The Bent Spoon - The Skeptical Magazine for the True Believer

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The Bent Spoon - The Skeptical Magazine for the True Believer

 

Hello everyone, this is my first post. For a long time I have been trying to figure out promote skepticism to the true believers of paranormal phenomena. They seem to have this distorted view on what skepticism is and what it is all about. So recently I have started an online magazine called “The Bent Spoon” which covers paranormal topics in a skeptical way, we call it the skeptical magazine for the true believer. We are trying to appeal to people blinded by belief and we just want to make them think.We describe the eZine as follows:"In the landscape of paranormal media, there are traditionally two unique, yet separate, brands. One geared toward the believers, and the other more skeptical in nature. The problem is that the true believers rarely, if ever, embrace a skeptical attitude or ask tough questions of their community; instead preferring to surround themselves with likeminded individuals that reinforce their own belief systems. And the skeptics, likewise, promote science and critical thinking largely to those already open to it, or who are active partici­pants in the skeptical community. This results in an echo chamber effect, wherein the same ideas are bounced back and forth, guru-student relationships are inadvertently cre­ated, and neither side ends up learning much about the other.Enter: The Bent Spoon.The Bent Spoon is a skeptical magazine for the true believer. Within its pages you will find Q&A between those with opposing viewpoints, interviews with leading investigators and thinkers, as well as articles which will not only provide in-depth analysis, but also be critical of both believers and skeptics alike. Along with reviews, comic strips, and other lighter fare, The Bent Spoon hopes to foster an attitude of outreach, forming a middle ground where believers and skeptics can come together and have a conversation about the issues and questions we’ve all given thought to.The Bent Spoon. Where extraordinary claims meet ordinary explanations." Does anyone have any advice, questions, comments or interest in something like this? I will take all the help I can get. We are getting ready to release issue 3 which covers spirit communication. Like I said before, all I want to do is plant a seed and make people think instead of just saying “yup it is supernatural.”  Anyway, thanks everyone.

 


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 Kinda spammy way to join

 Kinda spammy way to join our community but at least on topic.  What the hell...

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I am sorry, I didnt mean to

I am sorry, I didnt mean to come off as spammy. 


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TheBentSpoon wrote:I am

TheBentSpoon wrote:

I am sorry, I didnt mean to come off as spammy. 

I have seen the bent AND eventually broken spoon trick in person. I would like to know how it is done, although I damned well know there is no fucking magic to it.

It is the same shit that pisses me off when people go to a magic show and say, "How do you know magic isn't real". And even after illusionists expose the woman sawed in half, and disappearing jet, some dumb asses still buy it as literal.

You cannot move objects with your mind, Ouija boards are a joke and a con, any ghost "reality show" you see on tv is bullshit crap gullible people fall for.

It is the same reason for a long time the WWE Wrestling falsely defended its show as a sport when all it was was acting.

It simply amounts to if you want to believe it badly enough, you will.

But if you want to sound less spammy, how did that guy break the spoon in front of my eyes?

 

 

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Welcome to the forums, guys

 

 

 

                        Bobby and Jason are friends of mine, it's about time you guys dropped in.  Has for the spamming, I know they were going to cantact Sapient before posting here, they asked me for Brian S. e-mail. I'm guessing Brian said welcome. 

 

                        If your free on Sunday afternoons between 3 PM and 5 PM check out th podcast they put on, James Randi and other well know skeptics have been guests. Their more entertaining guests include true believing ghost hunters, flatearthers and victoms of alien abductions.  Hell even I have been on the show by phone. I rarly miss a Sunday in Toledo.

 

                       Brian37 the bent spoon trick is done by pre-bending the spoon to nearly the breaking point. James Randi has a video on the web explaining it in detail.

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Jeffrick!!!I did email Brian

Jeffrick!!!

I did email Brian but I never got a response, so if the post gets deleted I understand.  However I thought I would come to the forum anyway, I am trying to use all the resources I can.   

Brian37 James Randi openly tells people it is a magic trick and some people still say "no you are using real psychic powers."   


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Don't worry.

TheBentSpoon wrote:

Jeffrick!!!

I did email Brian but I never got a response, so if the post gets deleted I understand.  However I thought I would come to the forum anyway, I am trying to use all the resources I can.   

