rhetoric but his argument comes down to one key run-on sentence regarding the scientific evaluation of remote viewing involving Professors J. Utts and R. Hyman. You can read the whole column at www.randi.org but here's what he wrote about that:
"The program was tossed back to the CIA, with
instructions to conduct a review of the program. In 1995 the American Institutes for Research (AIR) evaluated it for the CIA, and their final report contained rather dramatic difference in opinions between statistician Jessica Utts and psychologist Dr. Ray Hyman, Utts raving over its effectiveness, and Hyman cooly pointing out the blatant faults. "J. Randi. 11/23/01.
(Note: AIR replaced SAIC for the purposes of the following)
Okay. Here's what Dr Ray Hyman really said:
Dr. Ray Hyman:
"I agree with Jessica Utts that the effect sizes in the SAIC experiments and in the recent ganzfeld studies probably cannot be dismissed as due to chance. Nor do they appear to be accounted for by multiple testing, filedrawer distortions, inappropriate statistical testing or other misuse of statistical inference. So, I accept Professor Utts' assertion that the statistical results of the SAIC and other parapsychologists experiments are far beyond what is expected by chance.
"The SAIC experiments are well-designed and the investigators have taken pains to eliminate the known weaknesses in previous parapsychological research. In addition, I cannot provide suitable candidates for what flaws,if any, might be present. Just the same it is impossible in principle to say that any particular experiment or experimental series is completely free from flaws." (Hyman, R. Comment. Statistical Science, 6:389-92).
Dear James, [Randi]
Your latest "article" has so many mistakes, deceptions, and example of arrogance,
that I must respond in detail. I am inserting comments for all interested parties to
read. I am passing this along widely, so that people can circulate the information
through the web.
My perception of your tactics is that they lack understanding and integrity. Since
you purportedly represent the skeptic community, you do them a great disservice.
As I have said before, and will repeat again, when you are right, I applaud you, and
when you are wrong, I attempt to educate you. Thus far, you have shown little sign
of being educable.
My major comments are in Arial 16 bold font below – the insert uses VERITAS – Harvard’s
motto which means "Truth."
Best, Gary [Dr. Gary Schwartz of the University of Arizona]
RANDI: May the Schwartz Be with You, the Tooth Fairy's Existence Proven by Science!, The "Sylvia Clock" is Up, the Academics Check In, and Leroy's back....!
RANDI: It won't stop. Dr. Gary Schwartz of the University of Arizona is the current darling of the media, who eagerly quote his belief in spiritualist mediums, remote viewing, and other wonders, and stick him in front of cameras to bury himself in wild claims - and though a recent claim that he also believes in the Tooth Fairy, may be somewhat hyperbolized, there is evidence to the contrary, up ahead. VERITAS: I am not a "darling" of the media. However, it is true that our work has been featured on some shows involving research mediums. These shows do not quote my "belief" in "spiritualist mediums, remote viewing, and other wonders" - they present our scientific studies using research mediums under ever more tightly controlled experiments. We will return to your inaccurate slander about the "tooth fairy" later. The media adore him because he's a real scientist, an actual "Doctor" who embraces bump-in-the-night ideas without a trace of shame - though with carefully-added caveats, so he can always back out - and he never tires of telling about his academic qualifications, numerous papers and other writings.
VERITAS - True scientists always speak in terms of probabilities, and are careful to qualify their statements in order to be accurate. Non-scientists who are biased use definitive statements such as "never tires of telling" or "without a trace of shame." I rarely speak of my credentials....however, the media does. And how would know if I experience shame or not? Here is a fact. I do experience shame, for example, about your behavior and its impact on the public's perception truthful skepticism.
RANDI: His latest foray into never-never land was a "debate" earlier this month, "Soul Science research at the University of Arizona's Human Energy Systems Laboratory" which turned out to be a love-in with "mediums" and others, lots of feel-good speeches, but nothing new or useful.
VERITAS - It is true that Ray Hyman (the person representing CSICOPs) added nothing new in terms of criticisms. The possible criticisms, by the way, do NOT apply to our studies, except when Hyman speculates that maybe our sitters are misremembering the names of their loved, causes of death, etc., or that we, the experimenters, are somehow cheating. For the record, Ray showed up over 20 minutes late for the debate - he kept 300+ people waiting. We finally began without him. The debate was briefer because of his lateness plus each speaker taking a few more minutes to present their opening remarks. Ray claims that he got lost - I will give him the benefit of the doubt.
RANDI: A good question for Dr. Schwartz: if he is not really sure of these bizarre matters, when the media present him, worldwide, as having firmly established the existence of mediumistic powers - by science - does he correct them by mail, by phone, in person? If so, we don't see any such amendments.
VERITAS - I can't even get the media, typically, to fact check stories with us. The recent story in the Times of London was so filled with inaccuracies that I experienced "shame" for the reporter. He said I was 58 (I am 56), he said my glasses are held together by sticky tape (actually, they are expensive wire-wrapped frames), that Linda's father was a heart surgeon (he was a cardiologist), that we had been conducting the research in secret for 8 years (we have worked in this area for 7 years, and began publishing 3 years ago!). Randi - we tell you the facts, and you appear to ignore them.
RANDI: It might be a warning sign to us that Schwartz was educated at Harvard, which also gave us Dr. John Mack, the man who apparently has never met anyone who hasn't been abducted by space aliens.
