".....This is you being quoted in the UK's Daily Mail: "I agree that by the standards of any other area of science that remote viewing is proven. That begs the question do we need higher standards of evidence when we study the paranormal?"
you went on in a subsequent interview and further refined that by
saying: "That's a slight misquote because I was using the term in more
of a general sense of ESP. That is, I was not talking about remote
viewing per se, but rather Ganzfeld, etc. as well. I think that they do
meet the usual standards for a normal claim but are not convincing
enough for an extraordinary claim....."
Moderator Alex Tsakiris in an exchange with paranormal skeptic Dr. Richard Wiseman and paranormal proponent Dr. Richard Sheldrake...."Source: Skeptico
I recently listened with some fascination to a debate between Dr. Wiseman, a parapsychology skeptic, and Dr. Sheldrake, a parapsychology advocate. After awhile it became abundantly clear that the science of the proof of parapsychology, or what some would call psychic phenomena, would never be accepted because whatever evidence that is gathered would always be shot down with the silly argument 'extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.'
First off, who is to decide if a claim is extraordinary or not?
If you ask quantum theoretical physicists, they might not look upon claims of psychic phenomena as that extraordinary since they have come to understand that consciousness and energy are somehow entangled.."...Einstein's great objection to quantum theory came from its denial of physical reality before observation (quantum theory says that only after we measure a property value of a particle does that property gain physical reality - before we measure it we must consider it to be in a superposition state). We often quote Einstein's rejection of quantum indeterminacy: "God does not play dice", but his less-quoted objection to quantum theory's denial of physical reality reveals his more serious concern: "' Source: Ipod.org
Secondly, who is to decide what amount of extraordinary evidence, over and above the usual evidence required in psychological experiments, is going to be sufficient?
conducted by JB Rhine at Duke University in the 1930's and 40'
demonstrated parapsychology or ESP as it was often called. Rhine also
conducted the first meta-analysis in psychology when he and a colleague
examined all scientific telepathy and clairvoyance experiments that
were published over 60 years and found the evidence supported the
various experiments have shown that the body's autonomic nervous system
responds in a 'precognitive' way to frightening or stimulating stimuli
before the introduction of any stimulus or conditioning. Dr. Dean Radin
of the Institute of Noetic Sciences found that subjects' skin response
showed electrical activity before they were shown 'affective pictures',
or images that draw a strong emotional response.
growing number of recent studies are suggesting that other parts of the
body may also show a presentiment response, including the heart
(McCraty et al., 2004a) and the brain (Bierman & Scholte, 2002;
Bierman & van Ditzhuijzen, 2006; Hinterberger et al., 2006; McCraty
et al., 2004b). The results of a study by Radin and Eva Lobach (2007)
of the University of Amsterdam,
which was published in the latest issue of the Journal of Alternative
and Complementary Medicine, seems to add to the evidence for the
latter." Source: Public Parapsychology. It has also been shown and replicated that secret observation of subjects increase skin conductance response (Marilyn J. Schlitz , Stephen LaBerg)
One of the most widely performed extra-sensory perception experiments is the Ganzfield test. In this test, a subject is deprived of sensory stimulus while a sender attempts to send random images mentally. The subject repeats out loud the mental images that he or she is receiving and those responses are compared to the visual images sent by the sender. "By chance the average subject should guess the right target 25% of the time but Edinburgh's Koestler Parapsychological Unit often achieves 33% . Also, "Between 1974 and 2004, 88 ganzfeld experiments were done, reporting 1,008 hits out of 3,145 tests (a 32.1% hit rate). In 1982, Charles Honorton presented a paper at the annual convention of the Parapsychological Association that summarized the results of the Ganzfeld experiments up to that date, and concluded that they represented sufficient evidence to demonstrate the existence of psi."
The amount of experiments and the massive data from decades of research is overwhelming. Yet, The skeptics always say, after decades of proof, that the experiments are flawed (even before examining them) and/or that more proof is needed to make a firm conclusion. No matter how much scientific and empirical evidence is gathered concerning the paranormal, the skeptics will always decide that the massive amount of replicated proof obtained will not meet their unscientific and ill defined requirement of 'extraordinary evidence.'
In truth, saying that some claim requires extraordinary evidence with no empirical parameters to decide what should qualify as 'extraordinary' is completely unscientific.
skeptics are acting irrational, doctrinaire, and unscientific in their
use of an unreasonable argument to dismiss true scientific inquiry of
psychic phenomenon, which has been scientifically proven to be a real
phenomenon by usual levels of validity and reliability for
So why should parapsychology be held to a higher standard than normal psychological research?
The answer: It shouldn't
scientific establishment is dependent on governmental and corporate
funding and grants. So as usual, we have to follow the money trail to
see why there is such little interest and such a great deal of
skepticism from the scientific community over the paranormal. In short,
if there isn't any money in a particular field of inquiry and
investigation then there will be few in the scientific community to
pursue it. There will also be a great deal of skepticism toward what
they are not conditioned through economic reward to pursue or
But let's examine this further.