Brian37 James Randi openly tells people it is a magic trick and some people still say "no you are using real psychic powers."   

 

 

                   Your basicly a non-profit,   spammers are the one shot drop-ins who are trying to sell us something.  Why not ask Sapient to be a guest, I mentioned it to him before, Brian was amenable to the idea. I have mentioned your podcast here before and I posted links when ever my lovely voice was on the show.

 

                  Feel free to post an opinion on other OPs.  Brian Sapient will eventually read this OP, so don't worry.

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VEGETARIAN: Ancient Hindu word for "lousy hunter"

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Welcome to the forum. 

Welcome to the forum.

 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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Welcome.I attended a

Welcome.

I attended a presentation a few years ago by James Randi where he gave us a few examples of 'tricks', including spoon-bending and breaking. He even did a few sleight-of-hand close-up tricks outside the lecture hall, where he was signing copies of his books (I have 'The Mask of Nostradamus').

Great and talented guy.

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There is even a mental trick

There is even a mental trick where you can guess the number the person is thinking of. I used to briefly know how to do it. The look on their face when you get the number right is priceless. But they don't know that all you are doing is giving them leading questions that you pick up on.

One of my favorite lines in TV history was on a show Moonlighting where the Character Maddy Hayes aksa a magician how they did that, he responds aptly,"If humans didn't have eyes it wouldn't be so easy to fool them".

People do not understand, even with religion, how easy they allow themselves to fall for a gap answer.

You have to be a fool to watch an illusionist and think any of it is real. And even with psychics which is merely a mental mind scam they pull on you.

 

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 Well, if you want, youtube

 Well, if you want, youtube has plenty of videos of people showing how specific tricks are done. Heck but there is even a professional guy who does bunches of the really big tricks like you need a huge stage for.

 

Honestly, unless you are an engineering type of guy, that kind of ruins the entertainment value though.

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Brian37 wrote:There is even

Brian37 wrote:

There is even a mental trick where you can guess the number the person is thinking of. I used to briefly know how to do it. The look on their face when you get the number right is priceless. But they don't know that all you are doing is giving them leading questions that you pick up on.

One of my favorite lines in TV history was on a show Moonlighting where the Character Maddy Hayes aksa a magician how they did that, he responds aptly,"If humans didn't have eyes it wouldn't be so easy to fool them".

People do not understand, even with religion, how easy they allow themselves to fall for a gap answer.

You have to be a fool to watch an illusionist and think any of it is real. And even with psychics which is merely a mental mind scam they pull on you.

 

That is because some people have the need to believe this crap.  Perfect example, when I was speaking with James Randi after he exposed Popoff as a fraud, people were thanking Randi and explaining that they now go to another church and they can tell that their new Pastor (who is doing the same crap Peter Popoff does) is the "real deal." 


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 Welcome to the forum.

 Welcome to the forum.


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Hello TheBentSpoon!I'm the

Hello TheBentSpoon!

I'm the local resident "psychic". I've read through your magazine. Nice job, you cover such classic beliefs... But one thing really got me wondering. How can you ask for tangible evidence of a ghost? Last time I heard, ghosts are intangible. That's like asking for tangible evidence of radio waves, but not through radio. What do you want, a petrified fossil of a ghost? Please, have some considerations for technical diffculties. Not all of ghost hunters have a big blue bar of magenergy reserves over their head like madame Blavatsky, who reputedly could materialize stuff. 

So, I have a question. You're a skeptic. You examine claims. If you find out the claim is flawed, you may write some educative and fun article about it, in your magazine. Let's say there is a guy with an extraordinary claim, which potentially turns a lot of science upside down and positively points at many areas, which were until now thought to be pseudoscience.  But what will you do, if the extraordinary claim turns out to be backed up by an actual scientific experiments, documented, repeatable and peer-reviewed? Will you lend the claim a space in your propagatory medium? Will you contact anyone else? Or will you play a dead beetle? 
James Randi is sworn to give the claimant a million dollar prize. What's your plan for such cases?

In my experience, even skeptics do not react positively when they do not win an argument. Typically, they don't react at all. It seems to me, they even avoid looking at the evidence, if it can't be easily dismissed, because it requires to read through some serious documents. 
I can understand that they're probably tired and busy people. But is there any way to tell which skeptic is fresh, vacant and willing to examine claims?

