Friday, August 28, 2015

Quick Answers, Well, Relatively Quick

-  If you can dismiss the published science dealing with psychic phenomena, much of it published in the same peer reviewed journals that science dealing with other phenomena is published in, because such things as "Psychic Friends Network" exist, why can't someone dismiss the science of evolution because of such things as  the Piltdown hoax, and, most of all, eugenics which were accepted by science.

What you're using to debunk the scientific research into psychic phenomena is more like how Hollywood imagines cave men.  To be even handed you'd have to judge any other aspect of scientific research based on that. "Psychic Friends Network" has not, to my knowledge, ever been subjected to rigorous testing and, for that matter, neither have many claims of the pseudo-skeptics.   The scientists who have done rigorous research, far, far more rigorous in almost every case than is ever done by psychologists, being dismissed by bringing up things like "Psychic Friends Network" would be like someone dismissing science based medicine by bringing up phony cures that are sold.  Not to mention the massive scandal that today's pharmaceutical industry is where, as mentioned by Sheldrake and Vernon, 45 out of 50 of the top published studies couldn't be replicated.   That's 90% for my arithmetic challenged trolls.  And an enormous percentage of published science in that area is bought and paid for by big pharma and big medicine for profit, the researchers knowing which side their bread is buttered on and, again we are finding out, they disregard data that doesn't support their preferred conclusions.  And that's published science!   I don't imagine Steve Novella and David Gorski and other MDs in the pseudo-skeptics industry are going to devote much of their time to debunking that.  But I'll have more to say about that soon.

- Well, yes, of course all of science is entirely dependent on "human experience" all science is done by humans and even the wildest speculations, that which turns out to be total hooey and that which will never be testable and that which turns out to have some validation are all dependent on reports of human experience.  If you think about it, everything we can talk about does because human language is reporting experience and inferences drawn from that experience.  Language exists as a means of imparting our experience.  That someone has to point that out is a good indication of why the pretense that science can escape that fact has become one of the most amazing of irrational beliefs among the educated population of the West.  It was always an absurd idea based on people ignoring the most basic facts of human culture.

What makes it so absurd for pseudo-skeptical psychologists to debunk things on the basis of it being an expression of human experience is that their entire field of study rests in its entirety on people reporting their experiences accurately and honestly.  And there is absolutely no way of knowing, of checking if they are reporting it accurately and honestly.  No way at all.  It's all taken on the most naive of faith.  There is no other means of possibly knowing anything about what's going on in someones' mind except what they say about it.

Even the Behaviorists mentioned by Sheldrake in the podcast were doing that though they pretended they weren't as, you see, they talked about "behavior" as if consciousness and conscious experience didn't come into it at all.  They did so by pretending that they weren't consciously reporting on what they concluded, and it was hardly a clean and objective report as they, as all academics do, report from the point of view of their subject matter, its history, its current culture and the requirements of their preferred school of their subject matter.

If there is something that might be profitably learned from the folly that has been psychology up till now, it is how a sloppy, self-interested and ideologically purposed pose of scientific objectivity can blind people to the actual nature of what they are doing and what they are claiming.  That psychology has also been the venue from which the effort to discredit the validity of experience when it is entirely based pretenses that peoples' reports of their experience produce reliable scientific data shows how bad things can get without anyone seeming much to notice.

-  I find every time I look into these things that I am drawn ever more to the conclusion that materialism is always a symptom of intellectual decadence as, in other parts of life, it is a source of moral decadence.  It leads to all kinds of dishonesty, all kinds of lies, all kinds of evil.  It was only when I began to understand that that I started to understand the meaning of the history of the past century when materialism as a ruling ideology, in those countries which fell under the rule of dialectical materialism were opposed by those countries ruled by economic materialism used science to kill unprecedented numbers of people, to construct means of killing us all, to progressively destroy the biosphere and to produce an amazing host of other evils and to not have any effective force that could stop them.  You have to admit that materialism is the shoddy and dishonest fraud it is to even find something that could hope to impede that progress towards total destruction of everything and you can't do that unless you face the facts that science isn't what the materialists pretend it is even as the prove that by their actions.  It is the materialists, the ideological atheists in science, those who have used science as their weapon against those whose conclusions about their own experience they don't like who are among the worst offenders in demanding that things impossible to see get to enjoy the status of reliable scientific knowledge.  I don't think that's an accident.  Those atheists, such as Woit, who oppose them are a very small, though perhaps growing, minority.  If there were more of them maybe we could come to some conclusions about that phenomenon but I'm unaware of any of them who have analyzed their thinking in terms of their experience, so far.


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