VERITAS - John Mack would likely call "never met anyone who hasn't been abducted by space aliens" an example of your extreme, inaccurate, and potentially slanderous remarks. You may think you are cute, but your misinformation is quite unbecoming.
“I don't know what I may seem to the world, but, as to myself, I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the sea shore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.” - Isaac Newton
"The scientific picture of the real world around me is very deficient. It gives a lot of factual information, puts all our experience in a magnificently consistent order, but it is ghastly silent about all and sundry that is really near to our heart, that really matters to us. It cannot tell us a word about red and blue, bitter and sweet, physical pain and physical delight; it knows nothing of beautiful and ugly, good and bad, God and eternity. Science sometimes pretends to answer questions in these domains, but the answers are very often so silly that we're not inclined to take them seriously…The scientific world-picture vouchsafes a very complete understanding of all that happens - it makes it just a little too understandable. It allows you to imagine the total display as that of a mechanical clockwork which, for all that science knows, could go on just the same as it does, without there being consciousness, will, endeavor, pain and delight and responsibility connected with it - though they actually are. And the reason for this disconcerting situation is just this: that, for the purpose of constructing the picture of the external world, we have used the greatly simplifying device of cutting our own personality out, removing it; hence it is gone, it has evaporated, it is ostensibly not needed…Whence come I, and whither go I? That is the great unfathomable question, the same for every one of us. Science has no answer to it." - Erwin Schroedinger
"Please note that the very recent advance (of quantum and relativistic physics - ed.) does not lie in the world of physics having acquired this shadowy character; it had ever since Democritus and Abdera and even before, but we were not aware of it; we thought we were dealing with the world itself." - Erwin Schroedinger
"I should like to stress the following:
Modern science, in its beginning, was characterized by a conscious modesty; it made statements about strictly limited relations that are only valid within the framework of these limitations.
This modesty was largely lost during the nineteenth century. Physical knowledge was considered to make assertions about nature as a whole.
Physics wished to turn philosopher, and the demand was voiced from many quarters that all true philosophers must be scientific.
Today physics has undergone a basic change, the most characteristic trait of which is to return to its original self-limitation.
The philosophic content of science is only preserved if science is conscious of its limits. Great discoveries of the properties of individual phenomena are possible only if the nature of the phenomena are not generalized a priori. Only by leaving open the question of the ultimate essence of a body, of matter, of energy, etc. can physics reach an understanding of the individual properties of the phenomena that we designate by these concepts, an understanding which alone may lead us to real philosophical insight." - Werner Heisenberg
"The essential fact is simply that all the pictures that science draws of nature, and which alone seem capable of according with observational fact, are mathematical pictures...They are nothing more than pictures - fictions if you like, if by fiction you mean that science is not yet in contact with ultimate reality. Many would hold that, from the broad philosophical standpoint, the outstanding achievement of twentieth-century physics is not the theory of relativity with its welding together of space and time, or the theory of quanta with its present apparent negation of the laws of causation, or the dissection of the atom with the resultant discovery that things are not what they seem; it is the general recognition that we are not yet in contact with ultimate reality. We are still imprisoned in our cave, with our backs to the light, and can only watch shadows on the wall." - James Jeans
"The fact is that there is a point, one single point in the immeasurable world of mind and matter, where science and therefore every causal method of research is inapplicable, not only on practical grounds but also on logical grounds, and will always remain inapplicable. This point is the individual ego. It is a small point in the universal realm of being, but, in itself, it is a whole world, embracing our emotional life, our will, and our thought." - Max Planck
“You will hardly find one among the profounder sort of scientific minds without a religious feeling of his own…His religious feeling takes the form of a rapturous amazement at the harmony of natural law, which reveals an intelligence of such superiority that, compared with it, all the systematic thinking and acting of human beings is an utterly insignificant reflection…(regarding this feeling - ed.) It is beyond question closely akin to that which has possessed the religious geniuses of all ages.” - Albert Einstein
“…when I say I am glad I live in the century when the universe is essentially understood, I think I am justified.” - Isaac Asimov
"I am a collection of water, calcium and organic molecules called Carl Sagan." - Carl Sagan
“… attitudes and beliefs can have nothing to do with properly conducted research and conclusions drawn therefrom.” - James Randi
“Parapsychology is a farce and a delusion...” - James Randi
“This is also a book about God… or perhaps about the absence of God. Hawking is attempting, as he explicitly states, to understand the mind of God… And this makes all the more unexpected the conclusion of the effort, at least so far: a universe with no edge in space, no beginning or end to time, and nothing for a Creator to do.” - Carl Sagan
“There are only four different forces in existence…” - Milton Rothman
That might have been the end of the affair, not unlike others that have wasted the time of parapsychologists. When it became obvious to Randi that no further work was going to be done with his "plants", he called a press conference (with the sponsorship of Discover Magazine) where he announced to the world that had conducted "sociological experiment" to test whether parapsychologists were capable of detecting fraud. Although Randi had told the McDonnell researchers that they had "passed the test" and that his two magicians were unable to cheat after the more rigorous conditions were imposed, at the press conference and in all the all the following publicity Randi lambasted and ridiculed the earlier exploratory work. It went largely unnoticed that the McDonnell researchers had never made any formal claims that the two alleged psychics were producing psy phenomena.