 

Brian37 wrote:

There is even a mental trick where you can guess the number the person is thinking of. I used to briefly know how to do it. The look on their face when you get the number right is priceless. But they don't know that all you are doing is giving them leading questions that you pick up on.

If that person is a woman, they usually think of number 7.
I've read about it in the book by Neil Strauss, the pickup artist. I can say, it really works.

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Luminon

Luminon wrote:

Hello TheBentSpoon!

I'm the local resident "psychic". I've read through your magazine. Nice job, you cover such classic beliefs... But one thing really got me wondering. How can you ask for tangible evidence of a ghost? Last time I heard, ghosts are intangible. That's like asking for tangible evidence of radio waves, but not through radio. What do you want, a petrified fossil of a ghost? Please, have some considerations for technical diffculties. Not all of ghost hunters have a big blue bar of magenergy reserves over their head like madame Blavatsky, who reputedly could materialize stuff. 

So, I have a question. You're a skeptic. You examine claims. If you find out the claim is flawed, you may write some educative and fun article about it, in your magazine. Let's say there is a guy with an extraordinary claim, which potentially turns a lot of science upside down and positively points at many areas, which were until now thought to be pseudoscience.  But what will you do, if the extraordinary claim turns out to be backed up by an actual scientific experiments, documented, repeatable and peer-reviewed? Will you lend the claim a space in your propagatory medium? Will you contact anyone else? Or will you play a dead beetle? 
James Randi is sworn to give the claimant a million dollar prize. What's your plan for such cases?

In my experience, even skeptics do not react positively when they do not win an argument. Typically, they don't react at all. It seems to me, they even avoid looking at the evidence, if it can't be easily dismissed, because it requires to read through some serious documents. 
I can understand that they're probably tired and busy people. But is there any way to tell which skeptic is fresh, vacant and willing to examine claims?

 

 

Luminon! Thanks for your response. Here is a problem with the paranormal community. First I’d like to say that I was a true believer for about 26 years. It was only in the recent last two years I was able to shed my beliefs and understand why they were flawed. With that being said let me answer your question. You asked “How can you ask for tangible evidence of a ghost?” well when ghost hunters claim they have scientific data to support their evidence, I want to see something extraordinary. I’ve explained multiple times on radio shows and other articles why things such as E.M.F. spikes, E.V.P., pictures and video cannot prove the paranormal. If they could be considered positive evidence or proof for the existence of a ghost, it would have by now. I don’t normally care what people believe in, it is when they claim that it is scientifically provable, that is when I people to prove them scientifically. The burden of proof is always on the one making the claim, it isn’t my job to disprove it isn’t a ghost. You say ghosts exist, prove it.       I also find your analogy of ghosts and radio waves a bit unfair. We know radio waves exist, they are detectable. Ghosts on the other hand cannot be detected. You can’t compare something that hasn’t been proven to exist with something that has been proven to exist, it’s a faulty analogy. I get this a lot in the paranormal community. Actually just recently, within the past 2 days I was on a radio show talking about skepticism and the topic of Bigfoot came up. I asked why we have never found the body of a Bigfoot; the response was “Well when asked Park Rangers have said they have never seen a dead deer in the wild.” Well we know for a fact deer exist, we don’t know Bigfoot does, it is a faulty analogy. Beside I am an avid jogger; I jog 5 times a week with my father at the local metro park. We have taken the same path every time for the last 3 years, I am not a park ranger and last year before spring, my father and I saw a dead deer on the side of the path. Of course it is an anecdotal but it doesn’t matter because like I said before, we know deer exist.  Now you asked what I would do is science backed up a paranormal claim. Well if that happened then it would cease to paranormal…it would just be normal. And if science could truly back it up, I would reexamine my belief on the subject and come to a different conclusion. ONLY if science as a whole could back the claim up, not some loony like Dean Radin who claims psi has been proven long ago.  I have no problem admitting I want this to be real…I really do. However my want and what is real are two different things that I have been able to separate. I would rather know what is real than just believe what I want to be real. I want a million dollars, but I can’t spend money as if I believed I had a million dollars. I hope this answered your questions.

 


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TheBentSpoon

TheBentSpoon wrote:

Luminon!

Thanks for your response. Here is a problem with the paranormal community. First I’d like to say that I was a true believer for about 26 years. It was only in the recent last two years I was able to shed my beliefs and understand why they were flawed. With that being said let me answer your question.
Congratulations! I agree that false and unjustified beliefs should be gradually put down.   
TheBentSpoon wrote:
 You asked “How can you ask for tangible evidence of a ghost?” well when ghost hunters claim they have scientific data to support their evidence, I want to see something extraordinary. I’ve explained multiple times on radio shows and other articles why things such as E.M.F. spikes, E.V.P., pictures and video cannot prove the paranormal. If they could be considered positive evidence or proof for the existence of a ghost, it would have by now. I don’t normally care what people believe in, it is when they claim that it is scientifically provable, that is when I people to prove them scientifically. The burden of proof is always on the one making the claim, it isn’t my job to disprove it isn’t a ghost. You say ghosts exist, prove it.
All right, so things like E.M.F. readings are not a sufficient evidence. Neither are the "electronic voices" on radio. But you specifically asked for a tangible proof of a fundamentally intangible ghost. I don't see how that's possible, unless someone materializes the ghost or knocks you out of physical body, so your ghost can touch the ghost.
What about a two-way communication with a ghost?
 
TheBentSpoon wrote:
 I also find your analogy of ghosts and radio waves a bit unfair. We know radio waves exist, they are detectable. Ghosts on the other hand cannot be detected. You can’t compare something that hasn’t been proven to exist with something that has been proven to exist, it’s a faulty analogy. I get this a lot in the paranormal community.
Actually, I meant it as a real possibility. There is "dark matter" in the universe. (hopefully we can agree there is enough evidence that it is a real matter, not a mathemathical placeholder) So what if this dark matter is not in fact dark, but emits light elsewhere on the EM spectrum, due to its different material properties? There is a lot of EM radiation in the space unaccounted for, such as detected by the ARCADE experiment. 
This is why I would not close my mind to the possibility that there are material, yet intangible ghosts around us, who can possibly emit a microwave or radio EM radiation. I don't claim this is exactly the case, but I see how it may be possible and how radio receivers and transmitters migt one day become an evidence.  
TheBentSpoon wrote:
 Actually just recently, within the past 2 days I was on a radio show talking about skepticism and the topic of Bigfoot came up. I asked why we have never found the body of a Bigfoot; the response was “Well when asked Park Rangers have said they have never seen a dead deer in the wild.” Well we know for a fact deer exist, we don’t know Bigfoot does, it is a faulty analogy. Beside I am an avid jogger; I jog 5 times a week with my father at the local metro park. We have taken the same path every time for the last 3 years, I am not a park ranger and last year before spring, my father and I saw a dead deer on the side of the path. Of course it is an anecdotal but it doesn’t matter because like I said before, we know deer exist.
Very well. I got the point. People should take into account what we all know that exists. Actually, my "guru" once answered a question that yetti is a rare and yet undiscovered kind of a mountain bear. Nevermind that, but when I was on college last year with my roommate, he left a lot of mystery/science magazines on our dorm toilet. So we both read them a lot. One issue was about newly discovered species. And look, there was this strange kind of a bear, caught by the Chinese near Tibet, with not much fur on the coat. A fitting candidate for Yeti.  
TheBentSpoon wrote:
 Now you asked what I would do is science backed up a paranormal claim. Well if that happened then it would cease to paranormal…it would just be normal. And if science could truly back it up, I would reexamine my belief on the subject and come to a different conclusion. ONLY if science as a whole could back the claim up, not some loony like Dean Radin who claims psi has been proven long ago.  I have no problem admitting I want this to be real…I really do. However my want and what is real are two different things that I have been able to separate. I would rather know what is real than just believe what I want to be real. I want a million dollars, but I can’t spend money as if I believed I had a million dollars. I hope this answered your questions.

My question was actually, is there any visible procedure for recognition of a claim? All this admitting, that can happen inside of your head. What would you do visibly and externally, for all to see? If the claim becomes proven, then you should at least promote it somehow, to reward the claimant for the long line of condescent skepticism he had to go through. What about a credibly-looking article, on which the claimant may post a link, every time another skeptic doubts, but has no time to read through the original documents?
You should also say something publically, for example. If I quote Tim Minchin from the famous Storm video:

...I will change my mind.
I will spin on a fucking dime. 
I will be as embarrassed as hell, yet I will run through the streets yelling "It's a miracle!!!"
...
And when I recover from the shock,
I will take a cutlass(misheard?) and carve 'fancy that' on the side of my cock!

Smiling
 

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 “All right, so

 

“All right, so things like E.M.F. readings are not a sufficient evidence. Neither are the "electronic voices" on radio. But you specifically asked for a tangible proof of a fundamentally intangible ghost. I don't see how that's possible, unless someone materializes the ghost or knocks you out of physical body, so your ghost can touch the ghost.
What about a two-way communication with a ghost?”

Well I can honestly say that if I saw a “ghost” in front of my eyes I would probably think I was having a seizure in my frontal lobe cause me to have a hallucination.  I don’t trust my eyes all the time.  Things we perceive are not always correct.  I would say that if ghosts are ever to be theorized scientifically it will be achieved in the field of neurology.  It will have to start by someone figuring out what consciousness is. It would have to be a duel process, existing independent of the brain.  Then a way to measure it would have to be designed.  After that there would have to be tests done to establish if an individual consciousness still exists and can be measured after they are dead.  Even if that is achieved though, I still have no idea how they could test its intelligence.    

As far as spirit communication well I don’t know the means of how to establish that.  I have tested all the “ghost communication” devices I can get my hands on, all of them have produced negative results.  Devices such as ghost boxes, Ouija boards, psychics, séances, I.T.C., mirror gazing, crystal balls, tarot cards, dowsing rods all fail under strict testing.  So if you could suggest another method I would be glad to try it out.  Now I will say that just because I got negative results that doesn’t mean the possibility that entities exist goes away.  The only reason why I say that is because I can’t disprove a ghost anymore than you can prove the existence of them; therefore logically it is possible that they do exist.

“Actually, I meant it as a real possibility. There is "dark matter" in the universe. (hopefully we can agree there is enough evidence that it is a real matter, not a mathemathical placeholder) So what if this dark matter is not in fact dark, but emits light elsewhere on the EM spectrum, due to its different material properties? There is a lot of EM radiation in the space unaccounted for, such as detected by the ARCADE experiment. 
This is why I would not close my mind to the possibility that there are material, yet intangible ghosts around us, who can possibly emit a microwave or radio EM radiation. I don't claim this is exactly the case, but I see how it may be possible and how radio receivers and transmitters migt one day become an evidence.” 

Again you are comparing something that is scientifically sound with something that isn’t.  I never said ghosts didn’t 100 percent exist, it is possible they do, until the day a science can theorize one, I will say it’s highly unlikely that they do.   

“Very well. I got the point. People should take into account what we all know that exists. Actually, my "guru" once answered a question that yetti is a rare and yet undiscovered kind of a mountain bear. Nevermind that, but when I was on college last year with my roommate, he left a lot of mystery/science magazines on our dorm toilet. So we both read them a lot. One issue was about newly discovered species. And look, there was this strange kind of a bear, caught by the Chinese near Tibet, with not much fur on the coat. A fitting candidate for Yeti.”  

Alright, sure a fitting candidate, but it isn’t a Yeti, bears are not primates.  Bigfoot and Yeti’s are said to be.

“My question was actually, is there any visible procedure for recognition of a claim? All this admitting, that can happen inside of your head. What would you do visibly and externally, for all to see? If the claim becomes proven, then you should at least promote it somehow, to reward the claimant for the long line of condescent skepticism he had to go through. What about a credibly-looking article, on which the claimant may post a link, every time another skeptic doubts, but has no time to read through the original documents?”

If someone was able to prove ghosts exist, what would I do?  I would freaking jump for joy, and yes I would definitely praise the work, by writing articles and possibly even do a video.  But as far as the “condescending skepticism he had to go through” well welcome to science, that’s the price scientist pay for making new discoveries.  And as far as you asking  What about a credibly-looking article, on which the claimant may post a link, every time another skeptic doubts, but has no time to read through the original documents?” just because some looks credible doesn’t somehow magically make it credible, but if you are talking about people just jumping to conclusions well both sides are guilty of this.  I think the paranormal community does this more than the skeptics.  So I think the real question is how come people in the paranormal, even when provided logical and rational explanations can’t stop appealing to ghosts?


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 Well Lumy, the thing is

 Well Lumy, the thing is that proof has to be more than you telling me stuff. It has to be something that can be quantified and written up. So even if I think that you have shown me something real, it then becomes my job to tell other people about it. Basically, I would have to show them what I found out and do so in a way that meets a certain standard of reason.

 

For example, take ghosts. In order to prove that they exist, the ghost must touch the physical world in some way. Two way communication would not be enough to convince anyone else.

 

Really, if you were to somehow put me in touch with a real ghost and we had a conversation, what kind of credibility would I have by telling people that I had a conversation with a real ghost? About as much as any of the other people who claim to talk to the dead and we all know what that is worth.

 

Really, the ghost has to be able to touch the world in some tangible way which is subject to further investigation by other people. But really, what is a ghost anyway? If we go with the definition of not being able to affect the physical world in any way, then that lets out the idea of my talking to one. In fact, it lets out the idea of anyone ever doing anything real that establishes the existence of “real” ghosts.

 

What if a ghost is not what you think it is? Perhaps there are real physical phenomenon which are subject to study but it just happens that nobody has done a proper investigation on them just yet. Would you be open minded enough to admit that what you think to be a ghost might turn out to be something real and measurable but not a dead guy wandering around?

 

As far as Yeti/Bigfoot/Lochness monster type creatures, there might be another problem to consider.

 

The size of a population is directly connected to it's genetic stability. We see this in evolutionary biology all the time. Large populations tend to show very little genetic drift and small populations have larger genetic drift. So if a cryptid species is going to remain concealed in a well traveled area, then it would have to have a generally small population.

 

Granted, the region where the yeti supposedly live might be able to hide a respectable population but the bigfoot supposedly lives in an area which is well enough populated that the size of the population that could possibly still be concealed would be too small for them to survive.

 

Ditto the Loch Ness monster. There could be at most a couple of creatures that large in that particular lake. There is no way that they could survive breeding to siblings for millions of years.

 

On the other hand, we do know of a good number of isolated populations of larger species. The Key Deer in Florida is a good example. They are a subspecies of the North American White tail and in only the last few thousand years, they have developed to the point where they stand half as tall and a quarter of the weight of a typical white tail. They are very real and very well known.

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TheBentSpoon wrote: Well I

TheBentSpoon wrote:

Well I can honestly say that if I saw a “ghost” in front of my eyes I would probably think I was having a seizure in my frontal lobe cause me to have a hallucination.  I don’t trust my eyes all the time.  Things we perceive are not always correct.  I would say that if ghosts are ever to be theorized scientifically it will be achieved in the field of neurology.  It will have to start by someone figuring out what consciousness is. It would have to be a duel process, existing independent of the brain.  Then a way to measure it would have to be designed.  After that there would have to be tests done to establish if an individual consciousness still exists and can be measured after they are dead.  Even if that is achieved though, I still have no idea how they could test its intelligence. 

Figuring out what consciousness is? From the current scientific development and daily use of our brain it may look like the discovery is close. But some of the interesting cases are missing from the equation. For example people, who recovered from an extensive brain damage without consequences. Or those, who started speaking a foreign language overnight. (I mean cases like Dmitri Mitrovic, not a change of accent) And there are of course the talented people, who can do things in young age, which most of grownups never learn. Every time my dad sees someone like that in TV he says, "don't tell me reincarnation doesn't exist!" Smiling

TheBentSpoon wrote:
 As far as spirit communication well I don’t know the means of how to establish that.  I have tested all the “ghost communication” devices I can get my hands on, all of them have produced negative results.  Devices such as ghost boxes, Ouija boards, psychics, séances, I.T.C., mirror gazing, crystal balls, tarot cards, dowsing rods all fail under strict testing.  So if you could suggest another method I would be glad to try it out.  Now I will say that just because I got negative results that doesn’t mean the possibility that entities exist goes away.  The only reason why I say that is because I can’t disprove a ghost anymore than you can prove the existence of them; therefore logically it is possible that they do exist.
That's it, pretty much. Neither the claimants nor skeptics have an idea how to prove the existence of ghosts directly and objectively. The ghosts are for now untestable. I think there are however certain key discoveries, or gradual steps if you want, which should eventually lead to testability of ghosts, among other more important things. But I'll leave that to your judgement, if you'll have opportunity to look at the evidence.

TheBentSpoon wrote:
 

If someone was able to prove ghosts exist, what would I do?  I would freaking jump for joy, and yes I would definitely praise the work, by writing articles and possibly even do a video.  But as far as the “condescending skepticism he had to go through” well welcome to science, that’s the price scientist pay for making new discoveries. 

Let's say I'd like to submit a set of studies, arguments and hypotheses for examination. Some of this is old and forgotten due to unpopularity, some of it is new and unknown yet. 
I believe the science is on the verge of discovery, which will have a profound impact on many areas, from biology to physics. I have a vision supported by personal reasons and I search the net for scientific pieces of that vision. I believe multiple people already uncovered aspects of this new discovery. If someone will put these aspects together, a new scientific field will emerge, which will really speed up the development. 
And it has almost nothing to do with ghosts.

The problem is, my ability to verify scientific claims ends, when they start referencing other studies, maybe sooner. 

 

TheBentSpoon wrote:
  And as far as you asking  What about a credibly-looking article, on which the claimant may post a link, every time another skeptic doubts, but has no time to read through the original documents?” just because some looks credible doesn’t somehow magically make it credible, but if you are talking about people just jumping to conclusions well both sides are guilty of this.  I think the paranormal community does this more than the skeptics.  So I think the real question is how come people in the paranormal, even when provided logical and rational explanations can’t stop appealing to ghosts?

There are of course mediums and their  audience, I know several of them in my country. They are one of reasons why ghosts aren't my favorite topic. If it shows anything, then that in ghost realm there is just as much crime and frauds and the ghost criminals are much more interested in us living than the honest ghost folk Smiling

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Answers in Gene Simmons wrote:

 Well Lumy, the thing is that proof has to be more than you telling me stuff. It has to be something that can be quantified and written up. So even if I think that you have shown me something real, it then becomes my job to tell other people about it. Basically, I would have to show them what I found out and do so in a way that meets a certain standard of reason.

 

For example, take ghosts. In order to prove that they exist, the ghost must touch the physical world in some way. Two way communication would not be enough to convince anyone else.

 

Really, if you were to somehow put me in touch with a real ghost and we had a conversation, what kind of credibility would I have by telling people that I had a conversation with a real ghost? About as much as any of the other people who claim to talk to the dead and we all know what that is worth.

 

Really, the ghost has to be able to touch the world in some tangible way which is subject to further investigation by other people. But really, what is a ghost anyway? If we go with the definition of not being able to affect the physical world in any way, then that lets out the idea of my talking to one. In fact, it lets out the idea of anyone ever doing anything real that establishes the existence of “real” ghosts.

 

What if a ghost is not what you think it is? Perhaps there are real physical phenomenon which are subject to study but it just happens that nobody has done a proper investigation on them just yet. Would you be open minded enough to admit that what you think to be a ghost might turn out to be something real and measurable but not a dead guy wandering around?

Opening my mind to that possibility would be a real challenge. In my worldview things are interconnected. You can't take away the concept of ghosts as dead guys walking around, because many other concepts would stop making sense. A replacement for the ghost concept would have to fulfill multiple roles, for example, it would have to be created when someone dies. Then of course reincarnation. Almost everything would stop making sense without the concept of reincarnation. And what about the books written by astral explorers? Robert Allan Monroe, among the most notable.

Yes, this all can be falsified some day, but it must be falsified by something that really makes sense in context of people's experiences. I've had the questionable honor to experience things that support more the notion of a densely inhabited astral realm, than some trivial physical phenomenon which causes creaking of wooden floors.

 

Answers in Gene Simmons wrote:
 As far as Yeti/Bigfoot/Lochness monster type creatures, there might be another problem to consider. 

The size of a population is directly connected to it's genetic stability. We see this in evolutionary biology all the time. Large populations tend to show very little genetic drift and small populations have larger genetic drift. So if a cryptid species is going to remain concealed in a well traveled area, then it would have to have a generally small population.

 

Granted, the region where the yeti supposedly live might be able to hide a respectable population but the bigfoot supposedly lives in an area which is well enough populated that the size of the population that could possibly still be concealed would be too small for them to survive.

 

Ditto the Loch Ness monster. There could be at most a couple of creatures that large in that particular lake. There is no way that they could survive breeding to siblings for millions of years.

 

On the other hand, we do know of a good number of isolated populations of larger species. The Key Deer in Florida is a good example. They are a subspecies of the North American White tail and in only the last few thousand years, they have developed to the point where they stand half as tall and a quarter of the weight of a typical white tail. They are very real and very well known.

I remember now. The yetti was described as a species of a bear, who walks often on hind legs. It might be a suitable way of moving around on mountain slopes, for all I know. But I am not really sure that this is the animal involved.

As for the other mythical monsters, it's hard to tell. There is a general word on that in esoteric community that could explain a lot, but unless I see some evidence, there's no need to mention it. I must ask dad about some videos on youtube he told me about earlier.

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 OK, so someone in Asia

 OK, so someone in Asia found a new animal. You know what? It is hardly surprising. Really, new species are still being found in remote areas.

 

Now I can't tell from that photo but if that is the standard cage that I used when I was working at a nature center, if that critter could stand up, it would be about a meter tall. So if it really is a yeti, then it would have to be a child.

 

Really though, the mountains of Tibet are remote enough that there could be a breeding population of some critter that we have never heard of. Perhaps there really is some critter which is the basis for the yeti stories.

 

That much being said, the ancient Greeks believed in all kinds of critters such as sirens, mermaids and the like. The possible search area for those is small and well populated. If they existed, why has nobody ever even found a fossil of a mermaid?

 

As far as the ghost thing goes, why not start by stating a really clear definition of what you mean so that we can go from there. How would I know a ghost when I encounter one? Don't tell me that I have to have some special sense that only a rare few individuals have. Tell me something that I can actually describe in a scientific paper if I should ever need to. 

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Answers in Gene Simmons

Answers in Gene Simmons wrote:

As far as the ghost thing goes, why not start by stating a really clear definition of what you mean so that we can go from there. How would I know a ghost when I encounter one? Don't tell me that I have to have some special sense that only a rare few individuals have. Tell me something that I can actually describe in a scientific paper if I should ever need to. 

For a clear definition of a ghost we would have to define many new concepts, more than my favorite (etheric) dark matter. We must begin with the 7 extra dimensions of string theory, which are also described by esotericism. Each dimension has 7 sub-divisions for basic states of matter under what we call normal temperature. (4 of which in physical dimension make the dark or etheric matter)

A human is a being composed of multiple bodies or vehicles of consciousness, at least in the 3 lowest dimensions. One or two vehicles per dimension to cover all the sub-divisions of matter. Thanks to this principle, of having multi-dimensional existence, we can react to energy on let's say astral level as to energy of emotions or thoughts. This is where the objective and the subjective meet.
And when the physical body dies, (and etheric soon after) the consciousness wakes into the astral vehicle, in the 2nd dimension from below. 

Unfortunately, due to several problems (among others, a great fear of death or intense materialism) many ghosts keep a rudimentary component of etheric substance, to stay focused on the physical world. This could be regarded as a form of environmental pollution or parasitism, one of many astral problems of today.

Fortunately, we usually do not encounter ghosts, not even if they occupy the same space with us, although not the same material quality, that is called a dimension. The ability to contact a ghost is erratic, it is an atrophied part of our animal heritage. It doesn't have anything to do with higher brain functions, it's rather the primitive nerve system controlling adrenal glands and emotionality. For normal people, seeing a ghost is practically a coincidence. Either that, or the ghost must have a coarse quality of low astral sub-levels and the person must be high on something, for these two to meet. Either way, it's usually nothing useful, except for these New Age types.

Some authors describe, that under some circumstances a ghost (or a living guy during astral projection) may solidify a momentary etheric vehicle (or just a hand) to act upon physical world or even move objects as a poltergeist. I can certainly vouch for that, although it's a creepy practice.

The point is, the science should better focus on the search for etheric matter in living organisms and world around. Not only it is much more solid and related to our dense physical matter. It may even serve as a preliminary evidence of ghosts, because human etheric body is somewhat detachable. To me it is almost unthinkable, that astral world should be scientifically discovered before the etheric levels of physical matter. And I think it's much better that way.
 

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